Tag Archive | "NFL Draft"

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2015 Senior Bowl – Ravens guide

Posted on 24 January 2015 by Dennis Koulatsos

As I prepare to watch the 2015 Senior Bowl, here is a list of players – by position – that the Ravens scouting department has interviewed. It tips the Ravens hand in the direction the team is leaning towards in terms of needs:

  • RB – David Cobb – Minnesota
  • FB – Zach Zenner – South Dakota State
  • TE – Nick Boyle – Delaware
  • WR – Justin Hardy – East Carolina, Tyler Lockett – Kansas State, Devin Smith – Ohio State
  • G – Tre Jackson – Florida State, Laken Tomlinson – Duke, Jamil Douglas – Arizona State
  • DT – Grady Jarrett – Clemson
  • DE – Nate Orchard – Utah, Lorenzo Mauldin – Louisville,  Owamagbe Odighizuwa - UCLA, Henry Anderson – Stanford
  • ILB – Stephone Anthony – Clemson, Bryce Hager – Baylor
  • CB – Craig Mager – Texas State, Eric Rowe – Utah, JaCorey Shepherd – Kansas, Quinten Rollins – Miami (Ohio)

The Ravens like mature players. They gravitate towards team captains, as leadership is a trait that they value. They also love game film, and the Senior Bowl presents an opportunity to evaluate these players against their peers. Should be fun to watch, as there is no doubt that we will see a handful of these players in a Ravens uniform sometime between April 30 – May 2, at the conclusion of the 2015 NFL draft.

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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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Ravens Rookie RB Taliaferro excited to complement team’s backfield unit

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Ravens Rookie RB Taliaferro excited to complement team’s backfield unit

Posted on 13 May 2014 by WNST Audio

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NFL.com’s Rosenthal thinks LB Mosley is plug and play starter

Posted on 13 May 2014 by WNST Audio

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Prediction Machine’s Richner believes TE Gillmore might be best pick for Ravens

Posted on 13 May 2014 by WNST Audio

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Ravens Rookie S Brooks wants to make own legacy with organization

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Ravens Rookie S Brooks wants to make own legacy with organization

Posted on 13 May 2014 by WNST Audio

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Colorado State HC McElwain thinks Raven Gillmore is rare natural TE in NFL

Posted on 12 May 2014 by WNST Audio

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Ravens’ picks aren’t sexy, but they’re steady

Posted on 12 May 2014 by WNST Staff

It’s hard to be excited about another linebacker, more defensive lineman, and several blocking role-players on offense.

Then again, success isn’t always sexy.

Take the Dallas Cowboys for example—or the Oakland Raiders.  Sexy picks, potential “impact players,” and year-after-year, both franchises routinely sit on the couch in January.

A quick Google search of the term “Ravens 2014 Draft” will feature attempts subjecting the Ravens’ draft to a standard system of gradation.

It’s nonsense.

Grading the NFL Draft is as effective as drinking perfume because it smells like it would taste great.  It’s irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

Back in 1996, the Ravens received Cs and Ds for passing up Lawrence Phillips and opting for Johnathan Ogden.  The team was ridiculed for blowing its second first-round pick in that same draft on a linebacker who was deemed too small to be an impact player.

Looking back, nearly two decades later, it’s safe to say that both of those players turned out pretty well, alas voiding the premature  “expert grades.”

Earlier today, on The Happy Hours, Nestor talked at-length about this very topic.  Perhaps the most important point he made was that of drafting Joe Flacco.  Like he mentioned, when you land a Super Bowl, All-Pro-caliber quarterback in the first round, as a team, you’ve had a pretty good decade.

When you look for comparisons, since the Ravens drafted Joe Flacco in the first round of 2008, teams like the Browns have landed multiple quarterbacks to try and fill the void left by striking out on Brady Quinn in the first round, just one year prior to Flacco’s class.

Now, if you want to hammer teams like the Browns off-the-bat, it’s probably within the realm of possibility that you’ll turn out to be right—but that doesn’t mean you’re a NFL Draft expert—it means you’re smart enough to look at the writing on the wall.

The same can be said for Jacksonville, who reached up to grab quarterback Blake Bortles with the third overall selection.  I’ve seen the Jaguars subjected from Fs to As, based on whether or not pundits and pinheads believe Bortles is the next Big Ben, or another abysmal signal caller cut from the same cloth as Blaine Gabbert.

Looking back at the Ravens drafts over the last 10 years, it’s safe to say that there hasn’t been a year full of total misses.  Even the 2010 draft, as disappointing as it turned out to be, still landed Art Jones—who recently signed a Pro-Bowl caliber contract in Indy, and Dennis Pitta, an integral part of the Ravens’ Super Bowl run in 2012.

Perhaps the idea should be to grade teams in five year blocks.  It seems a lot more realistic and accurate.

Over the last five years, present draft excluded, the Ravens have landed arguably 13 starting-caliber players.  13 starters in five years isn’t a bad number—as it pans out to drafting two potential starters per draft.  Realistically any front office would take that in a heartbeat.

This year’s draft is really more of the same.  Quality talent with potential to play significant roles.  And, like I mentioned at the top, there’s nothing sexy about role-players.

Arguably, success and sexy might be mutually exclusive—and if that’s the case, I’ll take success every time.

If drafting more role-players and making boring, un-sexy picks is what it takes to continue to compete with the elite teams in the league, that’s perfectly OK.

Even though many fans might be jazzed up over their team’s sexy picks in May, it’s much more fun to be excited and jazzed up in January.

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Ravens.com’s Eisenberg says LB Mosley was top 10 player on team draft board

Posted on 12 May 2014 by WNST Audio

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Ravens add undrafted free agents, invite others to rookie minicamp

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Ravens add undrafted free agents, invite others to rookie minicamp

Posted on 12 May 2014 by WNST Staff

The Ravens completed their 2014 draft on Saturday, and moved to the next stage of the rookie talent management process Saturday night into Sunday, as the team signed and invited several NFL rookies to their Owings Mills facility to participate in their rookie minicamp.

Below is a list of players signed to rookie free agent deals, reported by the Baltimore Sun.

James Hurst, OT-UNC

Hurst, a 6’5, 295 OT, was coming off a broken leg suffered in the Belk Bowl at the end of December, was projected to be a top-to-mid-round pick before the injury. Missed both the Senior Bowl and the Combine due to the rehab from his injury.

Sammy Seamster, CB-Middle Tennessee St

Seamster had several visits in the NFL draft process, and the former track star runs a 4.44 40-yard dash.

Xavius Boyd, LB-Western Kentucky

The Ravens have had some success finding players from Western Kentucky-most notably RB Bobby Rainey-in the rookie free agent process. They hope that lighting strikes twice with Xavius Boyd, the reigning Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year who had over 100 tackles and 8.5 sacks in 2013.

A.J. Pataiali’i, DT-Utah State

Standing at 6’3, 307, this nose guard out of the Mountain West could continue to be another lineman the Ravens try and develop and stash on the practice squad.

Terrance Bullitt, LB-Texas Tech

 

Jace Davis, WR-Northern Colorado

Finished with 673 yards and five touchdowns for the Bears in his senior year.

Richie Leone, P-Houston

A Ray Guy Award semifinalist who excels at getting punts inside the 20-yard line. Averaged 43.1 yards a punt.

Parker Graham, OT-Oklahoma State

Played both left tackle and right guard for the Cowboys this season. Named both AP and Coaches Big-12. Stands at 6’7 315.

Brett Van Sloten, OT-Iowa

A right tackle for the Hawkeyes that only allowed 15 QB sacks in 2013.

Derrick Hopkins, DT-Virginia Tech

6’0, 311-lb defensive lineman played considerable action over his four years in Blacksburg (started 40 games). Finished 2013 with 54 tackles and five sacks.

Jake Sinkovec, Boston College H-Back

A solid blocker, played eight games at fullback for Boston College in 2013.

Jamie Meder, DT-Ashland (Ohio)

Played well enough for the NFLPA game to get a look…

Jeremy Butler, WR-Tennessee-Martin

Zach Orr, LB-North Texas

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