Here’s what The Baltimore Sun sports staff thinks about the Ravens’ second day of the 2020 NFL draft:
Childs Walker, staff writer
Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins (No. 55 overall): The Ravens threw a genuine curveball by taking Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins with their first second-round pick. It’s hard to question Dobbins’ production or his potential as a three-down back. And we knew going in that general manager Eric DeCosta liked the depth of this year’s running back group. But there were quality players available at positions of greater need, including Wisconsin outside linebacker Zack Baun and Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims. Of course, the Ravens will get another shot at 60. And they got one of the best overall players on the board at a position of particular importance in their offense.
Texas A&M defensive tackle Justin Madubuike (No. 71): The Ravens addressed their pass-rush needs with their first third-round pick, but not in the way many of us expected. Texas A&M defensive tackle Justin Madubuike should help give them the interior rush they’ve lacked in recent years. He’s on the small side for an NFL interior lineman, but he’s quick and played well against top competition in the SEC. They must not have liked the values at wide receiver, interior offensive line or edge rusher.
Texas wide receiver Devin Duvernay (No. 92): The Ravens waited a long time to draft a wide receiver but got a good value in Duvernay. He has sure hands and excellent straight-line speed. The Texas product has room to develop but fits the Ravens’ vision of outrunning everyone on both sides of the ball.
Jonas Shaffer, staff writer
Dobbins: Dobbins was one of college football’s best running backs for three straight years. He can have a Mark Ingram-type impact in Baltimore. But ... the Ravens already have Ingram, and Gus Edwards behind him. For a running back to have second-round value, he’d better be a dynamic receiving threat. Dobbins just isn’t that yet.
Madubuike: Defensive line wasn’t considered an urgent need for the Ravens, but they also don’t have anyone with Justin Madubuike’s combination of size and skill. The team lacked an interior pass rush last season, so it went out and got defensive ends Derek Wolfe and Calais Campbell to help Brandon Williams. Given their age and contract situations, it might not be long before Madubuike is starting in their place.
Mississippi State offensive lineman Tyre Phillips (106): Phillips can be the swing tackle the Ravens lost when they cut James Hurst this offseason. If Phillips’ range in pass protection is too limited, he can be unleashed inside. At 6-feet-5, 331 pounds, with 35-plus-inch arms, he has an imposing frame with brute-force power. There might not be an NFL offense whose philosophy is more aligned with Phillips’ strengths than the Ravens’.
Mike Preston, columnist
Dobbins: Dobbins is a good, powerful running back. He has a low center of gravity and great body lean. But I don’t understand why they took a running back. They had the best rushing attack in the league last season and have all three runners returning in starter Mark Ingram II, backup Gus Edwards and Justice Hill, who came on strong at the end of his rookie year. And of course there was quarterback Lamar Jackson, who was the best running back on the team. I assume Dobbins was the Ravens’ top-rated player when they picked, which is consistent with their philosophy. But the Ravens need to get a guard or a pass rusher soon. You can’t run the ball if you can’t block and right guard Marshal Yanda retired at the end of last season.
Madubuike: Madubuike gets a lot of credit for being a pass rusher but there are some who like him as a run stopper. He has low center of gravity and can either beat or split double teams. Apparently, the Ravens again drafted on ratings instead of need because they didn’t need another defensive tackle. Madubuike had 45 tackles and 5.5 sacks last season. Eighteen of his tackles were for losses.
Duvernay: Duvernay is fast and ran 4.39 in the 40 at the combine. He had 106 catches last season for 1,386 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Ravens will have a lot of speed next season but still need a big receiver on the outside. Duvernay is like Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and both play in the slot. Duvernay can turn short passes into big gains, shorts routes like quick screens, hitches and slants. But the Ravens still need a big target on the outside who can stretch defenses and become a factor inside the red zone.
Ohio State linebacker Malik Harrison (No. 98): He looks like he can play inside or outside linebacker as well as defensive end. He had 75 tackles for the Buckeyes last season and gave them a physical presence inside against the run. Harrison is 6-2 and 247 pounds. He also had 4.5 sacks last season. Doesn’t appear to be a starter but gives the Ravens depth and is fast enough to play anywhere on special teams.
Phillips: Phillips won’t be starting ahead of Ronnie Stanley, but the move gives the Ravens some depth on the offensive line. The Ravens could move Phillips to guard if needed. He has decent bend in his knees and moves well. He could eventually become a starter.
Baltimore Ravens Insider
Daniel Oyefusi, staff writer
Dobbins: After finding an answer for a glaring need on the first day of the NFL draft, the Ravens stacked a possession of strength by selecting Dobbins. The pick may have surprised many, including Dobbins, but nothing is off the table for a franchise that consistently preaches a “best player available” mantra. It’s unclear how Dobbins fits in the Ravens’ backfield in the immediate future, but it is surely a move that could play out well long term with Ingram on the wrong side of 30. As the draft continues, it’ll be interesting to see how the team addresses its other holes, particularly at wide receiver given the run on the position in the first two rounds.
C.J. Doon, editor/draft analyst
Dobbins: Only one running back came off the board in the first round (Clyde Edwards-Helaire), and just three were picked in the second round before the Ravens made their pick. There’s enough data available now that shows that offensive line play matters more than a running back. Dobbins is a productive player who will only enhance the Ravens’ record-setting rushing attack, but with receivers like Denzel Mims and Van Jefferson still on the board, the Ravens might regret waiting until the third round or later to improve their passing game.
Madubuike: Even after acquiring All-Pro Calais Campbell from the Jaguars, the Ravens need some reinforcements in the middle of the defensive line. Madubuike is athletic and versatile, which will make him a valuable part of the rotation up front.
Duvernay: A former 100-meter state champion in high school, he can flat-out fly, running a 4.39 40-yard dash at the scouting combine. He’s got reliable hands, too, with the lowest drop rate of any Power 5 wide receiver since 2018, according to Pro Football Focus. He can do damage on deep throws and rack up yards after the catch. Lamar Jackson should be happy with this pick.
Harrison: With Harrison, a strong, downhill presence, and Patrick Queen, the Ravens might have ended up with the two best inside linebackers in this draft. Defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale, a former linebackers coach, has to be ecstatic.
Phillips: The 6-foot-5, 331-pound lineman offers value both as a swing tackle and guard, with a chance to compete for retired All-Pro Marshal Yanda’s starting spot on the interior. The Ravens needed depth at tackle behind Ronnie Stanley and Orlando Brown Jr.