With the draft in the books, many Ravens are upset that the team did not draft a big time wide receiver and some are disappointed with their overall picks.
Despite the lack of playmakers drafted, I believe the Ravens had one of the better drafts of any team and made some great picks that will produce for this team for years,
Here is my breakdown of the Ravens draft:
Micheal Oher, OT, Mississippi, 23rd overall:
When the Ravens traded up to number 23 I thought that signified that they were going to draft Hakeem Nicks, however Ozzie surprised everyone by picking Oher.
At first glance I did not see how the Ravens could pass up Nicks, Britt or Malaluga, but now when I look at the choice they made, it was a good one.
Oher has major talent and great size and footwork which will make him a successful lineman in the NFL. He is a powerful blocker, which is great for run blocking and he will likely line up at right tackle for his first season.
The one weakness on Oher is his ability to pick up the offense quickly, however, I do not believe that will be a major problem.
Oher has a tremendous back story and tremendous character which is something the Ravens value a lot.
Oher has top 15 talent and for whatever reason he fell to number 23 and Ozzie Newsome could not pass him up.
Hakeem Nicks might have been the “sexy” pick but overall I think the Ravens made a great decision. Oher will be a productive player for this team for years.
Paul Kruger, OLB, Utah, 57th overall:
The Ravens need someone that can rush the passer and Kruger can do exactly that.
Kruger was a little under the radar but has a high motor with a good first step and moves well laterally.
He needs to improve in stopping the run, but he is relentless at rushing the passer, which will be his main role on this defense.
Kruger’s high motor and intensity will quickly make him a favorite among the coaching staff and fans and he should be able to produce immediately.
Ladarius Webb, CB, Nicholls St, 88th overall:
This is a pick that surprised me a little and a situation where I don’t think the Ravens made the right selection.
I have no problem with them drafting a cornerback, which I still think is an area of need, but I have a problem with who they drafted.
D.J Moore from Vanderbilt was still available and is a guy with great size, good speed that possed first round talent. To pass up on him was a big mistake for the Ravens but hopefully Webb pans out.
Webb is the fastest cornerback in the draft but his 5’11” frame makes it difficult for him to cover bigger receivers.
Webb comes from the same conference and was drafted in the same round as David Pittman.
Hopefully for the Ravens Webb has a better career then Pittman did.
Jason Phillips, ILB, TCU, 137TH overall:
Middle linebacker was an area of need that I thought the Ravens should have addressed with their first round pick, but they finally did so in the fifth round.
Phillips played on a great defense in college, and many people expected him to get drafted prior to the 5th round, so I think this pick presents tremendous value for the Ravens.
Tough and instinctive with a nose for the ball is how Phillips is described and those characteristics will help him fit right in on this defense.
The Ravens are looking for the heir apparent to Ray Lewis, will Philips be that guy” Only time will tell, but overall I really like this pick.
Davon Drew, TE, East Carolina, 149th overall:
This draft contained a lot of talent at the Tight End position and many felt the Ravens would address the Tight End position early in the draft, however, they waited until almost 150 picks before doing so.
I thought a player like Chase Coffman or James Casey would have been great fits for the Ravens, but Ozzie Newsome passed them up before eventually selecting Drew.
Drew is a tremendous athlete whose weakness is blocking, so his primary role in this offense will be catching passes and he could make a great compliment to Todd Heap.
The year the Ravens one the Super Bowl they had two tremendous pass catching Tight Ends and they are hoping they will have the same with Drew and Heap.
Drew is known as a great route runner, with tremendous athleticism that can get great separation. He could be precisely what this Ravens offense needs.
Cedric Peerman, RB, Virginia, 185th overall:
Peerman ran the fastest time of any running back in the 40 yard dash at the NFL combine and he posses a nice blend of size and strength which made him a successful college Running Back.
Peerman lacks elusiveness in the open field but he is a patient runner who uses his blocks well.
Peerman will likely not play a major role in the offense right away, but is he can make some plays on when he is in the game, he will force his way onto the field more.
I like this pick very much and I think Peerman could be a great asset for this offense.
Overall it was good draft for the Ravens and I think they improved their team, but I would have liked them to get a Wide Receiver. I think this team was one big playmaker away from being in the Super Bowl last year but they did not acquire one in the draft.
It looks like Anquan Boldin will remain in Cardinals uniform, so for now the Ravens will just have to work with the receivers they have. Hopefully a healthy Demetrius Williams and Mark Clayton pay dividends and make big plays for this offense.
Overall Grade: B