Ravens draft Texas A&M DL Justin Madubuike

Miami 48-33 win A&M

By Matt Callaway

Known as one of the most disruptive defenders in the Southeastern Conference, standout Texas A&M junior defensive lineman Justin Madubuike was selected by the Baltimore Ravens with the seventh pick in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft on Friday evening.

Madubuike’s selection extended Texas A&M’s streak with at least one selection in the first 75 picks of the NFL Draft to 10 years.

“Justin (Madubuike) is very physical and twitchy,” Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “He is so strong at the point of attack, and I say at times violent. He has the ability to create so much leverage with his athleticism. He can bend. He can run. He has great pass rush skills for an inside player. I think he will have a great pro career.”

Madubuike, from McKinney, Texas, was one of 58 collegiate standouts invited to participate in the 2020 NFL Draft virtually. The defensive lineman led the Aggies with 11.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and seven quarterback hurries last season. Madubuike was the only FBS defensive tackle that posted at least five sacks and 11 tackles for loss in each of the past two seasons.

“I like that he is so disruptive in the backfield and gets after the quarterback,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said. “Quarterbacks hate that interior pressure. Thinking about the Auburn game he had four tackles, two for loss and a sack, against Alabama he had six tackles and against LSU he had 1.5 sacks. How you do against those quality opponents? Madubuike stepped up and did it. He has great motor and active hands. I thought overall Madubuike held up very well and got into the backfield and made things happen.”

In his final season in Aggieland, Madubuike was named the team’s defensive MVP and earned All-SEC honors from the Associated Press. In the 2019 season, he posted career highs in tackles, tackles for loss, fumbles forced and matched his 5.5 sacks from his sophomore campaign.

“Going back to the Ole Miss game or the Clemson and just watch how well he used his athleticism to penetrate the middle and push the pocket,” ESPN’s Booger McFarland said. “What do all these pocket passers want to do? They want to step up and you have to have that interior pressure coming inside. Madubuike plays with a low center of gravity, but has the length to use his hips. I love when you bring a guy with his athletic ability and has sideline to sideline ability but can also push the pocket.”

The linchpin of the Texas A&M’s defenses the past three seasons, Madubuike played in 37 of 39 games over the past three seasons accumulating 22 starts. He crossed the century mark in tackles over the past three years with 105 tackles and led the team in hurries in his time in the Maroon & White. A consistent contributor in the opponent’s backfield, he finished among the leaders in tackles for loss and quarterback sacks in each of the past three years.

Following the conclusion of round three Friday evening, the 2020 NFL Draft will resume Saturday for the final four rounds at 11 a.m. on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network.

For the first time ever, this draft is occurring exclusively online due to local and national restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, the planned physical Las Vegas location was scrapped in favor of a remote, virtual selection process that will see all 32 NFL teams operating from their homes. NFL Commissioner Goodell is set to announce picks from his home in New York.