Ravens defensive tackle Justin Madubuike: 'The kid can play'

Rookie playing way into rotation
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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens rookie defensive tackle Justin Madubuike has impressed his new teammates throughout training camp.

“Oh, the kid can play. He’s going to be a good football player, man," defensive end Derek Wolfe said. "He’s a great rookie. He’s strong, he’s tough, physical. He wants to be good. He listens, he writes down everything. That’s all you can ask for. He’s always asking questions, always trying to get better. I think that kid is going to be a really good football player.”

The Ravens boosted the defensive line with the acquisition of Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell from Jacksonville and the free-agent signing of Wolfe from the Broncos. Those additions will allow Brandon Williams to move back to his natural position at nose tackle.

Madubuike, a third-round pick from Texas A&M, has played well enough to be part of the rotation. He registered 5.5 sacks as a sophomore in 2018 and junior in 2019. During those two years, Madubuike had 22 tackles for losses and four forced fumbles.

"Madubuike, he’s coming along great," Williams said. "He’s still a rookie, so he’s got a lot of things to learn."

Last year, Madubuike applied pressure on 11 percent of his pass-rushing snaps. Other than Auburn’s Marlon Davidson and Baylor’s James Lynch, who both rushed mostly from the edge, that was tied for No. 1 among Sports Illustrated's top 25 defensive tackle prospects.

Madubuike was confident that he could thrive on the Ravens' defense when they drafted. So far, that's been an accurate assessment. 

"It’s a perfect match. We’re ready to work," Madubuike said. "We’re here to beat down on a lot of people and win championships, and I’m ready to be a part of it."