View Full Version : Baltimore Ravens Draft Review

05-28-2011, 01:46 AM
Baltimore Ravens

Where did the franchise stand before the draft:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. Ozzie Newsome is the Jesus Christ of scouting, and Eric DeCosta is John the Baptist. Nobody drafts as well as the Ravens, nobody understands the process as well ... so on and so forth.

Now, that we all understand and agree on just how grotesquely much brainpower is flowing through Ravens headquarters in Owings Mills, can I draw just one simple, assuredly stupid question from my pea-sized brain?

Exactly what have the Ravens won?

I know, I know, there is that Super Bowl, but that was so 11 years ago.

I mean recently, what have the Ravens done recently. Since 2002, they have won only two AFC North championships and a handful of playoff games, never making it back to the Super Bowl while their intra-division rivals, Pittsburgh, have made it back THREE times.

For all the Hall of Famers, mulit-time Pro Bowlers and all the adulation thrown at the feet of Ozzie Newsome (about three feet higher if you're Mel Kiper), the Ravens seem to have a severe case of can't-get-over-the-humpitis.

To be clear, this is not an average organization. The Ravens are one of the model organizations in the league. There is a lot to be said for an organization that is so frequently in the hunt and never really embarrasses themselves.

And sure, a lot of their struggles in the middle of this decade and their lack of Super Bowl appearances can be attributed to not having the right guy at QB. But they have one now, or at least they think they do. Joe Flacco may not be Ray Lewis in terms of an emotional leader, but he has provided the franchise with its best QB play since the days of Vinny Testaverde, and he is only getting better.

More importantly, all the essential elements of a great Ravens team are in place. You have an excellent power running game led by one of the best backs in the league in Ray Rice. You have a great defense, a little short of the 2000 squad but intimidating nonetheless. You also have great special teams and a great, energetic head coach who has enough confidence to keep the passionate and volatile personalities on the team in check.

Going into another season with Super Bowl expectations (and the window may be closing on those), the Ravens have fewer holes than most teams. They could use an upgrade at either starting CB spot, which is essential to an attacking defense like Baltimore. They could also use a true LT, as Michael Oher ironically seems to be better off protecting the "sightside." Also, the O needs a vertical threat to not only open the field for the underneath game, but to take advantage of what Flacco does best, and that is sling it down the field.

The Picks

Round One, Pick 27: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

Forget the inexcusable trade SNAFU on the part of the Bears, the Ravens got who they wanted, and it was incredible value.

Always on the first round radar of scouts, Smith's stock began to rise considerably this offseason after studying his game tape more closely. Playing on a bad Colorado defense at a position that doesn't get noticed too much on telecasts, Smith remained under the radar in terms of media hype, but was probably more talented than more highly-regarded fellow Big XII North CB Prince Amukamara.

Just as his stock began to rise, it suddenly fell right back down, as a number of legal, paternal and drug-related incidents from his days in high school and college came to light. Additionally, there were claims that he wasn't the best teammate at Colorado and alienated himself from some on the team with his me-first, confrontational attitude.

Heading into the draft, however, Smith was buoyed by a number of positive recommendations from coaches and other mentors who insisted Smith has grown up, taken responsibility for his past actions and is ready to maximize his great talents. He reportedly won't be bringing his posse of hangers-on with him to Baltimore.

In Smith's defense, he reportedly grew up in a very, very, VERY downtrodden and dangerous section of Los Angeles in a family with a history of legal problems and drug abuse that had no means of providing proper guidance for Jimmy. The vast majority of his more serious issues are at least a few years old. There is reason to believe that the more time and distance he had from his hood, and the more he was around positive influences, the less of a miscreant he was.

In terms of guidance and positive role modeling, Smith is going to THE perfect situation. John Harbaugh is a no-nonsense head coach who, as mentioned earlier, has no issue confronting big egos. More importantly, Reverend Ray lives for opportunities like this. No player in the league commands more respect from his peers than Ray Lewis, and Ray, along with a star-studded defense will show Jimmy exactly what it means to be a pro. He has the swagger to fit in to this macho unit perfectly once the initial butterflies are worked out.

On the field, Smith is the most talented press man corner in the draft. He didn't do much else at Colorado, but you almost never saw a WR get an inch of breathing room against him. He will have to adjust to more exotic coverage packages in the NFL, but reports are he is easily intelligent enough to pick those up.
Smith is very physical and is more than willing to help come up in run support. His tackling technique is an eyesore, but you have to imagine that will improve.

Round Two, Pick 58: Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

Just like Jimmy, Torrey Smith came from a very rough background , but there are absolutely zero concerns about his character.

Considered a possible first round pick up to and even on the first day of the draft, Smith slipped like one or two WRs inevitably do every year. Smith came out early after terrific production his final two seasons at nearby College Park.

Smith does not have a lot of experience running NFL routes or even ones that asked him to break a lot. Playing under Ralph Friedgen, he mostly flys, crossing routes and bubble screens.

While he is developing as an NFL route runner, the Ravens should be able to manufacture ways to get him the ball and have him stretch the field. He will compete for return time immediately, and he will make it on the field in sub packages, probably often running the routes he is most comfortable with.

Round Three, Pick 85 (from Philadelphia): Jah Reid, OT, UCF

Talk about a big man, Reid had to lose close to 100 pounds in high school just to get down to his currently svelt 330-pound frame.

This pick probably tells you they intend to give Michael Oher a full run at being a franchise LT, because Reid is widely viewed at a pure RT. At over 6'7", Reid is a shockingly excellent bender and plays with a mean streak. He has a great work ethic and should step in immediately at RT if Jared Gaither doesn't re-sign.

Round Four, Pick 123: Tandon Doss, WR, Indiana

Just like Randall Cobb at Kentucky, Doss was often asked to do everything at IU, because he was so much more dangerous than nay of the other offensive weapons.

Doss is an excellent WR, kick returner, punt returner, wildcat QB, etc., and actually is more ready to play a significant role in the offense than Torrey Smith IMO. He has elite quickness without elite speed and is not afraid to work the middle of the field. He has unbelievable hands and was one of Joe Flacco's favorite targets in the draft.

Round Five, Pick 164: Chykie Brown, CB, Texas

Brown is physically gifted but must be developed. He has poor instincts in tracking the football and takes too many false steps. Brown must contribute on special teams while he develops.
Round Five, Pick 165: Pernell McPhee, DE, Mississippi State

McPhee is pure two-gap five technique at the next level. He plays very hard and wants to succeed really bad. He may never be a Pro Bowler, but I will be surprised if he doesn't stick on the roster for several years. Excellent value.

Round Six, Pick 180 (from St. Louis): Tyrod Taylor, QB, Virginia Tech

Troy Smith, Part Two? Not exactly, but that wouldn't be half-bad.

Taylor has a good arm, great character, great intelligence and better athleticism. The problem is he is very short for a QB and doesn't show enough of a natural feel for the game to overcome his physical limitations.

Taylor is committed to being a pure QB and is a kid you do root for. He can offer value with his athleticism in wildcat packages, and has unique ability that can drive defenses nuts if he is ever pressed into action. However, I would say the chances of him even getting a shot at being a starting QB are pretty slim.

Round Seven, Pick 225 (from Philadelphia): Anthony Allen, RB, Georgia Tech

A straightforward bowling ball-type who played both the fullback and the A back in Paul Johnson's triple option offense. He has a good size-speed ratio, and at 230 pounds, has a chance to be a solid short-yardage back. However, competition is stiff in Baltimore's backfield.

All in all:

It really doesn't even seem to matter what the reaction to this draft is at this point.

Well, it never really matters at this point, but with Baltimore in particular, it is hard to really say anything new.

Yes, they got excellent value throughout the draft. Yes, they filled their holes with good, quality players ready to make an impact immediately and supplemented them with a number of great developmental guys.

I loved the draft, and I can't fault Newsome and DeCosta for going about business as usual. I just wonder how much it will matter if the Ravens never break through the glass ceiling.

That is all, I have nothing more to add.

Draft Grade: A-

05-28-2011, 03:39 AM
Theres alot of good value and upside there definitely. Smith and Smith were back to back steals.

05-28-2011, 05:40 AM
Very thorough. Nice work.

bam bam
05-28-2011, 06:18 AM
Reid at RT will let Yanda slip back inside where he can rape and pillage at RG...the spot Satan put him on earth to be.

good writeup

05-28-2011, 06:25 AM
Reid at RT will let Yanda slip back inside where he can rape and pillage at RG...the spot Satan put him on earth to be.

good writeup

reid and yanda instantly becomes the most physical side in football.

05-28-2011, 07:50 AM
reid and yanda instantly becomes the most physical side in football.

The question is now, is this a validation of Michael Oher at LT? Was talk that they were looking to move him back to the right side a bunch of BS?

05-28-2011, 09:29 AM
Love the Tyrod pick, but it really won't sit well with him, especially when he knows he will not play behind Flacco. One thing about it, is he will be a sponge and soak up everything Flacco is willing to teach him.

05-28-2011, 10:31 AM
Where Baltimore drafted, they took a risk with Jimmy Smith, sometimes this kind of risk turns out great for a team but just as often it completely backfires in a team's face. We just won't know for a couple of years which way it will go. I give them some credit for trying for the ring but it is just way too early to rate their draft.
The same for Torrie Smith, he has the potential to be a stud but you just never know with round 2 WR's.
Reid looks solid on paper but 3rd round OT's aren't sure things either.
Overall, I liked their draft for its potential to help the team but there are certainly question marks which have to be answered.

05-28-2011, 10:43 AM
About us not winning while the Steelers made it to the SB three times I think that goes to the fact that Pittsburgh coaching staff is a lot better then ours.

And I agree with the grade I really like this draft. Smith and Smith were possibly the best player available at both 27 and 58. We got them and they also fill 2 of our 3 biggest needs. Reid and Yanda form a very physical rightside in football. But it also gives us one of the best guard combos in the NFL in Grubbs and Yanda. I just hope Birk has one season left in the tank so we can run it up the middle.

05-28-2011, 06:42 PM
Pick for pick they got good value in each round. Both Smiths are a risk but they could be very vital pieces in the near future. Jimmy Smith landed in a stable situation which should really help him out. All T. Smith needs to do is be a deep presence to keep the defense from smothering Mason and Boldin on shorter stuff.

bam bam
05-29-2011, 07:53 AM
All T. Smith needs to do is be a deep presence to keep the defense from smothering Mason and Boldin on shorter stuff.

I have a feeling they are going to get Ed Dickson involved more this year to open things up as well. He is a sleeper coming into this season if you ask me.

05-29-2011, 09:00 AM
IDK Dickson is talented no doubt but I dont think CAm knows what a 2 TE set is. This clown is gonna really limit our offense like he did last year.

05-29-2011, 10:10 AM
Do any Ravens fans like the Tyrod pick or have any value for it?

05-29-2011, 10:26 AM
Eh, it was okay. If we use him in sub-packages like we did a couple years ago with Troy Smith it makes more sense (he should be better at that too) because he's not your ideal backup QB at this point. I think we'll carry 3 QBs on the roster again though so we won't have to rely on Taylor as the sole backup in case Flacco gets hurt.

Texas Homer
05-29-2011, 11:58 AM
I like CB Chykie Brown's potential in the NFL. I was glad to see the Ravens pick him.

05-29-2011, 12:26 PM
I like his potential also. Pagano is a elite CB coach just look at what he did with Chris Carr in 2 years.

05-29-2011, 09:47 PM
I know most of the pre-draft mocks had Smith going to the Ravens, but I was still kind of surprised to see the Ravens take another character risk after the way Sergio Kindle has worked out so far. But Smith landed in a great place and if he keeps his nose clean should be a very nice player.

I'm wasn't a big Torrey Smith fan pre-draft, and I think Doss will actually end up contributing more to the Ravens. Reid is an interesting talent and a guy I liked pre-draft, but the caveat here is that I guess this might signal Gaither being on the way out, which is a significant loss IMO. The Ravens are at their best with Gaither at LT, Oher at RT, and Yanda inside at guard. Reid allows Yanda to kick back inside, but Gaither will be missed IMO if he hits the road.

Overall, it looks like another solid Ravens draft. Probably got a couple of future starters and a nice role player or two going forward.

05-29-2011, 10:37 PM
Pretty much agree with your overall grade and breakdown of each pick. I personally think its a B+ type of draft.

As to your point about the Ravens never breaking through and winning more division/conference titles or another SB, I agree that it is largely due to the fact the we never had a really good long term QB like pretty much every other successful franchise does (until now). That is partly linked to the fact that we've not drafted high very often (3 top 5 picks in our entire history - 1996 (Jonathan Ogden), 1997 (Peter Boulware) and 2000 (Jamal Lewis)) so didnt get the chance to take top quality QB prospect and when we did draft a QB in Boller he turned out pretty bad while also taking us out of the QB drafting cycle (i.e. once you draft 1 in the 1st round, you dont go looking for another for a few years while you figure out if the one you have is any good)