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Another Positive NFL Draft For Baltimore

The 2020 NFL Draft has come and gone, and it will be hard to produce another one like this. It broke records for viewing figures, with the first-ever interactive draft due to Covid-19. As with every draft, some teams will feel better than others about their draft class. One such team that will feel good is the Baltimore Ravens.

Baltimore has always carried a reputation for being a good drafting team. Former GM Ozzie Newsome has handed over the reins to Eric DeCosta, who has kept up the gold standard for the Ravens. The group is a SuperBowl caliber team and used ten picks in this year’s draft to solidify their roster. Let’s review their picks.

Another Great Linebacker In Baltimore?

Baltimore’s most significant need going into the draft was at linebacker, a position they’ve always been synonymous with. Many draft experts predicted they would address this in the early rounds. They used the 28th overall pick to select LSU linebacker Patrick Queen.

Queen improved significantly throughout the season, using his quickness to fly around the field. He’s a true sideline-to-sideline three-down player. The Ravens didn’t replace C.J Mosley last season, and it cost them in the play-offs. Queen is the next great linebacker in Baltimore and will give this defense added menace in the years to come.

Grade – A+

Patrick Queen is the disruptive linebacker the Ravens have needed since C.J Mosley left. Behind this defensive front Queen can be a stud for the Ravens. Photo: Hilary Scheinuk/The Advocate.

The Future At Running Back?

Baltimore had two second-round picks this year, acquiring Atlanta’s 55th overall pick in a trade for tight end Hayden Hurst. After a string of receivers and edge rushers were selected, Baltimore went back to its standard philosophy. Don’t reach for team needs; simply select the best player available.

They were able to select J.K Dobbins, whom many rated as a top-three running back in this draft. His physical profile is almost identical to starter Mark Ingram, with breakaway speed also. Baltimore already has three talented backs, but with Ingram turning 31 in December, the Ravens just drafted his replacement for the next five years.

Grade – A+

J.K Dobbins rushed for over 2,000 yards in 2019, and will be the future star running back for the Baltimore Ravens. This was one of the best value picks of the first two rounds. Photo: J. Russo/USA Today Sports.

Yet Another Defensive Selection

Baltimore traded the 60th overall pick to the Patriots, in return gaining two extra third-round picks. The first of these, pick 71, was used to select defensive tackle Justin Madubuike. He showed good college production but will find it harder at the NFL level with his lack of ideal size at 6’3″ 293 pounds.

Madubuike provides excellent depth at the position, joining a crowded position room with Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe, and Jihad Ward. Madubuike will learn in a rotational role and can both rush the passer and prove stout against the run. As an interior lineman, he provides excellent depth for Baltimore.

Grade – B

Justin Madubuike will provide depth for the Ravens defensive line, and could be the next stud pass rusher they find in the middle rounds. Photo: Smiley N. Pool/Dallas Morning News

Wide Receiver Help For Lamar Jackson

General manager Eric DeCosta prioritized rejuvenating the Ravens defense this season. The team needed some added offensive firepower also, something he addressed late in the third round. With pick 92 Baltimore selected speedy Texas receiver, Devin Duvernay.

Duvernay ran a 4.39 40 at the combine, showing elite speed that will worry opposing defenders. He is also a sure-handed receiver, posting the lowest drop rate of any power five receivers in the past two years. Duvernay has excellent versatility as he can be both an outside speed receiver or a possession safety blanket for Lamar Jackson. He should excel in the Ravens offense.

Grade – A-

Devin Duvernay had some of the best hands in this draft, and can scare teams with his 4.39 speed too. Baltimore is building a speedy offense with Jackson, Hollywood Brown, Duvernay and J.K Dobbins. Photo: Tim Warner/Getty Images.

Stocking Up At Linebacker

Not content with Patrick Queen in the first round, the Ravens went back to the linebacker well in the third-round. They used the 98th pick to take Malik Harrison from Ohio State.

Both should complement each other well in Baltimore. Queen projects as a pass-coverage linebacker, with Harrison likely to prove better at run-stopping. Harrison has the size at 6ft 3 247 pounds to be an excellent run-stopping linebacker, with Queen’s skills being his speed and coverage ability.

Malik Harrison will combine well with Patrick Queen to anchor this Ravens defense. His run-stopping ability gives another edge to an already talented defense. Photo: USA Today Sports.

Added Offensive Line Help Necessary

With their fourth and final pick in the third round, the Ravens added a depth piece on their offensive line. With Marshal Yanda retiring, Baltimore needed to help fill the giant hole he leaves this line. They attempted to address this by selecting Tyre Phillips with pick 106.

Phillips fits the Ravens type, with big size at 6’5″ and 331 pounds. Baltimore wants its linemen to be big physical specimens who bully defenders with a power rushing offense. Phillips also provides versatility at both tackle and guard. His strength is run blocking, which fits the Baltimore offense well. He needs some time to develop his pass-blocking skills but has the ideal size to excel in Baltimore.

Grade – B-

Tyre Phillips needs some refinement to become a complete linemen, but has the athletic traits to develop into another monster of the Ravens line. Photo: AP

Family Ties Help Ravens

After the excitement of five picks in two days, the Ravens went into day three with only three picks. The Ravens always find impact starters on day three. Pick 129 was sent to the Patriots as part of the trade for pick 60, so they used pick 143 to select Michigan guard Ben Bredeson.

Head coach John Harbaugh will have no doubt spoken to brother and Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh about Bredeson, a pick that makes a lot of sense for Baltimore. Bredeson was a three-year starter for Michigan at guard and will help fill the void left by Yanda’s retirement. Bredeson was a two-year team captain, with ideal size at 6’5″ and 315 pounds. At the very least, he will provide good depth on the offensive line.

Grade – B-

Ben Bredeson was a three-year starter for Michigan, and can help provide depth on the offensive line. He could also step in and help replace Marshal Yanda at guard. Photo: Detroit Free Press.

More Defensive Depth Late In Draft

This fifth-round pick gained fame in draft media circles as being the pick the Vikings gave to Baltimore for maligned kicker Kaare Vedvik. With pick 170, they addressed a need at edge rusher by picking defensive tackle Broderick Washington.

Washington projects as an interior nose tackle in the NFL, although he needs to add a little more muscle at 6’2″ 305 pounds. Washington is limited with his pass-rush ability but can be an excellent run defender who blocks gaps and is an ideal space eater. Washington will provide depth behind Brandon Williams and can be good with the Ravens, who value size so much.

Grade – C

Broderick Washington projects as the next massive interior presence in the Baltimore front seven. Could he be the next Brandon Williams. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

Another Receiver For Jackson Via Trade

The Ravens didn’t have a sixth-round pick this year but traded with the Vikings for picks 201 and 219. With their pick late in the sixth-round, they selected another wide receiver, James Proche, from SMU. Proche will be another favorite target for Jackson, thanks to his sure-hands from the slot.

Proche lacks ideal size at 5’11” and 201 pounds but makes up for it with sticky hands. He was another player who excelled in college with his lack of drops, giving this offense another massive boost. Proche will be a good slot receiver for an attack that just got a lot better.

Grade – A-

James Proche is another receiver with sticky hands. He lacks ideal size but projects as a productive slot receiver for this Ravens offense. Photo: Ryan ,Michalesko/Dallas Morning News.

Great Safety Depth Found Late

As part of their trade with the Vikings, the Ravens gave up pick 225, so this early seventh-round pick was their final of the 2020 NFL Draft. Despite other team needs, Baltimore went with safety Geno Stone from Iowa with pick 219.

Stone was a cornerstone of his Iowa team in 2019, but his athletic limitations may get exposed at the NFL level. Stone plays with great football IQ, something Baltimore coveted. Stone likely projects as a situational safety who provides depth behind Earl Thomas and Chuck Clark.

Grade – C+

Geno Stone will provide depth at safety in Baltimore, with his high football IQ a massive asset. Photo: Wyatt Dlouhy/The Daily Iowan.

That wraps up my review of the 2020 Baltimore Ravens draft class. Agree or disagree with any of my commentaries? Let me know in the comment section below. For more great NFL news, follow the sites page here. Also, be sure to check out the sites forum pages here for even more great discussion. Find me on Twitter @JWjournalism.

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