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SeanTaylorRIP
04-30-2007, 02:43 PM
USA Today, 3 out of 4 stars, 5th highest ranked team:
Ben Grubbs was the highest-rated guard in the draft, though taking him with the 29th pick may have been a little high for that position. WR/KR Yamon Figurs had the fastest 40-yard dash at the scouting combine. Heisman winner Troy Smith could play a role with QB Kyle Boller having just a year left on his contract.

Yahoo, B:
No draft is particularly exciting when your team is taking a guard (Ben Grubbs) in the first round. Yippee, make that inside block. The Ravens also missed out when they tried to trade up for free-falling quarterback Brady Quinn in the first round, but it was hard to match the offer Cleveland put on the table for Dallas. That said, the Ravens came up with the top-rated interior offensive lineman in the draft and filled some other needs along the way. Return specialist Yamon Figurs has big-time speed and can replace troubled and injured return man B.J. Sams. Marshal Yanda is a right tackle candidate and Antwan Barnes has superior speed for his size (6-4, 307). Former Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith is a nice gamble in the fifth round.

Fox Sports, C-. Anyone who says Marshal Yando loses credibility:
The Ravens tried to make a deal to trade into the first round to get Notre Dame's Brady Quinn, but didn't have the ammunition that Cleveland had. But with their last pick, the Ravens took Heisman winner Troy Smith, who has a strong arm, but is considered too short at 6-feet tall. First-round pick Auburn guard Ben Grubbs will start right away for the Ravens, who lost veteran guard Edwin Mulitalo. WR Yamon Figurs of Kansas State was considered the second-best kick returner in the draft behind Ted Ginn, Jr. OT Marshall Yando of Iowa and OLB Antwan Barnes fill more needs. With Steve McNair getting older and Kyle Boller entering his final season, Smith is a fascinating pick.

NFL Report, C+:
Not what you would call a "sexy" draft as Baltimore spent two of their first three day one picks on O linemen, where they definitely had needs. In the first frame, Baltimore drafted Auburn mauler Ben Grubbs, who should be an instant starter at one Guard position. Marshall Yanda was a good value round selection in the third frame. Yanda has played OG and OT and brings a little more athleticism but a little less power/strength to the table in comparison to Grubbs. In round four, Baltimore drafted OLB Antwan Barnes, a sack-specialist who could become the next Adalius Thomas (lost to New England in free agency) in this defense with ample developmental time. LB Prescott Burgess, drafted in round six, may be the better LB for this club however. The knock on Burgess was his 40-yard dash time, but rest assured Raven Nation, Burgess plays with intensity and purpose. Baltimore has a nice steal in Burgess. QB Kyle Boller, a former first round draft pick ad bust to date, is entering the final year of his contract. That said, the Ravens nabbed Hesiman winner Troy Smith in round five. Smith, considered a poor man's Donovan McNabb with equal athleticism but a little less size and arm strength, should provide healthy competition at QB for aging vet Steve McNair and the afore mentioned Boller.

CBSSportsline, C:
Best pick: It was their first one. Guard Ben Grubbs will be an opening-day starter.

Questionable move: Third-round pick Yamon Figurs can fly, but he's raw as a receiver. If this is for his return skill, taking him that high is a risk.

Second-day gem: Fullback Le'Ron McClain, the team's fourth-round pick, is a road grader as a blocker and should be a starter.
ome things never change. Baltimore always has a solid draft and I think they did it again. They got the highest-rated OG in the draft with the 29th pick in the first round. Last fall, I asked 16 teams to name their top-rated OG and all 16 said Ben Grubbs. He is a big, physical power-blocker who will help the run game. This will also let them move Chris Chester back to center which I believe is his best position.

As an aside to this pick, when I asked Ozzie Newsome why they traded for Willis McGahee, he said there were two ways to upgrade the running attack -- get a better back or improve the offensive line. Since he did not like the prices of O-linemen in free agency, he went for the back (McGahee). Now, by being disciplined in free-agency he improves the OL with best guard in the draft. I liked many of their other picks for the value they paid for them. Troy Smith with a late fifth-round pick. I did not like him in the third or higher, which is where many people were talking about him in December after the Michigan game, but he does have enough talent to make it and sometimes being passed can be a good motivating factor for a player.

By trading back into the third round, they got better value when they took WR/RS Yamon Figures. When they lost B.J. Sams last year, it really hurt their return game. Sams has some off-the-field issues which could affect his status with NFL's conduct policies. Figures reminds some people of former Pro Bowl return man Jermaine Lewis. I also liked OT Marshal Yanda in the late third round. He is a better player than Tony Pashos, who they lost to Jacksonville in free agency.

Finally, I liked both of their fourth-round picks. Le'Ron McClain was probably the best blocking fullback in the draft and that fills a need for them. Their other fourth-round pick Antwan Barnes has a chance to help them as a situational pass rusher. Remember, Baltimore has had a lot of success developing guys who are not finished products coming out of college and finding a place for them in their defense to succeed. Some examples are Bart Scott, Adalius Thomas and Marques Douglas. This is what could happen with Barnes.

Sports Illustrated, B:
What I like about the way Ozzie Newsome drafts is that he doesn't try to snow you with this "best available athlete" Olympic Games jazz. They need fortification on the offensive line, so they go high for a pair of guys as earthy as their names -- Grubbs and Yanda. Ben Grubbs is the best guard, Marshal Yanda is a towering figure well schooled in the Iowa system. But man cannot live on grubs alone, so for the exotic section of the menu the Ravens can offer the fastest man at the combine workouts, WR Yamon Figurs (4.30) and one of the more intriguing figures on the board for almost two full days, Troy Smith, the Heisman QB.


Will post more as they come, seems like the Ravens have had positive feedback from the media, similar to last years draft grades.

NFL.COM's analysis of each of our picks:

Ben Grubbs:
Grubbs is a very solid pick here. He's going to be a starter for a long time. He's a player who came to Auburn originally as a DL, then moved to offense. He has been a three-year starter on a team that loves to run the ball. He also does a very good job with pass protection.

Yamon Figurs:
He is a young man who sat out a year after graduating from high school. He's a very good addition to a team because he's an outstanding return man who can also be a No. 3 or No. 4 wide receiver. He was as fast as anybody at the Combine.

Marshal Yanda:
Yanda is an offensive lineman who started his career at a junior college in Iowa. He was a two-year starter at Iowa. He is almost 6-7 and 307 pounds, and he ran the 40 in 5.25. His best position is probably at guard. Iowa does a great job at developing offensive linemen; they know the techniques that will make them successful in the NFL.

Antwan Barnes:
Here’s what he brings to the table -- speed and the ability to rush the quarterback and generate a lot of sacks. A lot of people think he can be like Indy's Robert Mathis -- a guy who can put his hand on the ground and apply pressure.

LeRon McClain:
I went back and looked up Lorenzo Neal coming out of college, and McClain was almost a carbon copy (same height and speed, one pound off). He can BLOCK and obliterate people, and he will get a carry here and there.

Troy Smith:
First off, he has a chance to learn from Steve McNair, who will be there for another year or two, which is what he'll need to offset the emotions of this weekend. Smith has big hands and good velocity on the football, he'll get to work with Rick Neuheisel, another 6-foot quarterback. Smith's position coach at OSU, Joe Daniels, who used to work with me with the Jets, told me he has what it takes to play in the NFL.

Prescott Burgess:
He needs more strength (19 reps). He's another one of those LBs who can rush AND drop. He will fit Baltimore’s defense well

Ravens1991
04-30-2007, 02:48 PM
Great post, I love our 4th round.

dcarey20
04-30-2007, 03:18 PM
Anytime I see someon give us a C or lower, it loses all credibility in my mind. It happens every year, and every year, our draft turns out to be one of the best. We did a great job at getting guys that can be contributors early. There were 5 guys in this draft that have a chance at being #1 at their positions for us. Ben Grubbs(RG), Yamon Figurs(RS), Marshal Yanda(RT), Le'Ron McClain(FB), and Antwan Barnes(OLB). We did a great job of combining needs with solid values.

EdReedUnstoppable
04-30-2007, 03:42 PM
Marshall Yanda is definitely 6'3 so not near 6'7 like that one source said, but good find on all this stuff.

go_ravens94
04-30-2007, 03:50 PM
Anytime I see someon give us a C or lower, it loses all credibility in my mind. It happens every year, and every year, our draft turns out to be one of the best. We did a great job at getting guys that can be contributors early. There were 5 guys in this draft that have a chance at being #1 at their positions for us. Ben Grubbs(RG), Yamon Figurs(RS), Marshal Yanda(RT), Le'Ron McClain(FB), and Antwan Barnes(OLB). We did a great job of combining needs with solid values.

Yeah, I agree. We trust in Ozzie.

ChewyRaven318
04-30-2007, 05:17 PM
People think Grubbs went too early, so that hurt the credibility of the draft a bit(even though we, as fans, know that's total rubbish), but I agree that at the end of the day, a lot of our draftees will be servicable to not only the Ravens, but hopefully the NFL as well.

America
04-30-2007, 05:24 PM
I just don't like Figurs in the 3rd. But I've now warmed up a lot to the draft after reading our teams responses and listening to the press conferences.

Bohleive
04-30-2007, 06:02 PM
Anytime I see someon give us a C or lower, it loses all credibility in my mind. It happens every year, and every year, our draft turns out to be one of the best.

I totally agree, remember last year when everybody gave us c's for not taking a safety earlier. Instead, we totally screwed up by waiting and drafting some nobody named Landry. Just give this draft a year or two.
The media types are ridiculous. Every year they go into the draft talking about how Baltimore is one of the best and every year they end up giving us all kinds of crap for not making flashy picks.

SeanTaylorRIP
04-30-2007, 06:08 PM
That's the reason we are so good, we make smart picks not sexy picks, if you want attention go ahead and pick Ted Ginn JR, or Marshawn Lynch, but it won't make you a better team. Grubbs was probably the most "boring" pick of the first round but he will end up being better than atleast half of them.

EdReedUnstoppable
04-30-2007, 06:25 PM
That's the reason we are so good, we make smart picks not sexy picks, if you want attention go ahead and pick Ted Ginn JR, or Marshawn Lynch, but it won't make you a better team. Grubbs was probably the most "boring" pick of the first round but he will end up being better than atleast half of them.

Marshawn makes you a much better team, I wish we had Marshawn instead of McGahee.

niel89
04-30-2007, 06:32 PM
also to add to this i saw on espn that kiper gave our draft a 'B'

others:

bengals c+
steelers B
Browns B+

jkpigskin
04-30-2007, 06:33 PM
the smith pick is facinating in my eyes too

im overall pretty satisfied with our unsexy draft

PalmerToCJ
05-02-2007, 04:18 PM
It's hard for good teams to have sexy drafts.

I'm just happy to be able to get used to the Bengals not picking top 15 haha

niel89
05-02-2007, 06:34 PM
It's hard for good teams to have sexy drafts.

I'm just happy to be able to get used to the Bengals not picking top 15 haha

lol :D


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