Baltimore Ravens Rookies Forecast

By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

Solid Starter

Patrick Queen, LB, LSU – Round 1
The Ravens had a need at inside linebacker and were fortunate to have Queen fall to them in the first round. I knew teams with top-20 picks that had Queen in the running for their selection, so Baltimore getting him close to the end of the opening night was a very good value. Over the past few decades, Baltimore has had a reputation for very good linebacker play, and I believe that Queen will reestablish that tradition early in his NFL career.

The first thing that stands out about the 6-foot-1, 229-pound Queen is he can really run. The ultra-fast linebacker gave proof of that at the combine when he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.50 seconds, a phenomenal time for a linebacker. There is no doubt that Queen has elite speed with athleticism and fluidity in the open field. He doesn’t have stiffness and moves like a defensive back in a linebacker’s body. Immediately, Queen is going to upgrade the speed at the second level for the Ravens.

Queen is well-suited ro pass coverage in today’s NFL. He is a smooth mover in the open field with the speed to run vertically down the middle seam. Queen is skilled in zone coverage to flow with the play and cover a lot of ground. With some development, he could be an asset in helping to cover running backs and tight ends in man coverage. Queen also is a dangerous blitzer and eats up space in a hurry to put pressure on the quarterback. With his speed and athleticism, Queen is a great fit the modern pro game, as he can be a three-down starter who provides a plus defender in coverage.

As a run defender, Queen uses his sideline-to-sideline speed to shut down perimeter runs. He flashes good vision and uses that to weave through trash to get in position to finish plays. For the next level, Queen needs to get stronger to take on and shed blocks. Downhill runs straight at him can give him problems, and he has a hard time shedding blocks when offensive linemen and some tight ends lock onto him.

I think Queen will be a sideline-to-sideline heat-seeking missile in Baltimore’s defense. I could see him being a good contributor in pass coverage while also providing some splash plays on blitzes. With the talent around him, Queen could become a quality starter as early as this coming season.

2019: Miles Boykin, WR
2018: Hayden Hurst, TE
2017: Chris Wormley, DE
2016: Ronnie Stanley, OT
2015: Maxx Williams, TE
2014: C.J. Mosley, LB
2013: Arthur Brown, LB

Most Likely To Bust

Justin Madubuike, DE, Texas A&M – Round 3
This was a tough pick because I really like Madubuike as a player. There is a lot to like about him, and there are very few weakness in his game. He has an excellent skill set with quickness and twitchy athleticism. On top of the speed, Madubuike is big and strong with boxy build that makes it difficult for offensive linemen to sustain blocks against him. Madubuike can use his quickness to fire by guards and get penetration upfield while also being able to power through them with violence.

Madubuike’s strength and build make him tough to move in the ground game. He can be a stout run defender who holds his gap and also is able to shed blocks to make tackles outside of his gap. He is a well-rounded defender who is effective in both phases.

When Madubuike turns it on, he can be amazing and completely dominate a game. Check out his games against Ole Miss and Georgia from last year. However, Madubuike is inconsistent from week-to-week and even quarter-to-quarter. He can disappear for stretches and then become a monster, so the inconsistency is a concern.

The inconsistency could be a symptom of the larger issue that sent Madubuike to the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He has significant off-the-field issues and faces concerns about football character. If teams did not have the character worries, Madubuike would have been a first- or second-round pick. Those issues are what cause me to see him as having the most bust potential among the Ravens’ early-round picks.

2019: Jaylon Ferguson, DE
2018: Anthony Averett, CB
2017: Tyus Bowser, LB
2016: Bronson Kaufusi, DE
2015: Carl Davis, DT
2014: Timmy Jernigan, DT
2013: Brandon Williams, NT

Potential Boom Pick

J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State – Round 2
The Ravens got a steal with Dobbins late in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Over the past three seasons, Dobbins was a dominant runner while sharing carries prior to 2019. Last season, he was the workhorse for the Ohio State backfield taking on a heavy work load. The junior averaged 6.7 yards per carry in 2019 for 2,003 yards with 21 touchdowns. He had 23 receptions for 247 yards and two touchdowns as well.

There is no doubt that Dobbins (5-9, 210) has the ability to be a NFL running back with a skill set to be in contention as a three-down starter early in his pro career. The first trait that generates a lot of talk about Dobbins is his acceleration, as he has a quick first-step to hit the hole and a second gear to burst to the second level of the defense. In the open field, Dobbins can rip off yards in chunks, making him a threat to turn ordinary carries into big gains.

Aside from his quickness, Dobbins is a natural runner with instincts. He has excellent vision and anticipation to follow his line before bursting downhill, as he quickly anticipates where a hole is about to open. On top of his feel for running with the ball, he has a compact build that provides him with some power to run through tackles and pick up yards after contact. Dobbins has plus balance to maintain his feet after getting hit by defenders, and he uses his stature to run through would be tacklers. In the open field, Dobbins has some moves, quick feet, and elusiveness. His strength and build make him a quality short-yardage runner as well.

Dobbins’ skills as a receiver will be an asset as an outlet wideout for Lamar Jackson. Dobbins is very dangerous at running wheel routes, as he is fluid in space and has shown tremendous hands to make some difficult catches downfield. He makes some pretty hands catches with good technique not to use his body. Dobbins is a dangerous route-runner out of the backfield that provides mismatches in coverage taking on front seven defenders. He is an excellent fit to contribute to the aerial offense, and that leads to him having three-down starting potential.

Dobbins will be a great fit in Baltimore as the No. 2 back to Mark Ingram, and in a year or two, Dobbins could take over as the team’s feature back. With Lamar Jackson at quarterback, Dobbins and Jackson could form a lethal rushing tandem that has the Ravens routinely among the NFL’s leaders in rushing. Dobbins has Pro Bowl, boom-pick potential and was a steal for Baltimore.

2019: Marquise Brown, WR
2018: Lamar Jackson, QB
2017: Marlon Humphrey, CB
2016: Kamalei Correa, LB
2015: Breshad Perriman, WR
2014: Terrence Brooks, S
2013: Matt Elam, S

Future Depth Player

Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State – Round 3
After taking Patrick Queen in the first round, Baltimore doubled up at the position with Harrison. Harrison was a solid value pick in the third round, as he could be a tough run defender in the NFL. The 6-foot-2, 246-pounder is a sturdy linebacker and tackler who should be a solid contributor for the Ravens in a rotational role. Harrison may not have the speed and athleticism to function well in pass coverage and become a three-down starter, but he should at least be a good rotational linebacker and run defender.

2018: Justice Hill, RB
2018: Deshon Elliott, S
2017: Jermaine Eluemanor, G
2016: Tavon Young, CB
2015: Buck Allen, RB
2014: Brent Urban, DE
2013: John Simon, LB

Walt’s 2020 NFL Draft Grades:

28. Patrick Queen, LB, LSU – A+ Grade
It must be very amusing to work for the Ravens’ front office. Year after year, they watch dumb teams ahead of them do stupid things in the draft, allowing them to scoop up great talents. Apparently, 2020 is no different. Bad picks were made ahead of the Ravens once more, opening up this selection. Patrick Queen easily could’ve been chosen in the late teens, but Baltimore is somehow getting him at No. 28 overall as a replacement for C.J. Mosley.

55. J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State – A+ Grade
Once again, the Ravens get to laugh at the dumb teams in the NFL and select a talented player because half the league is incompetent. J.K. Dobbins could’ve easily been chosen early in the second round. He’s a talented, explosive back who should be able to supplant Mark Ingram in a year or so. In the meantime, Dobbins will get a healthy number of carries, as there are many rushes to go around for the team that runs more than any other.

71. Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A&M – A Grade
Watch bad teams make bad picks. Get a steal. Watch bad teams make bad picks. Get a steal. Watch bad teams make bad picks. Get a steal. Watch bad teams make bad picks. Get a steal. Watch bad teams make bad picks. Get a steal. Watch bad teams make bad picks. Get a steal.

The Ravens keep doing great work with the draft. It’s truly baffling how they can do this so well, while other teams can’t. The Ravens missed out on signing Michael Brockers because of a failed physical, so they obtained a disruptive force in the interior. Madubuike should’ve been taken in the second round.

92. Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas – B Grade
It can’t be a surprise that the Ravens picked a receiver, though I expected them to do so earlier. That said, with all the values they landed, I can’t blame them for waiting this long. Duvernay is a talented athlete and a potential slot receiver in Baltimore’s offense. He’ll likely be an upgrade over what the team had last year. I don’t love this pick, but it makes sense.

98. Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State – B Grade
Another linebacker makes sense for the Ravens. The range does as well, which is shocking because the Ravens aren’t getting a steal for once. Still, this is a solid pick. Harrison was a late bloomer at Ohio State, so there’s a good chance he’ll continue to blossom into a quality player.

106. Tyre Phillips, OT/G, Mississippi State – C Grade
Tyre Phillips played tackle at Mississippi State, but he may have to move inside to guard in the NFL. In fact, Roger Goodell announced him as a guard. The position had to be addressed, given Marshal Yanda’s retirement. I think this is a bit too high for Phillips, but the pick makes sense.

143. Ben Bredeson, G, Michigan – A+ Grade
Surprise, surprise, the Ravens just made an excellent pick. Ben Bredeson is a guard with great technique and quickness. He should be able to become a solid starter in the NFL, so this is a steal. It also fills a need with Marshal Yanda retiring.

170. Broderick Washington, DT, Texas Tech – B- Grade
This isn’t an exciting pick, as Broderick Washington is just a two-down run stuffer who provides nothing as a pass rusher. It makes sense to take him in the middle of Day 3.

201. James Proche, WR, SMU – A+ Grade
The Ravens are owning the 2020 NFL Draft. They just traded up to acquire a steal in James Proche. I imagine Proche dropped because of injury concerns, but he’s a terrific route runner who should be able to contribute sometime soon for Baltimore.

219. Geno Stone, S, Iowa – A+ Grade
Geno Stone has incredible instincts, so naturally, he fell to the Ravens in the seventh round. He’s not very athletic, but he’s a smart player who can potentially be a mediocre starter at some point. This is a steal.

2020 NFL Draft Team Grade: A+ . Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.

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