NFL Draft: Ravens place higher emphasis on production
The same lesson applied on defense:
The same lesson has been applied on the defensive side of things as well. In 2017, Newsome selected Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams. Bowser had 22.5 sacks in four seasons. Williams had 20 sacks in four years with 18.5 of them coming in his final two seasons at Alabama.
The Ravens are still waiting on Bowser to take a step up and Williams is no longer with the team. The Ravens knew that Jaylon Ferguson was a bit of a project, but he had shown the ability to do it at the college level. Ferguson had production that set records. In four years at Louisiana Tech he had 45 sacks and 67.5 tackles for loss. That kind of dominance should show up if the Baltimore coaching staff can bring him along.
Production probably helped the cause of Justin Madubuike and Malik Harrison. Madubuike had back to back years of 5.5 sacks. That with 105 tackles is pretty compelling over a two year span for a defensive lineman. Harrison had 16.5 tackles for a loss in 2019. He had a total of 75 tackles and 3.5 sacks. That’s solid production and it was very comparable to his 2018 season. Stats do tell a story and with Harrison they talk to his developed consistency and the growth he went through as a player over four years.
Game tape is king and that hasn’t changed. This is obviously true because the Ravens drafted Orlando Brown Jr. based on his performance on the field and not at the NFL Combine. When it comes down to traits vs. production, the Ravens have started to show a clear lean towards production. This leads to safer bets in the NFL Draft. This promises that more players will pay off for the franchise quickly into their careers.