The Ravens added pass rush help to their interior defensive line with the 71st pick in the draft, selecting tackle Justin Madubuike from Texas A&M.
Madubuike thought he would be drafted sooner, but he was glad to land with the Ravens.
"I had to wait a little bit, but you guys came and drafted me, and I'm so thankful for you guys," Madubuike said. "I'm a Baltimore Raven now, and I'm thankful. I had a great feeling I was going to be [a Raven]. I just didn't know how to put all the pieces together. I didn't know if it was going to be real, and it's happening. So, I'm just thankful and honored [that you] guys selected me. I'm just thankful."
Madubuike (6-foot-3, 304 pounds) led the Aggies with 11.5 tackles for loss and had 5.5 sacks last season, showing his potential to be an interior pass rusher.
"He's an explosive guy, really quick, twitchy, heavy-handed guy," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He can leverage block, he can unload. He does it both in the pass game and the run game. He got to the quarterback a lot. He had sacks, tons of pressures and quarterback hits."
The Ravens lost veteran defensive tackle Michael Pierce to the Minnesota Vikings in free agency and traded defensive lineman Chris Wormley to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Madubuike should be given an opportunity to compete for playing time as a rookie, and he will join one of his former teammates at A&M, Ravens defensive tackle Daylon Mack, who was a fifth-round pick last season.
"Daylon is, obviously, my Aggie brother, and we are from the same agency as well," Madubuike said. "It's crazy to be with him again; to grind with him, to learn from him, to ask him questions about how to be successful in the league and things to look-out for, so I can contribute to the team immediately and be an impact player immediately. Just help the team win championships and the Super Bowl. I can't wait. I just can't wait. I'm excited, I'm healthy, and I'm ready to work. I'm ready to work. I'm ready to work. That's it. That's it."
Baltimore has revamped its defensive line this offseason, signing five-time Pro Bowler Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe in free agency to join veteran Brandon Williams.
However, the Ravens have always believed in having a deep defensive line rotation, and Madubuike had some outstanding games last season playing in the SEC against top competition. Madubuike was a second-team all-SEC selection, and the Dallas native was a consistent performer throughout his career with 11 sacks over the past two seasons.