February 20, 2020
By Austin Medina
With the NFL Combine starting next week, the Ravens will have a few positions on their minds that need an upgrade.
After a terrific 14-2 season and AFC North title, the Titans exploited the Ravens rush defense in the AFC Divisional Round.
With the NFL Draft roughly two months away, a position in need of an upgrade is linebacker. With starting linebackers Patrick Onwuasor and Josh Bynes, along with Pernell McPhee, listed as free agents, the Ravens should look to address the position in the draft.
Currently with the 28th overall pick, here are three players the Ravens should consider.
- Patrick Queen, Linebacker, LSU
An underrated defender on the national champion Tigers, Queen is a fluid linebacker and possesses tremendous instincts. Named the defensive MVP of the national championship, Queen’s versatility helped guide LSU in holding Clemson to just 25 points. In the win, Queen registered six tackles (two for loss) as well as a half sack.
On a defense with safety Grant Delpit and edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson, Queen proved to be the most well-rounded defender on LSU. Queen can step in Week 1 and become a starting linebacker for the Ravens. But will he be available at 28?
- Kenneth Murray, Linebacker, Oklahoma
Of course Oklahoma and the Big 12 are known for everything but defense. But in regards to Kenneth Murray, those negative connotations should be thrown out the window. Listed at 6’2, 234 pounds, Murray proved valuable against the run, in zone coverage, and rushing the quarterback. His career 9.5 sacks and First-Team Big-12 recognition are just a few notes that describe Murray.
His physicality and high-motor should intrigue the Ravens moving forward. Not only can Murray become a Week 1 starter, his abilities translated well in special teams for earlier in his career. The Ravens should be ecstatic if he’s available at 28.
- Marlon Davidson, Defensive Lineman, Auburn
Straying away from the linebacker core with this third possibility, Davidson is more of an interior pass-rushing threat. With Michael Pierce’s possibly leaving in free agency, the Ravens can add a two-dimensional defensive tackle in Davidson. A five star prospect from Auburn, Davidson is coming off a terrific season where he was named First-team All-SEC.
In his senior season, he registered career-highs with 48 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks. An area of concern for Davidson is his footwork which haunts him in the run-game but if getting after the quarterback is what Baltimore is looking to improve, he would be a terrific snag at 28.
Though there are three possible Round 1 draft picks listed above, the Ravens may look to improve another area of need in the receiving core. With an incredibly-deep receiving class, Baltimore should look to improve the position in later rounds and focus on tightening up their defense.
Which, if any, of these prospects would be best for Baltimore?