Ravens continue to boost linebacker corps with Malik Harrison

Christian Petersen / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Baltimore Ravens selected linebacker Malik Harrison out of Ohio State in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, 98th overall.

Baltimore used its first-round pick on LSU star Patrick Queen and then went back to the second level of its defense for Harrison.

Despite owning the fourth-ranked defense in the league in 2019, three of the Ravens' first five picks were on that side of the ball.

Prospect Profile

School: Ohio State
Height: 6-3
Weight: 247 lbs

Positives

  • Explosive athlete with good short-area quickness
  • Reads keys efficiently and fires downhill to fill gaps vs. run
  • Takes on blocks with physicality and heavy hands
  • Can stack, shed, and locate the ball to make plays
  • Good contact balance to work through traffic
  • Reliable tackler when in range to make play on the ball carrier
  • Sound defender in zone coverage with good awareness
  • Productive blitzer from second level

Negatives

  • Lateral range as run defender is only average
  • Lacks fluidity for man coverage
  • Won't have speed to turn and run with backs and tight ends
  • Hasn't produced much in pass coverage

Bottom Line

Harrison enters the NFL already adept at what's often a challenge for young linebackers: Engaging with offensive linemen and consistently getting off blocks to make a play on the ball. That ability, combined with his instincts to process quickly after the snap, should make him an impact run defender from Day 1. And while he may not move well enough for man coverage, his comfort level while dropping into zones still gives him upside as a solid three-down contributor. Harrison could become an extremely valuable mid-round pick.

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Ravens continue to boost linebacker corps with Malik Harrison
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