1st Round 23rd Overall
Michael Oher, Offensive Tackle, Ole Miss
6’4”1/2 309 pounds
The Ravens traded their first round pick and a fifth round pick (No.162) to the Patriots to move up 3 spots to select Michael Oher an Offensive Tackle from Ole Miss. Oher is an intriguing prospect who could be a major steal for the Ravens; Oher develop into a dominant starter on a talented, young Offensive Line. Oher was a projected top 10 talent who the Ravens pounced on when he was surprisingly still on the board at 23. Oher is a player with prototypical size for a tackle and good bulk; who posses long arms. He has excellent balance and is very agile and capable to of getting to the second level. While he is a good kid off the field he plays with a nasty streak that is imperative for an NFL Offensive Linemen. Oher is tough and durable and has played against many top tier Defensive Ends in the SEC.
One of the concerns for Oher is that at times he gets high in his stance and doesn’t use proper leverage. His intelligence has also been pointed out as a potential red flag; some general managers didn’t have complete faith in Oher’s ability to pick up on complicated NFL schemes and formations.
Oher was the subject of Michael Lewis’ 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. The book described Oher’s difficult upbringing that included the murder of his father and his mother’s addiction to crack cocaine.
Oher has been categorized as a rare physical specimen who may have as much pure talent as any tackle to come along in years. Overall this was another great pick by Ozzie and company who add a supremely talented player who could be a dominant presence on the Offensive Line for years to come.
2nd Round 25th Pick 56th Overall
Paul Kruger, Defensive End, Utah
6’4”1/2 263 pounds
In the second round the Ravens add some much needed depth to the Defensive Line with Paul Kruger. Kruger is good size and bulk with a frame that has room to get larger. Kruger is a player with good instincts who is great in pursuit. An intense, competitive player, Kruger has a non stop motor and was a team leader on a Utah team that went 13-0 in 2008.
On the downside Kruger plays a bit stiff and is not overly powerful at the point of attack. Kruger is a bit older the other prospects at 24 and only has two years of playing experience at the college level.
Kruger lost a kidney as a child when he as involved in an automobile accident. Also after the 2008 season, Kruger was stabbed during a fight outside a party. Kruger survived, but was stabbed twice in the area of his ribs and abdomen and the wound was perilously close to a lung. Kruger was not an instigator in the fight and is not considered a charcter risk.
Kruger should be a nice addition and a versaitale player on the D-Line. The Ravens should be able to move him all over the line and even put him at Linebacker in some situations. The Defensive Line was an underrated need for Baltimore and something it is good to see them address.
3rd Round 24th Pick 88th Overall
Lardarius Webb, Cornerback, Nicholls State
5’10” 179 pounds
Webb is a ball hawking corner who seems to always be around the ball. Webb is a versatile player who will be able to add depth in the secondary and be a contributor on special teams. Webb is the only player in NCAA history to win his conferences Offensive, Defensive, and Special Team Player of the Year in the same season. Webb posses great hands and excellent all skills as shown by his seven interceptions and fifteen pass breakups in his two years at Nicholls State. A very quick player with good recovery speed Webb ran a 4.46 forty yard dash at the combine.
Webb does come to Baltimore with some baggage. In 2007 he was dismissed from the Southern Mississippi football team for a violation of team rules.
Webb is a very aggressive corner who can be too aggressive at times. He posses average hips and doesn’t have the ideal size or bulk most teams look for in a Corner.
Mel Kiper Jr. just gave Webb about as huge a compliment as he could by calling him Bob Sanders during ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage.
Webb has the potential to play both corner and safety in the NFL but his greatest value may come in the return game. I like the pick if he can keep his focus on the field and stay out of trouble off of it.
5th Round 1st Pick 137th Overall
Jason Phillips, ILB, TCU
6’1” 239 pounds
With Ray Lewis turning 34 in May and the loss of Bart Scott to the Jets, the Ravens desperately needed to add depth at Inside Linebacker. The Ravens get a quality player in the fifth round with Jason Phillips. Phillips is a high motor player with a ton of experience as a four year starter on a good TCU defense. Phillips is a Linebacker with great instincts and a high football IQ who reads and reacts quickly. Phillips works well through traffic and has the ability to shed blockers. Phillips is a tough, durable player who has battled through a number of injuries in college but played through them.
Philips is a marginal pass rusher with average change of direction speed and lacks fluid hips.
Phillips should be an immediate contributor on special teams and could work his way into the Linebacking corps in the future.
With Ray Lewis, Brendon Ayanbadejo, and Tavares Goodman as the only real options at Inside Linebacker Phillips give the Ravens a little bit more depth at a position of need.
5th Round 13th Pick 149th Overall
Davon Drew, TE, East Carolina
6’4” 256 pounds
The buzz word with the Ravens second 5th round pick is upside. Drew was recruited as Quarterback and only played three seasons as a Tight End; most believe his best football is ahead of him.
Drew has great size and bulk for an NFL Tight End while having reliable, soft hands. For a player without a lot of experience as a pass catcher Drew has good body control and a great ability to run after the catch. Drew is an extremely hard worker and is a player who should be able to contribute on special teams.
For all of his potential Drew lacks the burst to make him a down field threat. He also comes with some character concerns as he was suspended for 2 games when he walked off the practice field.
With Todd Heap being relegated to a glorified Tackle in Cam Cameron’s offense last season the Ravens were in the hunt for an upgrade a Tight End. They signed the oft injured L.J. Smith in the off-season and have Quinn Sypniewski returning from a knee injury so the Ravens have some options going into 2009.
Drew will be a project and could become a potential playmaker in the future but he will probably only see the field on special teams in the foreseeable future.
6th Round 12th Pick 185th Overall
Cedric Peerman, RB, Virginia
5’10” 216 pounds
Peerman is a speedy Running Back who ran the fastest forty of anyone at is position at the combine with a 4.45. Peerman is a hard runner with good vision and instincts. He posses a good center of gravity with a tremendously strong upper body. Peerman could be a good change of pace back and a legitimate receiving threat out of the backfield.
For his great straight line speed Peerman is limited in his quickness and lateral speed. Peerman has small hands which have led to major concerns about ball security. He also comes with some injury concerns as he missed half of the 2007 season after having Lisfranc Surgery on his right foot. He also missed games due to a knee bruise in 2008.
Peerman has never carried the full load during his career at Virginia; he never had a 1,000 yard season and only got into the end zone once in 41 career games.
He averaged 25.1 yards per kick return in his career at Virginia and may provide the Ravens with some value on special teams. Peerman will never be a full time franchise Running Back in the NFL and may struggle to make the active roster in 2009.
With the three headed monster of Willis McGahee, LeRon McClain, and Ray Rice leading the Ravens to the fourth best ground game in the NFL last season at 148.5 yards per game the selection of Cedric Peerman seems like a curious choice.