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Eisenberg: Ravens Got A Range of Talents at a Range of Positions

Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins (2) reacts after a running for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Indiana, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Bloomington, Ind.
Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins (2) reacts after a running for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Indiana, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Bloomington, Ind.

I'll start by answering the question I know you're asking:

I don't know.

How are the Ravens going to blend Ohio State's J.K. Dobbins into their running back mix when they already have one of the best groups in the NFL at the position with Mark Ingram II, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill?

I don't know.

And you know what? The Ravens don't know, either.

The way they see it, answering an interesting question like that is a job (not so much a problem) for another day, and they'll get to it soon enough. Stuff happens. Players get hurt. Fortunes rise and fall.

In the meantime, the Ravens had an entirely different job to take care of Friday night, on Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft, and that job was to add as many quality players as possible to their roster – yes, regardless of position.

Dobbins certainly checks that box. I doubt he'll supplant Ingram as the No. 1 back in 2020, but he's a future starter and major offensive contributor-in-waiting after posting three 1,000-yard rushing seasons in college. Quite frankly, he was just too good to pass up at No. 55 overall, where the Ravens grabbed him.

Yes, they had more immediate needs at offensive line and wide receiver, but having committed to the running game like no other NFL team, they owe it to themselves to be deep and dangerous at running back at all times.

They certainly are now.

"We thought he was going to be a first-round pick. We thought he might go (at pick) 25 to 30," Ravens GM Eric DeCosta said of Dobbins. "I learned a long time ago from Ozzie (Newsome, his predecessor), these great players fall down the board and you take them. We just had to take him. He's a talented guy and it made too much sense not to take him."

Part of the reason it made sense, no question, was the Ravens originally had three more picks to make Friday night after they selected Dobbins. Then they added another pick when they traded a second-rounder and fourth-rounder for two thirds, giving them four picks in the third round.

What an opportunity.

"We tried to address a bunch of needs," DeCosta said.

That's exactly what they did, methodically matching needs with players as they moved through the round. By the time Day 2 of the draft had concluded around midnight, they had addressed pretty much every area of the roster that needed work.

Wide receiver? Devin Duvernay, from Texas, is the new weapon they wanted for quarterback Lamar Jackson. He ran a 4.39 40-yard dash, which means he's super fast. He caught 106 passes in 2019. No one who scouted him from the Ravens saw him drop a ball on tape. They believe he was a steal of a selection at No. 92 overall.

Interior offensive line? Tyre Phillips is a massive prospect who smothered pass rushers as a left tackle at Mississippi State. The No. 106-overall pick, he'll have a chance to play right away in Baltimore and certainly will compete with Ben Powers to start at right guard.

Inside linebacker? The Ravens already addressed that need with their first-round pick, Patrick Queen, but Ohio State's Malik Harrison gives them a full complement of new blood at the position and completes an overhaul of the front seven. Taken No. 98 overall, he is a big-bodied, thumping run stopper who should play plenty as a rookie.

Justin Madubuike, a defensive tackle from Texas A&M, actually went before the others at No. 71 overall. His specialty is pressuring quarterbacks from the interior.

"All of these new defensive players, they just have so much speed," Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said Friday night.

In all, the third-rounders, Dobbins and Queen constitute a pretty darn breathtaking influx of new talent, a half-dozen players with a range of talents at a range of positions.

Impressively, the Ravens didn't trade up once to acquire them, instead holding onto their picks and turning them into players.

"We felt like we had some good players come to us," DeCosta said.

Can you expect much more from a single day of the draft? I don't see how.

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