Did the Ravens need a running back with the second pick? Columnist Mike Preston and Ravens beat writer Jonas Shaffer discuss the Ravens day 2 draft picks.
Almost exactly 24 hours after taking LSU star Patrick Queen in the first round of the NFL draft, the Ravens found him a partner at inside linebacker: Ohio State’s Malik Harrison.
The 6-foot-3, 247-pound Harrison, the Ravens’ third third-round selection and No. 98 overall pick, projects as a strong-side inside linebacker, which would allow Queen to play his more natural weak-side position.
As a senior, Harrison finished with 75 tackles (16½ for loss), 4½ sacks and four pass breakups in 14 starts for the Buckeyes. As a junior, he tied for first on Ohio State in tackles (81), including 8½ tackles for loss and 2½ sacks, and added an interception.
Harrison had impressive numbers at the NFL scouting combine, posting a 4.66-second 40-yard dash and 36-inch vertical jump. He should challenge L.J. Fort, Chris Board, Otaro Alaka and Jake Ryan for snaps as a rookie, though he’ll likely start his career as a two-down linebacker best suited for stopping the run. He’s a hard-hitting enforcer who’s unafraid to take on blocks.
“Malik is different,” general manager Eric DeCosta said. “He’s a big guy. You don’t get a lot of big linebackers anymore in college football. He’s almost 250 pounds, he has long arms, he takes guys on really, really well, he’s really strong in the box, and he can run.”
Given the success of Ohio State’s program and experience in big games, DeCosta said Harrison can "really kind of get acclimated quickly. ... He’s a guy that really looks like an NFL linebacker.”