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2020 Draft Pick #98 - Malik Harrison


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10. MALIK HARRISON, Ohio State (6-2 ½, 247, 4.63, 4): 

Harrison is a two-year starter at WLB. “People are discounting the athlete because he’s a thumper,” one scout said. “I think he can really run. That’s where people might get it wrong. At first I thought, ‘This guy’s just a two-down ‘mike.’’ The more I watched him, I think he’s got enough juice.” Finished with 205 tackles (29 for loss), 10 sacks and 10 passes defensed. “Ran better than I think people thought,” another scout said. “Really good football player. Physical. Trouble in space breaking down. Third round.” He had a 36-inch vertical jump and is from Columbus. “We think he’s a 3-4 ‘mike’ without instincts,” said a third scout. “He looks the part. Something’s missing intangibly. He’s more flash than consistent. He can’t play ‘mike’ in a 4-3.” Added a fourth scout: “I’m not impressed with him. Too slow. Tough kid, but what you going to do with him?

From Bob McGinn's LB article

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Two things...

1. Can you believe we grabbed Malik Harrison one pick after the Browns grabbed Jacob Phillips?? I honestly didn’t truly realize this hilariousness until watching the draft recap this morning.

2. What’s pretty cool that could be a part of the design with Harrison is in a nickel defense as oppose to taking him off the field he could potentially shift down to more of an OLB role to be an amazing edge setter that could make plays behind the LOS. That way against pass heavy teams we can be impactful in our no huddle defense while still protecting against the pass.

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It's going to be interesting to see if Martindale returns to utilizing more base sets now that the team has talent at LB again. You can't count on both rookies coming in and taking all the snaps immediately, but pairing either one of them with Fort works. The nickel and dime worked really well for the most part, but as we witnessed in the playoff game that's not a great option for every offense. One thing is clear, Baltimore has a ton of flexibility on that side of the ball once again. And with a coordinator that isn't afraid to be aggressive. I'm pretty happy right now.

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