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niel89
06-01-2007, 01:30 AM
Scotts new grade is in: B-


It's not a stretch to say that over the last decade or so no team has done a better job when it comes to the NFL Draft than Ozzie Newsome and the Baltimore Ravens. Just look at some of the guys they have chosen over that span: Jon Ogden, Ray Lewis, Chris McAlister, Jamal Lewis, Todd Heap, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Mark Clayton, and Haloti Ngata. And those are just the first rounders! Then when you factor in the middle / late round and undrafted finds like Adalius Thomas, Ed Hartwell, Bart Scott, Will Demps, Kelly Gregg, Dawan Landry, and Tony Pashos the extraordinary success they have enjoyed when it comes to unearthing talent is almost mind-blowing. Will the Class of '07 bring more of the same?

In the first round the Ravens just missed out on the apple of their eye (Joe Staley) falling to them but they ended up with a top offensive lineman anyway when they selected Ben Grubbs of Auburn. Widely regarded to be the top true guard available, Grubbs is a fantastic athlete for the position and actually played defensive tackle and tight end early on in his college career. Grubbs really saw his stock soar in 2006, capping the year off with a strong showing at the Senior Bowl and he ultimately found a home in round one, which is a rare feat for a true guard. Grubbs was a very solid, safe pick and look for him to work his way into the starting lineup sooner rather than later. Personally, I'm not so sure I wouldn't have gone with Justin Blalock or Arron Sears though because they could have played either guard or tackle and with Tony Pashos gone and Jon Ogden near the end of his great career they probably had bigger concerns outside than they did inside.

In round three Baltimore added perhaps the best return man available after Ted Ginn when they chose Yamon Figurs of Kansas St. A true blazer who ran the fastest time at the 2007 Scouting Combine (4.30), Figurs will contribute as a #5 or #6 wideout but his real value will be on special teams where he will really push B.J. Sams. With the second of their two third round picks the Ravens went offensive line once again when they selected Marshal Yanda of Iowa. A bit of a one-year wonder who didn't really emerge as a Day One prospect until his Senior year, Yanda played left tackle in college but his future at the pro level might be inside at guard. Since they've already invested early picks on guards like Grubbs, Chris Chester and Jason Brown in recent years you have to believe they are looking to groom Yanda as Ogden's successor at left tackle and if that is the case I am not crazy about the pick because I'm not sure he has the ability to hold down that critical spot in the NFL.

In round four the Ravens chose a guy who I really liked in Antwan Barnes of Florida International and he could end up being yet another nice steal for the franchise. A defensive end / outside linebacker 'tweener who played both positions in college, Barnes possesses excellent speed and can really get after the quarterback which should make him a perfect fit in the Ravens 3-4 scheme. With Adalius Thomas leaving as a free agent Baltimore needed to bring in someone to help replace him and Barnes could be that guy. Also in round four the Ravens added the top true fullback in the draft in Le'Ron McClain of Alabama, who isn't going to provide much as a runner but will excel when it comes to blocking and catching the ball. With Ovie Mughelli bolting as a free agent McClain will be able to come in and challenge Justin Green for the starting job from day one and it would not be a surprise to see him win it.

When Brady Quinn started to slip towards the latter portion of round one the Ravens began exploring the possibility of bringing him in before Cleveland traded up ahead of them but they might have landed their quarterback of the future in round five when they chose Troy Smith of Ohio St. Even though he fell a little further than he had hoped this is actually a great situation for the Heisman Trophy winner as he'll be able to sit and learn behind Steve McNair and Kyle Boller as a rookie. Boller only has one year left on his deal and will likely bolt after the 2007 season so if Smith impresses the team he could be in line to backup McNair in 2008 and maybe even replace him in 2009. It's far from a given that it will play out like that but the opportunity is there for Smith to seize and a lot of times that is all you can ask for. With their final selection in round six Baltimore added linebacker Prescott Burgess of Michigan, who could be an interesting developmental guy. A top prospect coming out of high school, Burgess never really lived up to all of that recruiting hype in college but he is a great athlete who still has some upside and if any team knows how to get the most out of linebackers it's probably the Baltimore Ravens.

This effort was certainly not a flashy one and my grade might be a bit conservative because there is a good chance I'll look back on this class five years from now and be a lot more impressed than I am now. Short-term this effort will provide depth and role players but long-term I could see as many as five of these guys (Grubbs, Yanda, Barnes, McClain and Smith) starting for them, which would be spectacular, and you also have to factor Willis McGahee into the equation because they traded their second round pick for him. It's never wise to doubt Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens when it comes to the NFL Draft and at worst they came through with a very solid effort but this class might have more upside in terms of potential starters than any other in the league.

GRADE: B-

SeanTaylorRIP
06-01-2007, 06:23 AM
Fair around what I expected.

EdReedUnstoppable
06-01-2007, 10:37 AM
yeah, I pretty much agree with most of what he says there.

America
06-01-2007, 11:18 AM
Yeah pretty accurate. Although I like what he says at the end, how this class could definately be better than first thought.

Ravens1991
06-01-2007, 02:01 PM
yea I like that a well written grade.

dcarey20
06-01-2007, 03:05 PM
Good analysis and good grade. He showed that he knew about the Ravens' situations, as well as the prospect.

Yung Flippa
06-01-2007, 08:58 PM
I would have given us the same grade

Bohleive
06-02-2007, 05:09 PM
I think our draft was closer to a B than a B-, but I may be biased. Anyways, the one thing i straight up disagree with is Scott's statement that they may be looking at Yanda as JO's successor. There is no way they brought him in to be a LT, maybe RT.

Ravens1991
06-02-2007, 06:39 PM
I agree, if JO retires I see us sliding Terry back to LT and Yanda at RT.

jkpigskin
06-02-2007, 10:09 PM
i like the last sentence!

mikedoobie
06-02-2007, 11:20 PM
good write up but the Ynada thing bothers me he is very capable of being a RT in this league and thats where he will be on our team in the future and i love to see how our line is set for the next decade. I dont think he grades out the Grubbs pick high enough as he is taking into consideration need more then value and we have proved that our value picks always work out better then the need ones..Travis taylor anyone..

Ravens1991
06-02-2007, 11:27 PM
Does anybody else like how we are actually very well set up for the future. We have our o-line set, and we have our d-line with 2 future pro bowlers in Suggs and Ngata(who if keeps progressing and plays like the end of the season can make it to the pro bowl next year IMO) plus a possible starting QB in Smith. Smith has 2 great weapons in D-will and Clayton. Plus Antwan Barnes sounds like a future beast in our system.

America
06-03-2007, 12:21 AM
Does anybody else like how we are actually very well set up for the future. We have our o-line set, and we have our d-line with 2 future pro bowlers in Suggs and Ngata(who if keeps progressing and plays like the end of the season can make it to the pro bowl next year IMO) plus a possible starting QB in Smith. Smith has 2 great weapons in D-will and Clayton. Plus Antwan Barnes sounds like a future beast in our system.

I am very upset that we are set up for the future. No but seriously, here's how I look at it down the line in a couple years without future draft picks and FAs.

QB - Smith/Olson
FB - McClain/Green(ST)
RB - McGahee/Daniels
WR - Clayton/Figurs
LT - Terry
LG - Brown
C - Chester
RG - Grubbs
RT - Yanda
TE - Heap/Sypniewski(I'm wondering if he can develop into a LT)
WR - Williams

DE - Haloti
NT - Edwards?
DE - Bannan?
OLB - Suggs
ILB - Scott/Burgess
ILB - Johnson/Haley
OLB - Barnes
CB - Prude/Martin
FS - Reed
SS - Landry
CB - Pittman

Sometime in the near future we need to adress our WR and RB depth, probably with a decently tenured veteran, or maybe a solid rookie for RB. We have got pretty good depth with our oline and we seem to come away with at least one in each of our drafts, so I'm confident that we will have a strong foundation there. The thing that worries me most is our DLine. Ngata will be a cornerstone. We have no one past Gregg and Pryce though. I think Johnson will move inside when Barnes develops(yes I am confident he will do so). And of course some of the young corners had best step their games up soon.

Ravens1991
06-03-2007, 09:06 AM
yea we will need to get either a 3-4 DT and a extra 3-4 end o 2 3-4 ends. It depends on what we wanna do w/ Ngata.

America
06-03-2007, 11:29 AM
I like Ngata staying on the outside. And then having a more pass rushing force on the other side(Pryce) instead of making them similar players. This way our WDE can play SDE in a 43 front and Ngata can go to DT. If we had our DEs and NT the same kind of player(stout run stoppers), one of them would have to come out in the 43 base. I really want Dwan Edwards to step his game up though, and hopefully that's at NT.

Ravens1991
06-03-2007, 01:18 PM
yea I think Dwan actually had a play this year, maybe he can play.