Ravens: Malik Harrison seeing a dramatic decrease in playing time
We sure didn’t see this coming, but the Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker group might currently be the worst unit on the team. At the very least, they’ve definitely underperformed throw through weeks.
Many are pointing fingers at Malik Harrison, in particular, as the second-year linebacker just hasn’t been doing his job properly.
Alex Kay of Bleacher Report recently released a list detailing one player every NFL team should bench. For Baltimore, Harrison made the list.
"“It’s hard to envision Harrison improving unless he starts to give more effort. His tackling has been suspect and soft, as he’s allowed defenders to blow by him or through him with ease. He’s at his worst in coverage, conceding a perfect quarterback rating when targeted. Five of six passes thrown his way have been completed for 92 yards and a score.”"
Harrison’s lack of production has been concerning, but no doubt the Ravens are already aware of this and doing the best to coach him from the sidelines.
They promoted him to a starting role this offseason, and they probably won’t take it away unless Harrison starts to play abysmally. Although, he did start to see his snaps decrease this past week.
Through three games, Harrison has recorded eight tackles and has seen his snap share decrease in recent weeks: he played 44 snaps in the season opener, then 34, and only 17 in Week 3’s win against the Lions.
Baltimore Ravens may still have hope for LB Malik Harrison
In Harrison’s defense, it’s not like fellow inside linebacker Patrick Queen is doing much better.
Queen’s supposed “breakout” year looks more like a “break in” year as he’s still running into many of the same issues he did as a rookie.
In three games, he’s registered a Pro Football Focus grade of 37.1 as he’s had his issues both in run defense and when asked to cover opposing tight ends or running backs.
Kay believes Baltimore should try another linebacker at his position until Harrison “figures things out,” but the Ravens’ inside linebacker depth isn’t that deep.
The duo of Chris Board and Josh Bynes are competent veteran players, but neither offers the upside that Harrison does.
For now, Baltimore will likely let Harrison and Queen play through their mistakes and avoid making drastic changes.
Come Week 4’s game against Denver, Harrison may face a somewhat tough matchup against Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam, but he and everybody else knows he’s got to perform.
Others may not have faith in Malik Harrison’s ability to compete at the pro level, but Baltimore has no better option at the moment, and they’ll just have to pray he improves soon.