Breaking: Ravens Agree Deal To Sign 24-year-old ‘Destructive Force’ as Undrafted Free Agent

Breaking: Ravens Agree Deal To Sign 24-year-old ‘Destructive Force’ as Undrafted Free Agent

According to Heavy’s Matt Lombardo, the Baltimore Ravens promptly signed Duke defensive tackle Ja’Mion Franklin, who was an undrafted free agent.

Franklin is excited to be heading to Baltimore. The 24-year-old wrote on X, “Blessing, let’s get to it!”

Franklin, dubbed a “destructive force up the middle” by Elliott Jarnot of The Chronicle, will join the Ravens’ crowded defensive tackle room. Justin Madubuike, a 2023 breakout star, signed a four-year contract extension for $98 million in the offseason, according to Spotrac.

The Ravens are well-stocked at Franklin’s position, but the franchise has always been willing to add a big body to the heart of the defensive front. Franklin fits the profile of what the Ravens still expect from the trenches, even after Zach Orr replaced Mike Macdonald as defensive coordinator.


Ja’Mion Franklin Fits Ravens’ Profile Up Front

Franklin should be thrilled to be joining a team that places a premium on strong run-stoppers in the core of its defensive line. At Duke, Franklin’s game was defined by clogging running lanes and out-blocking opponents.

According to Jarnot, the Ridgley, Md. native demonstrated his on-field abilities at the Scouting Combine, when he set a program record and lifted more than any other defensive lineman.

The 6-foot-1, 306-pounder demonstrated his ability to block kicks on a splash play against Clemson, as noted by Nic Mason.

Franklin possesses the talent set to stick with a franchise that has a lengthy history of imposing interior defensive tackles. Tony Siragusa, Sam Adams, Haloti Ngata, and Brandon Williams all faced double teams, making rushing against the Ravens difficult.

Now Franklin has the opportunity to make his way in a similar role. He is capable, but he will face stiff competition for snaps in the center.


Ravens Loaded at Defensive Tackle

Madubuike is a top player in his position, but his game is defined more by rushing the passer following a banner 13-sack season. Travis Jones, Michael Pierce, and Brent Urban provide many run-stuffing options.

Jones is perhaps the most intriguing of the three, as a third-round choice in 2022 who has yet to realize his full potential. Jones, being 6 feet 4 and weighing 338 pounds, is an ideal choice for filling rushing lanes.

Ironically, despite their middle-class wealth, the Ravens struggled with this previous season. Baltimore’s defense allowed a stunning 4.5 yards per carry.

That figure indicates that there will be opportunities for a natural 0-technique who can play over the center and split gaps. Although Franklin has the necessary qualities, he may face competition from a similar athlete, Bravvion Roy.

Roy, a sixth-round draft pick in 2020, is another big guy who can help stop the run. Roy was on the practice squad last season, but earned a reserve/futures deal in January, according to Ravens.com Editorial Director Ryan Mink.

If Roy and Franklin make an impression this offseason, they’ll be able to see the field and do what Pierce, Jones, and the rest of the team struggled to do in 2023.

 

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