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Your Monday Reality Check-A mountain of misinformation

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Your Monday Reality Check-A mountain of misinformation

Posted on 17 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

I honestly still can’t believe some of the things I read/heard/saw last week about Baltimore Ravens OT Bryant McKinnie.

If you missed it, McKinnie was not on the fall last week in Owings Mills during mandatory minicamp at the Under Armour Performance Center. When asked why McKinnie was not practicing, head coach John Harbaugh said “Bryant McKinnie is a guy that we held out just for conditioning purposes. We’re going to probably continue to do that and continue to try and get him in good shape. I think practice-wise, he’s just as well doing the conditioning part of it.”

Let me start this post by saying I fully understand a few things. One is that Harbaugh has never felt the need to share more information than necessary about any of his players. Another is that the information was new to reporters, so asking follow up questions might not have seemed pertinent. I wasn’t present at minicamp (media availability was scheduled during my radio show “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net each day) and was unable to fully grasp exactly what was going on.

With no media availability scheduled before the start of Training Camp, reporters felt it necessary to question Harbaugh later in the week for more information about McKinnie’s status. Unfortunately the coach was again vague, offering “we will leave that between us. That’s something that is an in-house type of thing right now. Bryant has done a good job, he’s worked hard. It’s not as simple as some of you guys want to make it. It’s just a situation where we are going to do what is best for the team, what is best for Bryant. We want him here; there’s no reason he wouldn’t be here. He has worked hard, so you try to do what’s most beneficial for every guy in every situation, and it’s always individualized.”

Now’s the part where I offer some examples of various stories I’ve read about Bryant McKinnie.

Here’s this from SI.com…

“Cut last season by the Vikings, Bryant McKinnie, who sat out Thursday’s practice, may be on the verge of extending an ignominious streak. Here is a player who has a history of being overweight and struggled with the same problem last season. He also reportedly has financial problems, yet can’t get into good enough shape to participate in minicamp. You have to question his commitment and when a team starts signing veteran offensive linemen and McKinnie gets held out of minicamp, it could be a sign of things to come.”

And this from SB Nation…

“The Baltimore Ravens gave veteran left tackle Bryant McKinnie a $500,000 roster bonus earlier this spring, but now might be regretting the outlay of cash. McKinnie came to Baltimore after the Minnesota Vikings cut him last summer for reporting to camp overweight. The Ravens rounded him into shape and he had a pretty solid year, allowing the team to shift Michael Oher over to right tackle and solidify that side of the offensive line.

McKinnie reportedly was on his way to getting in good shape earlier this year, but the most recent news was that the team held him out of the mini-camp this past week for “conditioning reasons.” This does not bode well for either the Ravens nor McKinnie.

Bryant is on the short end of a legal case where he defaulted on a $4 million loan he took out during the NFL Lockout last year and seriously needs a full season paycheck to pay it back. If he does not report to the Ravens Training Camp in six weeks in excellent shape, there is a very good chance that the team may decide to cut ties with him and let him go.”

Allow me to be fair again for a second. The SI.com blurb was a clear re-write with no author attached. While SB Nation does have a handful of experienced journalists and columnists, their sites are still largely made up of part-time writers/editors with no actual experience truly covering a team.

So perhaps CSNBaltimore.com’s veteran writer Ray Frager would be a better source.

“Offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie’s conditioning issues have been a big part of the Ravens chatter over this week. There is speculation he is around that 400-pound summit that caused him to lose his job in Minnesota.”

Maybe even the Baltimore Sun’s Mike Preston would be a better option.

“The entire McKinnie episode is strange and you wonder if he is going to be around when training camp opens. Here is a player who has a history of being overweight and struggled with the same problem last season.

He also reportedly has financial problems, yet can’t get into good enough shape to participate in minicamp. You have to question his commitment and when a team starts signing veteran offensive linemen and McKinnie gets held out of minicamp, it could be a sign of things to come.”

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Panthers sign former Morgan TE Bryant

Posted on 12 June 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, Md. – Former Morgan State tight end Lamont Bryant has been signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Carolina Panthers and will take part in Carolina’s minicamp that begins today.
The 6-5, 225-pound Bryant started 11 games in 2012 and ranked as the team’s leading receiver with 21 receptions (371 yards) and two TDs. He capped the season by being selected to the All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference First-Team.
Bryant’s stock rose on draft boards with a standout performance at the Morgan State Pro Day held in March. Bryant measured in at 6’5, 225, had an 80 1/4″ wingspan, ran the 40 in 4.45 and put up 19 reps on bench. He also registered a 10’3″ broad jump, a ridiculous 43″ vertical jump, and ran the short shuttle in 4.38.
In 2010, he recorded five catches for 55 yards (11.0 avg) in eight games. In ’09, he caught 18 passes for 251 yards (13.9-yard average) and two touchdowns on his way to first-team all-conference honors in 10 games.
The Newport News, Va., native was moved from quarterback to tight end in ’08 and saw action in five games on special teams, where he blocked two punts.
The last MSU tight end to enter the NFL was Visanthe Shiancoe who was drafted in the third round (91st overall) in the 2003 NFL Draft by the New York Giants and currently plays for the Minnesota Vikings.

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Your Monday Reality Check-Shouldn’t Rice & Flacco deals have been done by now?

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Your Monday Reality Check-Shouldn’t Rice & Flacco deals have been done by now?

Posted on 04 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

It was as if there were some in the sports broadcasting universe that wanted to remind me that the Baltimore Orioles have been struggling mightily as of late.

Sure, they’re just one game out of first place at the time I type this, but the Birds sadly appear to be in a downward spiral that unfortunately most of us expected.

I’ve been a regular “Baltimore expert” for SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio since the channel’s inception, and I rotate having conversations with hosts about the O’s and the Baltimore Ravens. When I received a call last week asking me to appear on the channel, I assumed the conversation would go in the direction of the O’s, as I’ve made about four Orioles-related guest spots already this season.

But when the producer asked me if I’d be interested in talking some Ravens football, I was admittedly caught off guard. “It’s still baseball season” I thought. Just one night later I received a call from another producer on the channel, also asking me to make an appearance to discuss the Purple & Black.

So on both Friday & Saturday night of this past weekend I found myself talking Ravens football across the country on SXM. It was perhaps the single greatest reminder that in Charm City, a “June Swoon” is a great reminder that Training Camp isn’t particularly far away.

As the 2011 football season ended, there were two main narratives surrounding the defending AFC North Champs. One was surrounding the pending free agency of RB Ray Rice. The other surrounded the future of QB Joe Flacco, who was set to enter the final year of his rookie contract. The Ravens’ season ended 132 days ago in Foxborough (at least as of the time I wrote this) and yet seemingly little progress has been made regarding either situation.

It leads to the question (at least for me), “what’s taking so long to get this stuff done?”

ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio said in a recent appearance on “The Reality Check” (an excellent afternoon radio program on AM1570 WNST.net) that Rice’s agent Todd France was dead set on getting a deal similar to contracts given to Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (seven years, $100 million with $36 million guaranteed) or Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson (four years, $53 million with $30 million guaranteed). The Ravens are believed to be more interested in a deal similar to those recently given to Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (five years, $45 million with $20.76 million guaranteed) or Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (five years, $43.5 million with $20.75 guaranteed).

On top of that, a source with knowledge of talks revealed to me in recent weeks the Rice camp has a desire to see the running back’s deal exceed the overall value of Flacco’s.

A Carroll County Times report this weekend indicated the Ravens “aren’t anywhere close” to getting a deal done with Flacco. Flacco’s negotiating ability has been limited by the fact that contracts signed by quarterbacks not named Peyton Manning this offseason have been less than overwhelming financially. Manning landed a five year, $96 million deal, but if he’s healthy the Denver Broncos believe him capable of being Peyton Manning. The highlights of other QB contracts this offseason have been San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith (three years, worth up to $33 million with with $16.5 million guaranteed) and Seattle Seahawks QB Matt Flynn (three years, $26 million with $10 million guaranteed).

Neither deal is helpful to Flacco’s agent Joe Linta, although despite all of the goofy conversation nationally about Flacco’s standing against other National Football League quarterbacks, there simply could not be any argument either of those two quarterbacks have accomplished as much as Flacco. Humorously, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo’s deal is up a season after Flacco’s. There had been rumors the Chicago Bears were interested in getting a new deal done with QB Jay Cutler, a decision that could have been helpful in figuring out the parameters of a Flacco contract.

Remember when I asked “what’s taking so long to get this stuff done?” Yeah, I’m aware that I’ve essentially answered my own question.

In both of my chats on SiriusXM this weekend I was asked what expected would ultimately happen with these situations. It was remarkably difficult to answer.

(Continued on Page 2)

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Shingler named to Towson hoops staff

Posted on 01 June 2012 by WNST Staff

BRUCE SHINGLER NAMED ASSISTANT MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH AT TOWSON UNIVERSITY
Shingler Joins Tiger Coaching Staff From Morgan State

TOWSON, Md. – Towson University men’s basketball coach Pat Skerry has announced the hiring of Bruce Shingler as an assistant coach for the Tigers. He replaces Kenny Johnson who was recently named assistant coach at Indiana University.

Shingler, who served as an AAU head coach of the DC Assault 17-and-Under team, spent last season as an assistant coach on the Morgan State University staff.

“I’ve gotten to know Bruce the last few years and we’re excited to get him here on our staff,” said Skerry. “He’s young, a great communicator and extremely energetic. He provides us with a really strong recruiting presence in the Maryland, DC and northern Virginia areas. We’re excited to have him on board.”

Prior to his year at Morgan State, Shingler was the head coach at Bladensburg (Md.) High School. While at Bladensburg, he led the Mustangs to an 18-5 record and a No. 12 ranking in the Washington Post final poll.

With DC Assault, Shingler coached several prominent players, including McDonald’s All-Americans Michael Beasley (Kansas State/Minnesota Timberwolves), Wally Judge (Rutgers), Quinn Cook (Duke) and approximately 40 other Division I players.

Prior to his years at the AAU and high school levels, Shingler spent a season as an administrative assistant at Kansas State University under Coach Frank Martin.

“Bruce is one of the bright young stars in this business,” said Martin. “He is a former high school teacher and coach who has a tremendous rapport with kids.”

Shingler was a four-year starter and Academic All-American point guard at St. Augustine’s College from 2001-to-2005. He averaged six points and more than seven assists per game. Shingler earned his Bachelors of Science Degree in Communications in 2005.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 28 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Antonio Tarver vs. Lateef Kayode (Saturday 9pm from Carson, CA live on Showtime), Gabriel Rosado vs. Joel Julio (Friday 9pm from Bethlehem, PA live on NBC Sports Network); WNBA: Minnesota Lynx @ Washington Mystics (Wednesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Pro Lacrosse: MLL Chesapeake Bayhawks @ Denver Outlaws (Saturday 9pm from Denver live on ESPN3.com)

10. Zac Brown Band (Thursday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Capital Jazz Fest feat. Indie.Arie, Bill Cosby (Friday-Sunday Merriweather Post Pavilion); Radiohead (Sunday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Miranda Lambert/Jerrod Niemann (Sunday 4pm Jiffy Lube Live);  City and Colour (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live); Smile Empty Soul (Saturday 5pm Recher Theatre); Crossfade (Monday 7pm Baltimore Soundstage); Dandy Warhols (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club); The Used (Wednesday 7:30pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Victor Wooten (Thursday 8pm Howard Theatre); Dr. John (Friday 7:30pm Birchmere); Rhett Miller (Monday 8pm Jammin Java)

I’d watch ZBB do just about anything, but this was as good as anything I’ve seen them do…

My favorite tune from Thom Yorke and the boys?

For more traditional country folk, I sorta dig this Jerrod Niemann tune…

I wish I didn’t have to admit to digging this tune…

9. Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival (Saturday & Sunday 12pm Oregon Ridge); Guy Torry (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Corey Holcomb (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); “Man on a Ledge” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Glenn Clark’s first ever “Hogfest” (Saturday)

That’s right. For the first time in my (still?) young life, I will be roasting a pig Saturday. It’s all thanks in part to ABC Rental Store in Rosedale. A talented young man I listen to on the radio is always talking to me about them. I think his show is called “The Reality Check.” I PRAY my results make me as happy as George W. Bush…

Also, I will be hosting a qualifier for the Olympic KanJam team Saturday (more on Twitter @OlympicKanJam). I expect the day to look much like this…

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Foxworth says NFL had conspiracy against players

Posted on 23 May 2012 by WNST Staff

NFL PLAYERS FILE COLLUSION COMPLAINT AGAINST NFL, TEAM OWNERS

Washington, D.C. – The Class Counsel under the Reggie White settlement agreement and the NFL Players Association today filed a complaint, on behalf of the NFL players, charging the NFL, its clubs and their owners of collusion during the 2010 NFL season. The complaint details a conspiracy to violate the anti-collusion and anti-circumvention provisions in the White Settlement Agreement (SSA) by “imposing a secret $123 million per-Club salary cap for that uncapped 2010 season.”

The written claim is filed with the United States District Court of Minnesota, which oversees the SSA and alleges that the league and owners acted illegally and “solely by self-interest, unconstrained by their clear and unambiguous SSA obligations.”

“When the rules are broken in a way that hurts the game, we have an obligation to act. We cannot standby when we now know that the owners conspired to collude,” said DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA Executive Director.

“Our union recently learned that there was a secret salary cap agreement in an uncapped year. The complaint today is our effort to fulfill our duty to every NFL player. They deserve to know, above all, the facts and the truth about this conspiracy,” said Domonique Foxworth, NFLPA President.

The complaint cites John Mara, owner of the New York Giants, who also serves as the Chair of the NFL Management Council Executive Committee, as publicly confirming that the NFL directed teams to restrict players’ salaries during the uncapped year. When asked about imposed penalties for the Redskins and Cowboys, he replied: “What they did was in violation of the spirit of the salary cap. They attempted to take advantage of a one-year loophole … full well knowing there would be consequences.”

Such a scheme breaches express anti-collusion and anti-circumvention provisions of the SSA and the owners’ duty of good faith in implementing the SSA.

In the filing, it is alleged that the NFL and owners furthered their concealment by “approving the very player contracts that enabled the Redskins, Cowboys, Raiders, and Saints to exceed the secret, collusive salary cap” and, prior to and on March 11, 2012, failed to disclose to the players or the NFLPA “that the true reason for the then-proposed reallocation was to penalize the Redskins, Cowboys, Raiders, and Saints for not fully abiding by the Collusive Agreement.”

Also as described in the complaint, these collusion and other claims are entirely new and were previously unknown to the players and the NFLPA. They therefore were not asserted, and could not have been asserted, in the previous actions that were filed in either Brady. v. NFL or under the SSA in the White litigation.

The players and the NFLPA will be represented in these proceedings by Jeffrey Kessler, David Feher and David Greenspan of Winston & Strawn, LLP; James Quinn of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP; David Barrett, James Barrett, Daniel Schecter, Thomas Heiden and Michael Nelson of Latham & Watkins, LLP; Barbara Berens of Berens & Miller, P.A.; Mark Jacobson of Lindquist & Vennum, PLLP and DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFLPA.

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Maryland to visit Northwestern in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Posted on 14 May 2012 by WNST Staff

The 14th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods on Nov. 27-28 will be highlighted by North Carolina at Indiana, Ohio State at Duke and North Carolina State at Michigan, six programs expected to be highly ranked entering the 2012-13 season. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise all 12 games of the two-day event matching top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioners Cup.

All 12 games will also be available via WatchESPN, which delivers live access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 on PCs, smartphones and tablets to fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks or Verizon FiOS TV.

The 2012 Challenge involves nine teams ranked in an ESPN.com early preseason top 25, including five of the top nine: No. 1 Indiana, No. 5 Michigan, No. 6 NC State, No. 8 Ohio State and No. 9 Michigan State.

The ACC won the first 10 Challenges while the Big Ten captured the Commissioner Cup for the third consecutive event, including an eight to four win advantage over the ACC last year. In the event of a 6-6 tie, the Commissioner’s Cup will remain with the conference that won the previous year. 2012 Challenge highlights:

  • Off a Ratings High: ESPN’s telecast of Ohio State’s 85-63 victory over Duke last year was the highest-rated and most-viewed Challenge game ever, averaging a 2.6 rating and 2,618,000 households. The telecast propelled ESPN to its most-viewed Challenge, averaging 1,555,000 households, based on a 1.6 rating.
  • One more Shot at the Dozen: Duke, which has won 11 of its 13 Challenge games, will host Ohio State in its quest for an event-record 12th victory. Duke lost to Ohio State last year and to Wisconsin in 2009.
  • First Challenge Matchups: Four of the telecasts will feature first-time Challenge matchups: Virginia at No. 22 Wisconsin, Maryland at Northwestern, No. 9 Michigan State at Miami and Georgia Tech at Illinois.
    • In addition to first-time Challenge games, several of the teams are infrequent opponents: Michigan State and Miami have never met; Northwestern and Maryland played one other time, a Northwestern victory in 1958; Virginia and Wisconsin split its two games, Virginia in 1975 and Wisconsin in 1999; and Illinois has defeated Georgia Tech in six of its seven games, including the last one in 2001.
  • Tourney Teams: Eleven teams between the two conferences played in the 2012 NCAA Tournament: Duke, Florida State, North Carolina, NC State and Virginia from the ACC, and Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin from the Big Ten.
  • Following a First with a Rematch: Boston College and Penn State and Nebraska and Wake Forest will follow first-time Challenge meetings with a second consecutive showdown in the event.
    • Boston College, which won its first five games, lost to Penn State last year, while Nebraska lost its Challenge debut to Wake Forest.
  • Threepeat: Five of the games will mark three-time Challenge matchups: North Carolina at Indiana (Indiana win in 2001 and North Carolina in 2004), NC State at Michigan (Michigan win in 2003 and NC State in 2006), Ohio State at Duke (Duke win in 2002 and Ohio State in 2011), Iowa at Virginia Tech (won by Virginia Tech in 2006 and 2009) and Purdue at Clemson (Purdue win in 2003 and Clemson in 2007).
  • Three and one more: Minnesota and Florida State will meet for the fourth time (Minnesota won in 2000 and Florida State in 2004 and 2007).

2012 ACC/Big Ten Challenge schedule (times and networks are to be determined):

Date Game
Tue, Nov 27 No. 13 North Carolina at No. 1 Indiana
  No. 6 NC State at No. 5 Michigan
  No. 25 Minnesota at Florida State
  Maryland at Northwestern
  Iowa at Virginia Tech
  Nebraska at Wake Forest
Wed, Nov 28 No. 8 Ohio State at No. 15 Duke
Virginia at No. 22 Wisconsin
No. 9 Michigan State at Miami
Purdue at Clemson
Georgia Tech at Illinois
Boston College at Penn State

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Angels’ Weaver no-hits Twins

Posted on 03 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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Strong Pro Day Helped Morgan TE Bryant Get to Baltimore

Posted on 29 April 2012 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, Md. - Morgan State tight Lamont Bryant has been selected by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent shortly after the conclusion of the three-day draft Saturday evening.

Bryant was the second of 12 undrafted free agent selections by the Ravens so far, joining North Carolina cornerback Charles Brown; Mississippi State offensive lineman James Carmon; Clemson fullback Chad Diehl; Georgia fullback Bruce Figgins; Slippery Rock wide receiver Devin Goda; UAB defensive tackle Elliott Henigan; Baylor defensive tackle Nick Jean-Baptiste; Tennessee fullback/linebacker Austin Johnson; Kent State defensive tackle Ishmaa’ily Kitchen; Alabama offensive lineman Alfred McCullough; and Western Kentucky running back Bobby Rainey.

The 6-5, 225-pound Bryant started 11 games in 2012 and ranked as the team’s leading receiver with 21 receptions (371 yards) and two TDs. He capped the season by being selected to the All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference First-Team.

Bryant’s stock rose on draft boards with a standout performance at the Morgan State Pro Day held in March. Bryant measured in at 6’5, 225, had an 80 1/4″ wingspan, ran the 40 in 4.45 and put up 19 reps on bench. He also registered a 10’3″ broad jump, a ridiculous 43″ vertical jump, and ran the short shuttle in 4.38.

In 2010, he recorded five catches for 55 yards (11.0 avg) in eight games. In ’09, he caught 18 passes for 251 yards (13.9-yard average) and two touchdowns on his way to first-team all-conference honors in 10 games.

The Newport News, Va., native was moved from quarterback to tight end in ’08 and saw action in five games on special teams, where he blocked two punts.

The last MSU tight end to enter the NFL was Visanthe Shiancoe who was drafted in the third round (91st overall) in the 2003 NFL Draft by the New York Giants and currently plays for the Minnesota Vikings.

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Perhaps Trade Good Business, But Ravens Need Good Players

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Perhaps Trade Good Business, But Ravens Need Good Players

Posted on 27 April 2012 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — I almost thought about just re-posting the column I wrote two years ago.

I DEFINITELY thought about writing nothing at all.

But after the Baltimore Ravens traded their first round pick in the NFL Draft to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for the Vikes’ 2nd and 4th round picks Thursday night, I had a few thoughts cross my mind.

After making the trade, General Manager Ozzie Newsome described the decision as “good business” for the Ravens. He might very well be correct. According to the famous Jimmy Johnson trade chart, the Ravens’ 29th overall pick was worth 640 points. The two picks acquired by the Ravens (35th and 98th overall) are worth a combined 658 points. Based on the chart alone, the trade really does appear to be “good business.”

Let’s drag this out a little bit though. The combined value of having the 129th-160th picks in the Draft (or ROUGHLY the entire 5th round) is 1,093.5 points. The 14th pick in the first round of the draft is 1,100 points. The value is almost exactly the same.

So with that in mind-which would you rather have? Would you rather have the 14th pick in the NFL Draft or the entire 5th round in the NFL Draft?

Don’t think about this TOO much. I don’t think there’s really a correct answer here.

The point I’m trying to drive home is that the acquisition of an additional pick or the breakdown of picks based on a numerical chart does not guarantee a selection in the draft is necessarily “good business.”

The last time the Ravens traded out of the first round was in 2010, when the team famously dealt the 25th overall pick in the first round of the Draft to the Denver Broncos for the 43rd, 70th and 114th overall picks in the Draft. The team would go on to select LB Sergio Kindle with the 43rd pick, TE Ed Dickson with the 70th and TE Dennis Pitta with the 114th. While Kindle has been almost a complete non-factor in the two seasons since the deal (and it is hard to imagine him becoming much more than that), Dickson and Pitta have established themselves as capable contributors at the pro level.

The player selected in the 25th spot was now New York Jets QB (and Special Teamer?) Tim Tebow. At first blush, the deal appears to have been “good business” indeed for the Baltimore Ravens.

But if we step back even a bit more, it’s worth identifying some of the players selected between the 25th and 43rd spot in the 2010 Draft. The list includes New England Patriots Pro Bowl CB Devin McCourty and TE Rob Gronkowski, as well as players like New Orleans Saints CB Patrick Robinson (4 interceptions in 2011), Miami Dolphins DL Jared Odrick (6 sacks in 2011), Detroit Lions RB Jahvid Best (over 1,000 yards from scrimmage and 6 combined TD’s in 2010 before an injury shortened 2011 campaign) and other promising young players.

The Ravens picked up Kindle, Dickson and Pitta but could have had Gronkowski.

This “which would you rather?” argument is nearly as compelling as the earlier one presented. In the spirit of full disclosure, the Ravens have said Gronkowski failed a physical before the 2010 Draft that took him off their board.

The 2010 deal could perhaps prove to ultimately be known as “good business” or it could ultimately be known as the year the Ravens missed on a chance to get one of the more dynamic players in the National Football League. Moreover, two of the players selected between the time the Ravens traded out of the 25th pick and ultimately selected with the 43rd pick in 2010 went on to help a Pats team eliminate the Ravens in the 2012 AFC Championship Game and prevent the Purple & Black from reaching their first Super Bowl in over a decade.

So while we’re quick to accept the idea that trading out of the first round with talented players still on the board like LB Courtney Upshaw, WR Stephen Hill, OL Peter Konz and OT Jonathan Martin was “good business” for the Ravens Thursday night, let’s tell the whole story and paint the entire picture. Trading out of the first round MIGHT have been good business for the Ravens.

It MIGHT be looked upon as the time the Ravens missed out on a future superstar like Vikings S Harrison Smith, San Francisco 49ers WR AJ Jenkins, New York Giants RB David Wilson or (perhaps) Indianapolis Colts LB Upshaw.

As the headline of this column suggested, the Baltimore Ravens may have pulled off “good business” by dealing out of the first round, but the more important need for the team is to acquire good players. If the Ravens acquire good players with the 35th and 98th picks this year, the deal will ultimately prove to truly be good business.

If the Ravens instead miss out on those picks, the deal will be known more as the year where a team looking to make the next step towards a Super Bowl title failed to acquire good players.

You’ll probably tell me I’m being negative. I’d like to think I’m just being realistic.

-G

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