Stop sweating…

April 24, 2008 | Drew Forrester

I’m really starting to think I might be one of the few people in town NOT worried about the draft on Saturday and who winds up being the Ravens pick at #8.

I’m not worried because I’m sure the Ravens will get it right.

If they don’t trade out of the selection and keep that #8 selection, they’re going to get a VERY GOOD player.  They have to, of course.  There are just too many high quality players available for the Ravens to botch it up.

Fielding calls on my show throughout the last couple of weeks – and listening to other shows and reading the crap-ola on the various football message boards – it strikes me that people are suddenly fearful that the Ravens might screw up the 8th pick on Saturday.

On what basis would you make such an assumption?

You can throw out only TWO names that were absolute “misses” in the first round since the Ravens started picking players in 1996.  Travis Taylor was a miss and it’s fair to say Kyle Boller was a miss, unless he comes out of his slumber in ’08 and throws 24 TD’s and 10 INT’s and leads the Ravens to an 11-5 record as the starter.  Otherwise, Boller was a miss as a first round pick.

I should say, though, that Boller was not (or, is not, since he’s still with the team) a “bust”.  I’m not a Boller-as-a-starter-supporter, of course, but I think people in town have pegged him as a bust and that’s just not fair.  Applying the “bust” tag to Boller is a tad strong.  He’s been in the league for 5 seasons now.  “Miss”…sure, you can call him that, particularly as a first round choice.

There are other experts in the NFL who have specialized in draft-day QB picks that became “busts”, including our friends 40 miles down the road in Washington (Heath Shuler) and our AFC North rivals in Cincinnati (Akili Smith).  Ryan Leaf…remember, him?  Now there was a full-fledged bust.

Anyway, since ’96 the Ravens have missed on TWO first-rounders.  I’ll take those odds any day of the week.

This year, it might be Matt Ryan who falls into their lap at #8.  It might be Sedrick Ellis.  It could be (let’s all pray together now) Vernon Gholston.  The point is, obviously, someone VERY GOOD will be there at #8 and I have the utmost confidence in Ozzie and Eric and the rest of the staff to make the right call on Saturday afternoon.

People are starting to get the hives over a possible Matt Ryan selection.  The Ravens will NOT make a mistake on him.  If he’s around at #8 and they choose him, I’m certain THEY’RE certain he’s the right guy.  If he’s around at #8 and they pass, I’m certain THEY’RE certain he’s NOT the right guy.  If Chad Henne is the guy they get at #38, I’ll be cool with that.  If Joe Flacco is their choice, I’m cool with that too.

They won’t muck it up, trust me.

So, relax and take it all in on Saturday and leave the heavy lifting to the Ravens football people.  They’ll get their guy and I’m just about positive it will be the right pick and we’ll all be happy with it in the long run.

History tells me it’s going to go that way.