Ravens’ new defensive ‘dynamic duo’ key to Super Bowl mission

In a span of two days of the 2020 NFL draft, the Baltimore Ravens went from having a question mark in the middle of their defense to perhaps landing the answers that will help them reach the Super Bowl.

Drafting two inside linebackers in the first three rounds — LSU’s Patrick Queen and Ohio State’s Malik Harrison — could figure prominently in trying to defeat the last two teams standing in the AFC last season.nike nfl jerseys for cheap

Queen, the No. 28 overall pick, has the speed to match up with the mobile Patrick Mahomes and the quick-hitting plays of the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Harrison, the third of Baltimore’s four third-round selections, has the size to take on Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans’ punishing running game.3

“Me and him together is probably the most dynamic duo in the linebacker corps,” Harrison said.

Since Lamar Jackson took over as the Ravens’ starting quarterback midway through the 2018 season, Baltimore has lost five of 24 games (including playoffs).cheap nfl jerseys nike

The only team to beat the Ravens twice over that span was the Chiefs, who totaled seven touchdowns, 945 yards and 60 points. Baltimore’s last loss came in the AFC divisional playoffs versus the Titans, who ran for 217 yards, the fourth-highest total allowed in Ravens history.

Baltimore’s offseason response: revamp the front seven. After adding defensive end Calais Campbell and defensive tackle Derek Wolfe in free agency, the Ravens then selected one of the fastest linebackers in the draft in the first round and one of the biggest in the third. With Queen and Harrison, Baltimore teams a new-age defender with an old-school one.

“You get the best of both worlds with both me and Patrick,” Harrison said. “He’s the lighter one [at 229 pounds], and I’m the heavy linebacker [at 247 pounds]. So, it’s like a one-two punch.”

There was little surprise with Baltimore’s first-round decision, which came down to taking Queen over Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins. The Ravens needed an inside linebacker after they lost four-time Pro Bowl performer C.J. Mosley in 2019 and then had two of his replacements (Josh Bynes and Patrick Onwuasor) sign elsewhere in free agency this year.