Lacking sizzle, Ravens get creative to address pressing needs in draft

April 28, 2012 | Luke Jones

“We go into the small schools and do the same amount [of work] as we do the big schools,” Newsome said. “Our scouts, when they go into Delaware or Cal Poly or South Carolina State, it’s just like when they go into Ohio State, Maryland or Alabama.”

Perhaps the most intriguing long-term selection of the weekend came in the sixth round when the Ravens took a flier on 6-foot-5 receiver Tommy Streeter from Miami. His combination of size and speed will make the offensive staff salivate, but the junior entry’s poor route-running at Miami caused him to fall down the draft board dramatically.

The Ravens’ final selection with the 236th overall pick, Georgia defensive tackle DeAngelo Tyson, will potentially add depth to a defensive line that lost veterans Cory Redding and Brandon McKinney this off-season.

Aside from inside linebacker, which wasn’t really a pressing need after the re-signing of Jameel McClain a few weeks ago, the Ravens managed to address every one of their projected needs entering the 2012 season — a feat not always possible with the draft being such an inexact science. But the overall success of the draft class will hinge on the development of upside players, with Upshaw the only sexy pick of the bunch.

“We were very organized this year — probably the most organized we’ve ever been in terms of the different scenarios,” DeCosta said. “Things don’t always happen the way you want them to. Some drafts, every player that you want kind of comes to you, and then other drafts — this year comes to mind; 2010 was very similar to this year — sometimes you just get wiped out. You have four players, and all of a sudden, ‘Boom,’ they are gone. You have to get creative.”

Time will only tell if that creativity will pay off, but this year’s draft was a stressful one in Owings Mills.

However, the Ravens will trust the process — and their diligent work — as they always do. They’ve certainly earned the benefit of the doubt over the years.