The best team in the 2019 NFL regular season was the Baltimore Ravens. At 14-2, they had the best record in the league but they were stunned in the playoffs by the Tennessee Titans. Entering 2020, they returned a loaded roster that was reinforced by a solid NFL Draft. The team is already 2-0, preparing to face the Kansas City Chiefs in a huge Week 3 game. NFL betting sites have the Ravens as a 3.5-point favorite.
How have the Ravens’ 2020 draft picks supplemented the 2019 roster so far? Let’s take a look at these new arrivals and see how they’ve contributed through the first two games.
Patrick Queen, First Round
The linebacker out of LSU was considered to be a very good late-first-round pick by the Ravens, and he has justified that decision thus far. Queen had nine tackles in a Week 2 win over the Houston Texans. He had eight tackles in Week 1 versus the Browns. He has also forced a fumble. That is exactly the kind of production and all-field defense the Ravens hoped to get from this elite athlete. This is why draft experts loved this first-round pick by Baltimore.
J.K. Dobbins, Second Round
The running back out of Ohio State is both fast and powerful. He was excellent against Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinals this past December. He possessed a complete skill set which figured to make him a solid pro. So far, that is exactly what has happened. Dobbins has tremendous body balance. He converted a third down for the Ravens against the Houston Texans in which he was hit a few yards short of the first down but kept his knees and elbows from hitting the ground. He used his hands to push his body upward and then run for five more yards after the hit. Dobbins has special talents and figures to be the Ravens’ running back for the next several years. He will be able to catch passes out of the backfield and give this offense an added dimension.
Justin Madubuike, Third Round
The defensive tackle suffered a leg injury in the Ravens’ scrimmage on August 29. There is a chance he could return to practice this week for Baltimore. If he does return to practice, don’t expect him to get extended playing time against the Chiefs on Monday Night Football. He might get a handful of snaps, but the team would try to slowly increase his workload and make sure he is ready to take on more responsibilities later in the season. Don’t expect much of an impact from Madubuike earlier than Week 5 or 6 of this season.
Devin Duvernay, Third Round
The wide receiver from the University of Texas caught a 19-yard pass from Lamar Jackson this past Sunday against the Houston Texans. For a third-round receiver, Duvernay hasn’t been especially strong, but he also hasn’t been a no-show. He has moved up the depth chart and figures to get more chances to perform as the season continues. He won’t be a featured target for Jackson within the Ravens’ passing game, but if he can make occasional big plays, that will be a reasonably satisfactory outcome for coach John Harbaugh and the rest of the Ravens’ staff.
Malik Harrison, Third Round
The Ohio State linebacker registered four tackles in the Ravens’ Week 1 blowout win over the Cleveland Browns. He has also made a pass deflection and is making occasional contributions, though not nearly as many as Queen, the first-rounder who is playing like one.
Tyre Phillips, Third Round
The biggest pleasant surprise of the entire Ravens’ draft class is Tyre Phillips. A third-round offensive lineman isn’t supposed to beat out an established veteran such as D.J. Fluker for an opening day starting spot at right guard, but that is exactly what Phillips did. Moreover, Phillips has played well when given his huge opportunity. Baltimore has scored more than 30 points in each of its first two games. The Ravens’ rushing attack has looked strong, with Phillips playing a key role in enabling the offensive line to fire off the ball and establish a physical, intimidating style of play. Phillips has this starting spot locked up. Provided that he doesn’t get injured, he could have a great future ahead in Baltimore, with a lot of talented teammates.
Ben Bredeson, Fourth Round
This is a draft pick which hasn’t panned out so far. While other offensive linemen such as Phillips have thrived, Bredeson simply hasn’t been able to move up the depth chart. He has not played a snap in the first two games and probably won’t play at all against the Chiefs this upcoming Monday night.
Broderick Washington, Fifth Round
The defensive tackle received 40 percent of all defensive snaps for the Ravens in Week 1 versus Cleveland. That’s an excellent result for a fifth-round draft pick, well above average for players picked that late in the draft. Washington didn’t play nearly as much in Week 2 versus the Texans, but that was a result of the matchup. The Texans have a more pass-first, finesse-oriented offense. Washington is going to be a run-stuffer, and so whenever the Ravens need that, they appear ready and willing to turn to him. That’s a quality start for a fifth-rounder.
James Proche, Sixth Round
The SMU receiver has been the Ravens’ punt returner in the team’s first two games. For a sixth-round pick, finding a home on special teams is a great outcome. Getting that NFL paycheck is hardly a sure thing when taken so late in a draft. Proche will hope to bust a punt return for a touchdown to solidify his spot as the team’s punt returner. It’s not as though this position on a roster is locked in. One fumbled punt can easily mean a ticket off the roster and into great uncertainty. Proche hopes that his next highly publicized moment is a highlight-reel play which wins a game, as opposed to a devastating mistake which causes the Ravens to lose. That is the frail reality for punt returners who have not established themselves in the NFL.
Geno Stone, Seventh Round
The safety hasn’t yet played as a healthy scratch. The Ravens’ secondary has suffered some notable injuries early in the season, particularly to Tavon Young, so one will wonder if Stone will get a chance to play in live action in the next few weeks.