After an exceedingly long first day of the NFL Draft (so long that I admittedly fell asleep before the Ravens traded up in the 3rd round for Marshal Yanda), here are my first impressions of the Ravens’ picks.
Ben Grubbs – A solid addition who will bring athleticism and toughness to the interior O-line. The Ravens have paid a lot of attention in the last three drafts to getting younger and more athletic on the line. We all realize that J.O. and Mike Flynn are nearing the end of their fine careers, and picking Grubbs adds depth and youth. Consider that the team now has Jason Brown, Chris Chester, Adam Terry and Grubbs to build upon for their future, and it’s easy to see the wisdom of a “safe” pick like Grubbs. And Grubbs now has the distinction of being just the second offensive lineman the franchise has used a first round pick on, joining J.O. Pretty fine company to be in, Mr. Grubbs.
Yamon Figurs – This is the guy I’m really excited about. The fastest player at the scouting combine. Is there really anything else that matters here? Mark it down already: Figurs is the logical heir to Jermaine Lewis. B.J. Sams’ injury and legal problems certainly had to factor in the Ravens’ decision to pick Figurs. He also figures (get it?) to get some work as a slot receiver, so now there’s more depth at that position. This guy is a game-changing presence whose greatest contribution will be returning kicks. I can’t wait for his first return TD.
Marshall Yanda – Here’s where I have to admit I’m completely ignorant. I’m not enough of a draft-nik to say anything remotely pertinent about offensive linemen picked in the third round. I know that the Ravens’ connections with Kirk Ferentz, Iowa’s and Yanda’s head coach, certainly factored in the teams’ decision to trade up and get him. So more depth on the o-line, probably more of an impact player two or three years down the line. I’m guessing he’ll be an Adam Terry type player; understudy for two or so years who will ultimately start at a tackle position.
As for today’s picks, there’s one name I’m interested in following: Jordan Palmer, QB, UTEP. I’ve seen him connected to the Ravens in a few mock drafts, for what that’s worth. If genetics mean anything, I’m intrigued by him.
My thanks to Michael and Thyrl for all their preparation and insights during our draft show yesterday. Great work, guys. That was a blast. Think we could talk the NFL into drafting again next week?
Good to see the Orioles rally for the win last night. This is a tough stretch in the schedule, and by the end of May we should truly know whether this year’s team can contend for at least a .500 record. If they can reduce some of their mental errors (that means Tejada’s baserunning last night, as one example) then I’ll believe things are truly different.
Happy Birthday Thomas ! Eight years ago you made our world more special than I ever imagined possible. You and your brothers are our pride and joy. Love you, Tiger.