Tag Archive | "Baltimore Ravens"

In this photo taken Saturday, Sept. 20, 2012, Phil Savage poses in the broadcast booth for the Crimson Tide Network during halftime of an NCAA college football game on in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The former Cleveland Browns general manager took over as the Senior Bowl's executive director in May but still travels to schools and draws up scouting reports on NFL prospects. He started with the Browns as a defensive assistant when Nick Saban was the Browns' coordinator (AP Photo/ Butch Dill)

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Phil Savage weighs in on all things Purple and Black

Posted on 19 October 2015 by WNST Staff

In this photo taken Saturday, Sept. 20, 2012, Phil Savage poses in the broadcast booth for the Crimson Tide Network during halftime of an NCAA college football game on in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The former Cleveland Browns general manager took over as the Senior Bowl's executive director in May but still travels to schools and draws up scouting reports on NFL prospects. He started with the Browns as a defensive assistant when Nick Saban was the Browns' coordinator (AP Photo/ Butch Dill)

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Jason Cole

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Jason Cole’s thoughts on why the Ravens continue to struggle

Posted on 19 October 2015 by WNST Staff

Jason Cole






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Garrett Downing

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Garrett Downing talks Ravens early season struggles

Posted on 13 October 2015 by WNST Staff


Garrett Downing








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Dan Pompei on the unexpected 1-4 start for the Ravens

Posted on 13 October 2015 by WNST Staff










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So this is what 0 – 3 feels like

Posted on 28 September 2015 by Dennis Koulatsos





The Baltimore Ravens suffered another tough loss yesterday, this one at their 20th home opener and at the hands of the division leading Cincinnati Bengals.  They have now lost by 6, 4, and 6 points.  Lots of blame to go around, whether it’s coaching, penalties, miscommunication, dropped passes and interceptions, etc.  The optimists will say that this team could easily have been 3 – 0, but that’s not what the standings say this morning.  To paraphrase Bill Parcells, the Ravens are what their record says they are.

As my son and I left the stadium, as fans we felt the weight of a winless season thus far.  Of course we all know by now that in their 20 year history, this organization has never started a season 0 – 3.  It certainly is not a good feeling, but it is in times like these organizations find out what they really have when faced with adversity.  Just as a high tide raises all ships, a low tide lowers them.  A low tide exposes the most seaworthy vessels – and the best captains.

Coach John Harbaugh has experienced a ton of success during his tenure here in Baltimore, capped off with a Super Bowl victory in 2012.  Unless something dramatic happens, my best guess is that he is staring down a 6 – 10 season.  His mettle is being tested and will continue to be as the losses pile up.

In the general media there’s been much talk about the injuries, play calling, discipline, penalties, etc. What’s been missed is that not only have the Ravens lost some great players in the last couple of years, but also some great coordinators and assistant coaches.  The two that immediately stand out are Gary Kubiak and Teryl Austin.

Kubiak’s effect on the running game and QB Joe Flacco were apparent throughout last year’s campaign.  His run first philosophy and effective game planning/calling contributed much to the Ravens’ success.  Plus by all accounts he had a terrific relationship with Joe Flacco.  Through the first 3 games, things have been dramatically different with Marc Trestman at the helm as offensive coordinator.

Austin – who is now currently the defensive coordinator with the Detroit Lions – was an outstanding defensive backs coach during his tenure here in Baltimore.  In fact, he did some of his best work in 2013 by holding together a patchwork secondary, on an injury depleted team that went 8-8 and came within one quarter and 4 Andy Dalton interceptions of going to the playoffs.  Austin has excellent communication skills, and is a very technically sound coach.

Head coaches always get too much credit when teams win and way too much blame when they lose. Make no mistake about it – they’re only as good as their coordinators and assistant coaches.  In the NFL, every team has a salary cap to deal with, unlike baseball where you can virtually buy a championship.  That’s where coaching in the NFL – more often than not – is the difference maker.

This will be a great learning experience for John Harbaugh.  I’m of the opinion that he is a good – not a great – coach.  However, he does have a chance to be great.  This will be a season where he can assess himself, his coordinators and his assistants.  He’s on his way to hearing the Ravens’ name called early in the 2016 NFL draft, and that’s a good thing in terms of the overall well being of the franchise, as they need to restock the cupboard with better talent.

The Ravens need some high draft picks and based on their start are on their way to getting some.  Prior to yesterday’s game I marveled at the talent that was on the Bengals’ roster.  That talent didn’t get there because the Bengals have been great over space and time.  They’ve been a mediocre team on a more often than not mediocre organization.  In fact, I can argue that – based on talent alone – the Bengals should have absolutely blown out the Ravens in yesterday’s game.  Marvin Lewis and staff did all they could to keep the Ravens in the game.

The Bengals have been able to accumulate a number of high draft picks through the years, and from top to bottom have a Super Bowl caliber roster.  Andy Dalton is not a prime time QB, and that is the primary reason that he – along with coach Marvin Lewis – is still looking for his first playoff win.  The Bengals should have been up 21-0 on the Ravens at the half yesterday, and should have never let them come within barking distance of beating them.

There’s no doubt in my mind that GM Ozzie Newsome will keep his usually keen eye on the roster this year, and make the necessary adjustments to improve the team in the off-season.  Until then, we’ll see how this team deals with adversity.  Can they overcome it? Will they get better as the season progresses? Will they fight ’til the end, or will they at some point “tap out.”

I don’t see the later happening, as I do expect coach Harbaugh to get this team – given it’s limitations – to overachieve.  They haven’t been blown out.  They’ve fought hard for 3 games.  Their games – although they haven’t had the outcome we’re all looking for – have been entertaining.

Bottom line is that we are not going to the playoffs every year.  For various reasons, there has to be an adjustment – historically speaking – in an organization’s timeline.  I’m an optimist by nature but I am also a realist.  I’d love to see this team fight, scrap and get into the playoffs, but history tells us that they have a less than a 3% chance of doing so.  The odds aren’t favorable.

But the odds are very much favorable that this is a temporary blimp in this great organization’s history, and it will not take them long – no longer than this season – to figure it out and bounce right back.  In Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome, and John Harbaugh ……. I trust.

I will end with my personal message to the Ravens.  A very wise man once told me that in life, there are are going to be peaks and valleys.  No one is immune to them; we all go through them, and so do organizations.  The key is that when you’re in a valley, fight like hell to get out of it.  Don’t get conditioned to it, and don’t accept it.  Minimize the time you spend in the valley.  And as the Ravens fight song bellows…..FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!

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Ravens next game up – focus on the Raiders

Posted on 15 September 2015 by Dennis Koulatsos

While hunkering down in San Jose, the Baltimore Ravens are preparing for the Oakland Raiders.  Both teams are coming off of losses, the Ravens in a close one to the Broncos, while the Raiders got blown out by the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Ravens suffered a devastating loss on the defensive side of the ball, losing OLB Terrell Suggs for the year and LT Eugene Monroe for the game. The Raiders had some significant losses as well.  Starting QB Derek Carr sustained a severe bruise to his throwing hand, while trying to stiff arm Bengals DB Adam Jones on a run near the sideline. His availability is up in the air at this time, as his backup Matt McGloin finished the game for him.  The Bengals have talked to Christian Ponder this week, but have not signed him.

In other Oakland injury news, the Raiders fear safety Nate Allen has torn his ACL, and he will undergo more testing this week. The Raiders’ other starting safety – Charles Woodson – is scheduled for an MRI after injuring his shoulder in Sunday’s game as well. The Raiders have signed much traveled veteran safety Taylor Mays, who has bounced around the league and has never lived up to his draft position and college hype. The backup safeties are Larry Asante and rookie Keenan Lambert – not exactly household names.  The Bengals had great success attacking the Raiders’ safeties with their TEs, particularly Tyler Eifert who had 10 receptions for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns.

That’s a matchup the Ravens should be able to exploit with their 3 young TEs, Crockett Gillmore, Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle.  Offensive coordinator Marc Trestman needs to focus and build his game plan around attacking the Raiders’ safeties. Joe Flacco needs to be more careful with the ball, and make sure that his receivers have some separation before airing it out.

The Raiders defensive line is stout, and Ravens RT Rick Wagner is going to have his hands full with former NY Giant Justin Tuck lined up across from him.  Tuck played at a very high level in the opener, and gave Bengals’ RT Andre Smith more than he could handle.  NT Dan Williams also graded out very high last week, and could give Ravens C Jeremy Zuttah problems up the middle.  Rush end/OLB Khalil Mack finished his rookie campaign in a strong fashion, and has picked up right where he left from.  If Eugene Monroe does not pass the NFL’s concussion protocol, the Ravens should consider moving LG Kelechi Osemele to RT, and inserting second year pro John Urschel in the LG spot.

I think a line – from left to right – of Osemele, Urschel, Zuttah, Yanda and Wagner would be superior to Hurst, Osemele, Zuttah, Yanda and Wagner. I don’t think the drop off is as severe from Osemele to Urschel, in contrast from Monroe to Hurst.  Urschel can get help from Zuttah if need be, while your left tackle most of the time is on an island.

The Raiders defensive backs are Travis Carrie and DJ Hayden.  They are not that good and if Flacco gets time, he should be able to complete some passes on them downfield. They also lack quality depth at the position. Raiders special teams are in good shape with Sebastian Janikowski handling the kicking duties, and the dangerous Taiwan Jones in the return game. Ravens special teams coach Jerry Rosburg needs to game plan to contain Jones.

On the offensive side of the ball, LT Donald Penn is a journeyman who started for Tampa Bay last year.  It’s too bad for the Ravens that Suggs is out for the year, as Penn is not that good and would have been an easy matchup.  Courtney Upshaw and Za’Darius Smith should be able to get their hands on the Raiders’ QB.  RT Austin Howard isn’t much better, and Elvis Dumervil should have a field day. RG J’Marcus Webb is equally unimpressive, where the tandem of Brandon Williams and Carl Davis can do some damage. The Raiders’ strength along their o-line is in their LG and C, where Gabe Jackson and Rodney Hudson man those positions.

Latavius Murray starts at RB for the Raiders, and he is a big downhill tackle to tackle type of a back, that they will try to run behind Jackson and Hudson.  Marcel Reece starts at fullback, where he’s been an average blocker throughout his career, and not much of a threat when carrying the ball. The primary receivers are former 49er Michael Crabtree and mercurial rookie Amari Cooper. Cooper has been game ready since he was drafted out of the University of Alabama, and Ravens DB Jimmy Smith needs to lock up on him from the opening whistle.

This is a must win game for the Ravens, as teams that start their season 0-2 rarely make it into the playoffs.  Although they’re on the road for the second consecutive week, there is no  better opponent, no better opportunity to get a road victory against than these Raiders.  Although they have a few pieces to build around, these are still the “same old Raiders” that we’ve been seeing for the better part of the last decade.  Once you get past their defensive line and Khalil Mack there’s not much there, so the Ravens offense should be able to move the ball a lot better against them than they did against the Broncos.  On the flip side of the ball, if the Ravens defense repeats their performance from a week ago, they will shut down the Raiders’ offense, particularly if Carr can’t go and McGloin is the QB.



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Ravens opener – the one that got away

Posted on 14 September 2015 by Dennis Koulatsos

After the Ravens’ bitter 19-13 loss to the Broncos, it was clear that this was a game that they could have won, but it just got away from them.  It got away because of Joe Flacco’s back breaking interception.  It got away because the defense couldn’t get the Denver offense off of the field for nearly 11 minutes – in the 4th quarter to boot.  It got away when WR Steve Smith Sr.  let one slip through his fingers – in the endzone. It got away when second year tight end Crockett Gillmore had his hands on the ball – in the endzone again – and couldn’t haul it in while tightly covered by two Broncos defenders, including former Raven safety Darren Stewart, who ultimately came down with the ball.

There were other factors that led to the outcome, but those were the ones that stood out.  We saw Joe Flacco under duress by a fierce Denver pass rush the entire game.  Flacco never looked comfortable in the pocket, hardly ever set his feet, and frequently threw off of his back foot.  This is what happens when teams can’t run the ball in the NFL. When defenses like the Broncos’ and the Ravens’ completely take away the run, they limit the offenses, make them one dimensional and by and large predictable.  Credit Dean Pees and Wade Phillips here, as clearly they got the best of their counterparts, Rick Dennison and Marc Trestman.

Then there was the season ending injury to Terrell Suggs, the Ravens’ 6 time Pro-Bowler and arguably the team’s defensive leader.  For a defensive minded team that the Ravens are, this is a huge loss.  The Ravens have obvious limitations on the offensive side of the ball, and if they are going to sniff the playoffs this year, it’s going to have to be on the strength of their defense. Suggs was not only a fierce pass rusher off of the edge, but also stout against the run. Plus he’s a much more cerebral player than given credit for.  His teammates said that numerous times during yesterday’s game, he would tell them where the ball was going and/or what play was coming. Replacing his production is something that the Ravens are going to really have to take a long hard look at.

Courtney Upshaw  and Za’Darius Smith (who was inactive for yesterday’s game) are the obvious choices to fill Suggs’ spot.  The team may also pull up Brennen Beyer from the practice squad.  The 6’4″ 260 pound former Michigan Wolverine was transitioning from DE to OLB, and he will get a long look this week.  Plus Brent Urban will be coming off of the injured reserve list mid-season, and will give the Ravens a boost.  They may be able to overcome the injury to Suggs, but they simply cannot afford any more season ending injuries to the rest of the starters.

Back to Joe Flacco.  The awful, telegraphed pick-6 that he threw to Aquib Talib was about as demoralizing a play as one can be.  I know that Peyton Manning threw a pick-6 as well, but it wan’t as horrible of a throw as Jimmy Smith had to really work for it.  Smith made one heck of a play as he broke on the ball, tipped it into the air and took it to the house.  What made Flacco’s interception so bad, is that we have seen him – pre snap – lock onto his primary receiver, while seemingly giving no thought to what the defense is doing in regard to alignment. Talib said from his film study, he knew exactly where Flacco was going with the ball, as he undercut Steve Smith’s route and brought the ball back 51 yards for a TD.  Elite QBs don’t determine where the ball is going pre-snap. They line up, scan the defense, drop back and go through their progressions.  I know that Flacco didn’t have a lot of time to get his passes off yesterday, but on that particular play the line held; he had ample time to make the correct read prior to releasing the ball.  That’s the book on Joe – if you pressure him he will make mistakes, and he made a critical one yesterday.

The offensive line got overwhelmed by Denver’s defensive line, plain and simple. James Hurst was serviceable, as he replaced Eugene Monroe, who left the game in the first quarter due to a concussion.  They just couldn’t get any push, and the combo of Justin Forsett and Buck Allen had difficulty picking up yards.  The receivers and tight ends were unremarkable, as they got little to no separation from the Broncos’ secondary.

The Ravens defense played well as a whole.  They made Manning look ordinary and pedestrian.  He missed a couple of deep balls as he overthrew open receivers, and just didn’t look like the Manning of old.  “Old Manning” may be a better characterization of him at this point of his career.  The defense did have a let down at the worst possible time, as they let up that 11 minute 4th quarter drive.  Manning found success with some intermediate passes, as did RB Ronnie Hillman with some trap draws between the tackles.  The Ravens defense was obviously gassed on that drive, and were aided by a Broncos’ time out at about the 3 minute mark.  Had time out not been called, the Broncos would have probably scoreed a touchdown instead of a field goal.

It is the first week of the season and we are all very aware of that. It is not a time for a team – or a fanbase – to get too high or too low based on the results/performance of game one.  Defense wins championships and if these two teams can improve on offense, they will both be in the running for a spot in the playoffs 15 weeks from now. The only certain thing is that the Ravens will finish somewhere between 0-16 and 15-1.  The road trip continues with a stop next week at Oakland.  QB Derek Carr injured his hand in the Raiders’ loss to the Bengals, but should be cleared to play.  It will interesting to see if the Ravens can bounce back and avoid starting their season 0-2.  It is very much a must win game.

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Kevin Johnson

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Baltimore Ravens 7 round mock draft 4.0 version

Posted on 25 March 2015 by Dennis Koulatsos

Kevin JohnsonThe Baltimore Ravens were awarded 3 compensatory picks in the 2015 NFL Draft, giving them a total of ten. Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta and company can – as usual – go in several directions depending on how the board plays out.  In years past they’ve traded up and down, depending if a player they were targeting had been selected, or if there’s one that they rated higher and is dropping and within reach.  So without further ado, here’s a list of the players I see in a Ravens uniform at the conclusion of this year’s draft. It includes 3 – yes 3 – wide receivers, 2 defensive backs, 1 defensive tackle, 1 running back, 1 tight end, 1 offensive guard, and 1 defensive end:

Round 1: No. 26  – Kevin Johnson, CB Wake Forest He’ll start out as the third corner for the Ravens, but has starting potential down the road.  Ozzie at some point has to get Joe Flacco some “toys”, but this draft is deep at receiver and he’ll go get some (2 or 3) in the not too later rounds. He just cannot afford to be caught with not enough defensive back in this pass happy league again. That potentially cost the Ravens a Super Bowl appearance this past season, and Newsome will make sure it does not happen again.

Round 2: No. 58 – Devin Smith, WR  Ohio State Still sticking with him at this slot. I looked at a lot of receivers at this slot, and Smith was easily the most polished guy. Ran a 4.42 40 with a 39″ vertical. I can’t get the visual out of my head of him blowing up a kick returner in the Senior Bowl, as he came down the flank in the role of a gunner. He’s a football player, and no receiver at the combine tracked the deep ball better.

Round 3: No. 90 – Marcus Hardison, DT Arizona State 6’3″ 307 pounds.  With the loss of Haloti Ngata, the Ravens must draft another young defensive lineman to rotate with Brandon Williams and Tim Jernigan.  Hardison is built more along the lines of a defensive end, but he got to the QB 10 times last season.  That’s a pretty impressive stat for an interior lineman. He also had a good Senior Bowl and Pro Day.

Round 4: No. 122 – Eric Rowe, CB Utah At 6’1 205 pounds, he can play either corner or safety.  He’s been clocked at 4.39 in the 40, and he’s also come in for a visit.  Plus the Ravens love players from Utah.

No. 125 Javorius Allen, RB USC 6’0″ 221 running back from a big time program with big times hands to boot. “Buck”Allen rushed for 1,489 yards averaging 5.39 yards per carry while sharing the backfield with Justin Davis. He finished third on the team with 41 grabs for 458 yards, plus he is a reliable blocker.  His hands and blocking ability will serve him well in the Marc Trestman offense.

No. 136 (compensatory) – Ben Koyack, TE Notre Dame 6’5 255  Still convinced that the Ravens are going to take a TE in this spot. The only question remains as to which one they’re going to pick. I’m a bigger fan of the Penn State TE Jesse James, but I believe his combine #s moved him up to the 3rd round. The Ravens will also consider FSU’s O’Leary, Rutgers’ Kroft (they interviewed him at the combine), and OSU’s Heuerman. It’s also noteworthy that the Ravens also interviewed Koyack, which is the basis as to why I’m slotting him here.

Round 5: No. 158 – Darren Waller, WR Georgia Tech  He is 6’6″ 238 pounds – no folks, that’s not a typo.  Waller didn’t had the best receiving stats as he was primarily used as a blocker in Tech’s run heavy Flex-bone offense.  Still, with his immense dimensions, he is a very intriguing prospect.

No. 171 (compensatory) – Robert Myers, OG Tennessee I’d be surprised if Myers doesn’t end up in a Ravens uniform.  One publication described him as being ideally drafted with a developmental year in mind, which actually fits the Ravens m.o., particularly with Yanda’s and Osemele’s contracts coming up. At 6’5″ 326, he is very much the road grader that the Ravens like at the guard position.

No. 175 (compensatory) – Stefon Diggs, WR Maryland Injury concerns drop the speedy hometown receiver, as the Ravens pick him and triple down at the receiver position, in an attempt to give QB Joe Flacco the aformentioned “toys.” If Diggs – and that’s a big if – can stay healthy, along with Devin Smith he has a shot at replacing the production the Ravens got out of Torrey Smith.

Round 6: No. 203 – Ryan Delaire, DE Towson He is 6’4″ 250 pounds. Pulled a groin running the 40, but still got an interview by the Ravens. Long arms, and very productive career from this UMass transfer. He has a shot at making the roster as a developmental player behind Dumervil and Suggs.

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Marcus Peters

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Ravens 2015 Mock Draft 1.0 +

Posted on 24 January 2015 by Dennis Koulatsos

It’s never too early and it’s always fun to project an NFL mock draft, particularly on a day when the Senior Bowl will be broadcasting live from Mobile, Alabama. Draftniks such a myself simply live for this kind of stuff, and will keep a close eye on this game at 3:00 p.m. on the NFL Network. We’ll look for rising and falling players, to see who would look good in a Ravens uniform on April 30, 2015.

The Ravens has 6 picks in the 2015 draft, one in rounds 1 – 4, and 2 in the 7th. They got the extra 7th when they traded away Bryant McKinnie. The Ravens don’t have a 5th because they used it to acquire center Jeremy Zuttah, and they also gave up a 6th for a 7th rounder in a trade with the Browns in last year’s draft to acquire Michael Campanero.

The Ravens should get 3 compensatory picks due to the loss of Arthur Jones, Michael Oher, Corey Graham, and James Ihedigbo. Plus the Ravens should receive a 6th round draft pick from the Dallas Cowboys for the Rolando McClain trade. That should give the Ravens a total of 10 picks in this year’s draft. Since 1994 when the league started handing out compensatory draft picks, the Ravens have acquired 41. The next closest teams are the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers with 33. The Ravens have done a great job – easily the best in the league – in restocking their roster with compensatory draft picks.

I expect the Ravens to get a 4th, 5th, and 6th round compensatory pick from the league in the 2015 draft. Here is the direction that I think the Ravens are going to in the draft:

1. CB Marcus Peters – Washington.  The 6′ 198 pound junior was suspended from his team November 6, due to arguments with the coaching staff.  He’s not a bad guy, just very immature. The Ravens have a history of drafting immature prospects such as Terrell Suggs and Jimmy Smith.  Peters is arguably a top 15 prospect, and would certainly represent a “boom or bust” pick for Ozzie Newsome and company. The Ravens like to draft “red star” players, particularly this early in the draft. They also like to draft senior captains, and  Peters is neither a captain (obviously) nor a senior.  However, the Ravens were a shutdown corner away from advancing to the AFC Conference Championship, something that is not lost upon Newsome/DeCosta and company.  The much less riskier pick – Trae Waynes  – will be off of the board way before the Ravens pick, and the best of the rest (Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, PJ Williams) are undersized and have a future at nickel back in the NFL, and don’t make sense for what the Ravens are looking for in this spot. The Ravens could pick Ekpre-Olomu here (he’s a senior captain), but to me it would be a bit of a stretch.

2. WR Justin Hardy – East Carolina. He comes in at just under 5’11 and 190 pounds. He is the FBS career leader in receptions, he is a senior and a team captain. Hands like glue, great instincts, and feisty competitor. In the Senior Bowl practices this past week he’s displayed another gear while the ball is in the air. He has also shown the ability to gain separation, particularly when he is getting in and out of his breaks. The only weakness I’ve seen is that he’s about 50/50 on jump balls, where his (lack of) height is a bit of a hinderance. Other than that, Ozzie Newsome turns in his draft card quickly if Hardy is still there at #56 in round 2.

3. DE Nate Orchard – Utah. A 6’3″ 252 pound senior, Orchard signed with Utah as a wide receiver. That was obviously before his growth spurt, but it also shows the type of athlete that he is. With Dumervil and Suggs getting up there in age, and with the probable loss of Pernell McPhee to free agency, this pick makes sense here. He’s had a good week of practice at the Senior Bowl, and has really helped his draft status. Another name that we could possibly see here is Owamagde Obdighizuwa, a 6’4″ 266 senior DE from UCLA.

4. TE Maxx Williams – Minnesota. Only a redshirt sophomore, the 6’4″ 250 Williams looks an awful lot like Jason Whitten when your roll the tape. He is a bruising TE that does everything well. If he is gone by the time the Ravens pick, I still think they go TE in this slot, and take Jeff Heuerman, the 6’5″ 255 pound senior TE out of Ohio State. Heurman can flat out play, as his biggest problem in college was that the ball wasn’t thrown much in his direction.

4. RB David Cobb – Minnesota. A 5’11” 229 pound senior, Cobb has been another Senior Bowl standout during practices. He has good vision, and he is a downhill runner – traits that will endear him to coach John Harbaugh. He doesn’t do anything particularly great, but does everything well, including pass blocking. With uncertainty at the running back position (Forsett, Pierce), this pick makes sense here.

5. DT Marcus Hardison – Arizona State. 6’3″ 311 pound senior, is a very active and agile player. With uncertainty with age and cap space consideration along the defensive line (Ngata, Canty) coupled with injury concerns (Lewis-Moore, Urban), the Ravens could use some young moldable clay here.

6. CB Nick Marshall – Auburn. The Ravens take a shot here with Marshall, Auburn’s starting QB who’s attempting to make the transition to CB at the pro level. At 6′ 2″ 205, he has desirable length for the position. He’s also a very good athlete, and is a worthy gamble. Plus the Ravens need corners you know.

6. ILB Taiwan Jones – Michigan State. 6’3″ 258 pound senior, he’s an “old school” linebacker who has been the most physical player at the East-West Shrine Bowl practices. He’s also proving that he can be a 3 down linebacker, and with Daryl Smith approaching the end of his career, Jones is a fit here.

7. CB Byron Jones – Connecticut. The 6’1″ 196 pound senior missed the entire 2014 senior with shoulder surgeries. His career has been plagued by injuries, but when healthy Jones has shown the ability to play. Good size and speed, he tackles like a safety and he was also a senior captain.

7. P Kyle Loomis – Portland State. At 6’2″ 222 pounds, the senior punter absolutely booms the ball. The Ravens can save $2.5 million dollars by cutting Sam Koch, and would only absorb a $600k cap hit. Koch is a heck of a punter, but Ravens make a business move here.

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Deflate Gate and Wednesday rumblings

Posted on 21 January 2015 by Dennis Koulatsos

Lots of football news to talk about today, so I thought I’d put together a smorgasboard of things:

  • It was the Ravens coaching staff that alerted the Colts coaching staff that the balls were deflated. The Colts confirmed it when Brady threw and interception in their matchup. That’s the buzz around the league today.
  • Marc Trestman is a very good fit with the Ravens, will be a good offensive coordinator for them. Has ties to Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh. Concern is that he won’t run the ball as much as Kubiak. He may not, but he does like to involve his backs more in the passing game than Kubiak.
  • Expect Marty Mornhinweg to be named QB coach for the Ravens. He has significant ties to Marc Trestman. Was way over his head as coach of the Detroit Lions.
  • Scientific evidence as to how a deflated football helps a team – in wet conditions, it is softer, and therefore easier to grip, throw and catch; the mass of the ball is reduced, and it doesn’t go as far when thrown; if a team is going to run the ball, it helps the running backs “squeeze” the ball, which of course increases ball security and makes them less likely to fumble. Hmmm……….
  • ECU wide receiver Justin Hardy would look great in a Ravens uniform. He had a great first day at the Senior Bowl yesterday. Good speed, hands, separation, instincts. Tracks the ball real well in the air, catches it at it’s highest point. Cat quick in and out of his breaks. I was hoping he’d stay under the radar so the Ravens could get him in the 3rd round of the 2015 NFL draft, but he’s no longer a secret. I’m afraid he’s moving up in to the 2nd round. Hopefully the Ravens trade out of the first, and use one of their picks to get him.
  • Patriots 3 prior Super Bowl wins tainted. They beat a supremely talented Kurt Warner/Marshall Faulk/Torry Holt/Isaac Bruce led team. Without the benefit of taping their practices and knowing what plays were coming based on alignment, don’t see how they could have beaten the Rams. Love to see them lose to the Seahawks, extending their Super Bowl losing streak to 3.
  • Would love to see the Pro Bowl turn in to something else for the players and for the fans. How about a “Super Stars” competition, just like ABC sports had back in the 70’s. The players could go through a series of events to see who was the strongest, fastest, etc. It would also be good for the fans see the players without pads.
  • Ravens loss to the Patriots and Colts subsequent loss to the same team, shows how close the Ravens are to competing for another ring. With another strong draft and some key free agent additions, I expect this team to go deep in to the playoffs next year, while giving us fans a home playoff game – or two. Being stout in the trenches on both sides of the ball enhances their chances.

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