Midway through the third round of the NFL Draft, a camera isolated on John Harbaugh’s home office caught the Ravens coach in a demonstrative fist pump, and that reaction pretty much summed up what the Ravens felt about their second day of the draft.
The Ravens netted five players on Day 2, landing record-setting Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins in the second round with the No. 55 pick and then adding four more third-round picks after making a trade with the New England Patriots.
The Ravens traded away their second second-round pick (No. 60 overall) and a fourth-rounder to the Patriots in exchange for a pair of third-round picks. Coupled with their own two third-round picks, the Ravens came away in the third round with Texas A&M defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, Texas wide receiver Devin Duvernay, Ohio State linebacker Malik Harrison and Mississippi State offensive lineman Tyre Phillips.
The picks addressed key needs for the Ravens at wide receiver and offensive line and bolstered a defensive front seven that has been an emphasis throughout this offseason.
And that came after the Ravens added a record-setting running back to an offense that was the most prolific in NFL history last year.
Dobbins (5-foot-9, 209 pounds) ran for a school record 2,003 yards and 21 touchdowns this past year and became the first Ohio State running back ever to rush for more than 1,000 yards in his freshman, sophomore and junior seasons.
DeCosta said he never expected to see Dobbins still available at No. 55 overall, and given the Ravens’ system and Dobbins skill set, “It just made too much sense not to take him.”
“We want to add as many talented guys as we can … We’re a team that likes to run the ball,” DeCosta added.
Dobbins joins a Ravens run-first offense led by Most Valuable Player Lamar Jackson and running back Mark Ingram that set an NFL record last year with 3,296 rushing yards.
Just before the Ravens were on the clock at No. 60, the New York Jets selected Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims, and DeCosta didn’t indicate whether that was an impetus, but moments later the Ravens traded away their No. 60 pick to the Patriots and acquired an additional third-round pick.
With the No. 92 overall pick the Ravens addressed the receiver position, selecting Texas speedy slot receiver Devin Duvernay, whose selection led to Harbaugh’s fist-pump reaction.
Harbaugh explained that the Ravens had their eye on Duvernay, but then the Patriots traded one spot ahead of the Ravens, and Harbaugh feared Duvernay would be their target. Instead, the Patriots selected tight end Devin Asiasi, and the Ravens landed Duvernay, whom DeCosta called one of his favorite players in the draft.
At 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds he’s not a big receiver, but Harbaugh praised his speed and DeCosta said his competitive drive reminded him of former Ravens Anquan Boldin and Steve Smith.
Duvernay caught 106 passes for 1,341 yards this past season, and Harbaugh said he didn’t see one ball dropped on all the tape he saw.
“He’s very tough, very physical,” DeCosta said. “I like those competitive guys that don’t go down.”
The Ravens also further shored up their front seven with the selections of Madabuike and Harrison. Madabuike is “an explosive guy,” Harbaugh said, and the Ravens have clearly put a premium on speed at all positions the past few years.
Madubuike (6-foot-2, 293 pounds) led the Aggies this year with 11.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks and joins a defensive front seven that has been a major focus for the Ravens this offseason. The Ravens traded for veteran defensive end Calais Campbell and signed free agent defensive end Derek Wolfe this offseason, then added inside linebacker Patrick Queen with their first pick of the draft.
The Ravens later added Harrison (6-foot-3, 247 pounds), who led Ohio State in tackles the past two years, adding a second inside linebacker after they selected Patrick Queen in the first round. Two days ago, that had been the thinnest position on the team.
The Ravens rounded out their third-round picks by selecting Phillips, who started 13 games at left tackle this past season but is expected to move to guard for the Ravens. They need to find a replacement for All-Pro right guard Marshal Yanda, who retired this year after 13 NFL seasons.
After surrendering a fourth-round pick to the Patriots in their Day 2 deal, the Ravens begin Day 3 of the draft with three remaining picks: No. 143 in the fourth round, No. 170 in the fifth round and No. 225 in the seventh round.
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Ohio State, Texas A&M, Texas and Ohio State Athletics