The coronavirus pandemic has slowed the signing of 2020 draft picks around the NFL, but the Ravens moved a step closer to signing their entire class on Tuesday.
Baltimore officially announced its deal with third-round pick Malik Harrison, making the Ohio State linebacker the eighth of 10 selections to be under contract. First-round inside linebacker Patrick Queen and third-round wide receiver Devin Duvernay are the only Ravens picks yet to sign as the tentative start of training camp is just two weeks away.
The Buckeyes’ leading tackler in each of the last two seasons, Harrison is expected to compete with veteran L.J. Fort for a starting role next to Queen after veterans Josh Bynes and Patrick Onwuasor departed as free agents this spring. The 6-foot-3, 247-pound linebacker played as a traditional downhill thumper in Ohio State’s defense, but the Ravens liked what they saw in Harrison’s coverage ability at the Senior Bowl.
“Sometimes you have to wait until he gets to an All-Star game where he’s in more man-[coverage] type settings or deeper zone drops,” said director of player personnel Joe Hortiz in early May. “With him, you saw enough of it — you did. They had him walk up to check the back, and he would release out with the back. You saw the speed and the length for him to be able to run with backs and tight ends vertical.”
In 52 career games including 28 starts at Ohio State, Harrison registered 205 tackles, 29 tackles for a loss, nine sacks, three fumble recoveries, nine pass breakups, and an interception.