Tag Archive | "NFL Draft"

B&B Big Story Banter: All-Time Ravens Draft Team

Tags: , ,

B&B Big Story Banter: All-Time Ravens Draft Team

Posted on 02 May 2014 by Brett Dickinson

By: Brett Dickinson and Barry Kamen

As the NFL Draft is nearly upon us, we decided to take a look back at the history of the Ravens during this event.  Many believe general manager Ozzie Newsome to be one of the greatest draft manipulators in the history of the game.  But how good has he really been? The only stipulation for our picks was to only look at the players tenure while in Baltimore.  Barry took care of the offensive picks, while Brett handled the defensive side of things.

Take a look at our All-Time Baltimore Ravens Draft Team

LT: Jonathan Ogden (1996)- 1st round (4th overall)
 
LG: Ben Grubbs (2007)- 1 (29th)
 
C: Jeff Mitchell (1997)- 5 (134th)
 
RG: Marshal Yanda (2007)- 3 (86th)
 
RT: Michael Oher  (2009)- 1 (23th)
 
QB: Joe Flacco (2008)- 1 (18th)
 
RB: Jamal Lewis (2000)- 1 (5th)
 
FB: Le’Ron McClain (2007)- 4 (137th) 
 
TE: Todd Heap (2001)- 1 (31st) 
 
WR: Torrey Smith (2011)- 2 (58th) 
 
WR: Brandon Stokley (1999)- 4 (105th) 
 

BK: There were plenty of easy decisions when creating this offense. Jonathan Ogden was this biggest no-brainer of them all; the first pick in franchise history was an 11-time Pro Bowler who would get much more attention if it wasn’t for Ray Lewis.  As a whole, creating this offensive line was much easier than I expected. The Pro Bowl appearances for Ben Grubbs and Marshal Yanda made the guard position an easy decision, while the only real debate I had was deciding between Casey Rabach, Jason Brown, and Mitchell to play center. When push came to shove, for multiple positions. I went with the guy who won a Super Bowl.

Running back and wide receiver were the two positions that gave me the hardest time. I went with Jamal Lewis over Ray Rice, the position that has meant so much to this franchise since its inception. Lewis was a phenomenal power back that struck fear into divisional opponents, and he averaged 1,300 yards rushing in his six seasons in Baltimore. Some people will take Rice’s versatility over Lewis’ power, but Jamal never had a bad season with the Ravens. The same cannot be said for Mr. Rice. At wide receiver, I struggled with who would play opposite Torrey Smith. Wide receiver is the one position that the Ravens have constantly struggled with, so the talent pool was quite small. My theory on picking the Super Bowl winner prevailed, as Brandon Stokley earned the other spot, beating out the likes of Mark Clayton and Jermaine Lewis (known mainly for his return skills).

What strikes me about this offense is just how many first round picks there are. When I think of the “Wizard of Oz” never missing in the first round, my mind immediately think defense; Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Ed Reed…you get the idea. But my All-Time offense has six first round picks, three of those being offensive lineman. The genius of Ozzie Newsome, Phil Savage, and Eric DeCosta over the years has been finding great players, no matter where they draft. Whether it was Jamal Lewis 5th overall, or Todd Heap with the last pick in the first round, the Ravens have always found quality players early in the draft.

 Here is the All-Time Draft Defense, presented by Brett Dickinson:

DL: Dwan Edwards (2004)- 2nd round (51st overall)

DT: Haloti Ngata (2006)- 1 (12th)

DL: Arthur Jones (2010)- 5 (157th)

OLB: Peter Boulware (1997)- 1 (4th)

MLB: Ray Lewis (1996)- 1 (26th)

MLB: Jaimie Sharper (1997)- 2 (34th)

OLB: Terrell Suggs (2003)- 1 (10th)

CB: Chris McAlister (1999)- 1 (10th)

CB: Duane Starks (1998)- 1 (10th)

FS: Ed Reed (2002)- 1 (24th)

SS: Dawan Landry (2006)- 5 (146th)

BD: Though the Ravens seem to take a defensive lineman almost every year, they do not have the best track record. Besides selecting Haloti Ngata in the first round, no one else has made a Pro Bowl from that position. While on the other hand, they have obviously hit the mark taking linebackers, as this list includes four pro bowlers, two defensvie players of the year (Lewis, Suggs) and a future Hall of Famer in Lewis (along with being one of the best players in the history of the game).

The toughest decision was at the second cornerback slot, after Chris McAlister. Though Jimmy Smith or Lardarius Webb could surpass Starks in the future, his four straight seasons with at least 4 INTs is still best in franchise history. Add in making a crucial interception to essentially seal a Super Bowl victory and he was the obvious choice.

Overall the Ravens have dominated the first round, when it comes to selecting defensive talent, but surprisingly have not done much else beyond that. Selecting two players in Lewis and Reed (that could be the greatest at their position), late in the first round, certainly makes Ozzie look better than what his track record would lead you to believe.

Comments (1)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

NFL Draft: Who will the Ravens take 17th overall?

Posted on 02 May 2014 by johngallo

In less than a week, we’ll know.

We’ll know who’s the Ravens’ first pick in the draft, a player who history says should be Pro Bowl-level good.

Of the Ravens’ 18 all-time first-round picks, 10 have gone on to make at least one Pro Bowl. The 10 players have been selected to 51 Pro Bowls as a group, led by Ray Lewis’ 13 and Jonathan Ogden’s 11.

But recent history paints another picture: The Ravens’ past four first-round picks – safety Matt Elam (2013), cornerback Jimmy Smith (2011), tackle Michael Oher (2009) and quarterback Joe Flacco (2008) – have yet to make a Pro Bowl. Flacco, however, is a Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, which in my book – or whatever one you are reading – is more valuable than making a Pro Bowl.

The Ravens are picking at No. 17, which represents their highest pick since taking Flacco at No. 18 in 2008 – and all he did was turn into a $100 million dollar man with a Super Bowl ring.

The Ravens, clearly, have needs after going 8-8 and missing the playoffs for the first time in the John Harbaugh Era. But this year, the Ravens’ needs are much more glaring.

The media’s projection regarding who will be the next Raven is all over the place. While some agree on the position, they don’t agree on the player. How many different names have you seen linked to the Ravens at No. 17?

Harbaugh basically said the Ravens want to add a good person at every position. Really, like what was he going to say – that the Ravens were looking to enter training camp with gaping holes and a roster that includes mediocre draft picks?

“It’s important to add a running back, but we’ve got some other spots, too. It’s important to add an offensive lineman, a wide receiver, a tight end and some depth at quarterback. It’s important to add a safety, a corner, inside backer and a defensive tackle,” Harbaugh said at pre-draft press conference. “So, that’s where I’m at right now.”

Which is where, exactly?

Harbaugh and the Ravens have a list of guys they’re targeting, but they are not sharing.

I am.

Here are three guys I’d love to see don a Ravens cap after hugging Commissioner Roger Goodell in New York City on May 8.

No. 1: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Height/weight: 6-foot-7, 309 pounds

What he did at the NFL Combine: Raise his draft stock considerably. His.4.87 time in the 40-yard dash, 30.5-inch vertical jump. 117-inch broad jump and 7.39-second three-cone drill all ranked in the top four among offensive linemen. He proved at the combine – and as a four-year starter at the University of Michigan – he has the speed to play in the NFL. However, his 39 reps of lifting 225 pounds tied for 11th with Notre Dame’s Zack Martin, well behind the 42 reps put up by North Carolina’s Russell Bodine. But it’s easier to improve a players’ strength compared to speed.

Why he’s a great fit for the Ravens: Quickly: If the season started tomorrow, who would start at right tackle? Raise your hand if you had Ricky Wagner, a fifth-round pick who played in all 16 games with two starts as a rookie last year. Upgrading an offensive line that was terrible in protecting Flacco and just as bad in creating holes for Ray Rice is critical if the Ravens are going to return to the playoffs. The Ravens have been superb at picking offensive linemen in the first round. Ogden (1996) played in 11 Pro Bowls and was enshrined in the Hall of Fame, while Ben Grubbs (2007) made one. The odd man out: Oher, who never lived up to his lofty expectations and signed with the Titans during the offseason.

No. 2: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

Measurements: 5-11, 199

What he did at the NFL Combine: Enough to justify being a first-round pick. His 4.51 in the 40-yard dash tied for 13th in his position, well behind the 4.37 put up by Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert, who is regarded as the draft’s best defensive back. But Dennard’s best work was on the field, where he was an All-American and Jim Thorpe (nations best DB) winner at Michigan State who took away the receiver he covered.

Why he’s a great fit for the Ravens: The loss of Corey Graham creates a void in the secondary, as the Ravens need to address safety and defensive back. Dennard’s physical ability and toughness make him too good to pass up if he slides to the Ravens. With Dennard, the question could be, is he the next Chris McAlister, a three-time Pro Bowler the Ravens took in 1999, or the next Jimmy Smith?

No. 3: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

Measurements: 5-11, 207

What he did at the NFL Combine: Show he’s one of the strongest safeties in the draft, which makes him attractive to the Ravens since they need a complement to the speedy Matt Elam. Pryor’s 18 reps of 225 pounds tied for fourth at his position, well behind Brock Vereen’s 25, but Pryor is faster than Vereen. Pryor’s 4.58 in the 40-yard dash tied for eighth among safeties, well behind Florida State’s Terrence Brooks, who ran a blistering, 4.42.

Why he’s a great fit for the Ravens: Because the Ravens need someone to fill the huge shoes of future Hall of Famer Ed Reed, a former defensive player of the year and eight-time Pro Bowler. Reed was an absolute steal when the Ravens selected him 24th overall in 2002. Pryor could immediately replace James Ihedigbo, who signed with Detroit during the offseason.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

They Might Be Ravens: A Look at the 2014 Draft

Posted on 01 May 2014 by Tony Wisniewski

Draft prognostication could easily re-brand itself as mental masturbation.

Todd McShay, Mel Kiper, Walt Cherepinsky, and anyone else regarded as an “expert” on who might choose who in next week’s NFL Draft, is merely taking a wild guess.

Things change.  Deals evolve.  GMs get pick-happy.  No one really knows what’s going to unfold in next Thursday’s first round, let alone the next six rounds that will carry on through the weekend.

Considering the track record of GM Ozzie Newsome, as well as today’s new that he openly stated the team is already fielding calls and offers to trade out of its first round spot, it’s nearly impossible to predict–with any degree of accuracy–who the Baltimore Ravens will select.

Instead of predicting via traditional mock-draft style, in this series, we’ll do a deep-dive into some of the potential early-round picks and their likelihood of donning a purple jersey this fall.

The following players, in one way or another, have the best shot at being the Ravens’ first draft pick–whether that pick comes at 17 or doesn’t happen until the second-round, these are the players that it’s safe to assume the Ravens have the most interest in–partly due to position, mostly due to talent on the board.

In the coming week, this series will highlight each of these players individually.

Taylor Lewan, Offensive Tackle, Michigan:  Will likely be long-gone by pick 17–unless his off-the-field issues turn out to be more troublesome than originally thought.

Zach Martin, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame:  Originally thought as a mid-first-rounder, it’s looking more likely that he will be closer to the first-half of the first-round.

Morgan Moses, Offensive Tackle, Virginia:  Depending on who you talk to and who you read, Moses is a fringe-first-rounder with a lot of upside.  The only issue is that he is a true left tackle–where the Ravens need a right.

Cyrus Kouandijo, Offensive Tackle, Alabama: Even though he has tremendous size (6-6, 322) he’s been labeled as un-athletic and slow–also has a history of knee issues.

JaWuan James, Offensive Tackle, Tennessee:  A smart, high-character player, he lacks footwork and polish.

Eric Ebron, Tight End, North Carolina:  A true playmaker and matchup nightmare, there’s little chance he’ll be available after pick 12.

Troy Niklas, Tight End, Notre Dame:  Not a first-rounder, he could be a player the Ravens consider if they do trade out of the first round and pick up a second, second-round pick.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Safety, Alabama:  Originally thought to be one of the Ravens’ favorites, he’s crept much further up the board, perhaps into the top-10.

Calvin Pryor, Safety, Louisville:  It’s possible he’ll be available at pick-17, the only problem is that he’ll be there because other teams are shying away from him due to his inability to make big defensive plays.

Darqueze Dennard, Cornerback, Michigan State:  One of the most talented corners in the draft, it’s likely he won’t fall as far as 17, but if he does, don’t be surprised if the Ravens don’t take a hard look.

Bradley Roby, Cornerback, Ohio State:  It’s unlikely the Ravens would take him at 17, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Kyle Fuller, Cornerback, Virginia Tech:  See comment on Roby.

Justin Gilbert, Cornerback, Oklahoma State:  A fringe-first rounder, he’s more likely a candidate to be taken in the second-round, should be be there when the Ravens hit the clock.

Brandin Cooks, Wide Receiver, Oregon State:  An absolute burner, the Ravens will certainly kick the tires if players like Lewan and Clinton-Dix are off-the-board.

Cody Latimer, Wide Receiver, Indiana:  It’s possible, barring a trade out of the first round, armed with two second-round picks, the Ravens would take a flier on this boom-or-bust pick.

Carlos Hyde, Running Back, Ohio State:  Probably not really on the Ravens’ radar, but he’s the number-one back in the draft–a true position of need.

Terrance West, Running Back, Towson:  The local product could very well be a second-round target for his hometown team.

CJ Mosely, Linebacker, Alabama: Considering Newsome’s affinity for his alma mater, this isn’t too much of a stretch.

Anthony Barr, Linebacker, UCLA:  This could be a dark horse pick, as Barr is a pass-rushing specialist with a ton of upside–he could be the “best player on the board” by the time the Ravens pick at 17.

Stay tuned for individual analysis–”MM”–on each of these players.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (0)

In Ozzie we Trust, in #WNSTSweet16 we recognize no one is perfect

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

In Ozzie we Trust, in #WNSTSweet16 we recognize no one is perfect

Posted on 29 April 2014 by Glenn Clark

The list belongs to me this week. Not all of our lists are going to be pleasant. Some are going to be like this one. Here’s the list preview if you missed it.

Our list this week is the #WNSTSweet16 worst Draft picks in Baltimore Ravens history. Here’s what I’ve got. It’s brought to you by Jerry’s Automotive (Jerry’s Chevrolet and Jerry’s Toyota Scion).

16. Michael Oher

I had a bunch of folks suggest I include him. I really didn’t want to but ultimately decided I could justify it. The 23rd pick overall in 2009 has had a much more legitimate career already than most of the others on this list and was a starter for a Super Bowl championship team. But the Ravens traded up in ’09 to find their left tackle of the future and Oher was just never that guy. The former Ole Miss standout will have further opportunity to justify being worthy of his spot as his career continues in Tennessee, but with the door closed in Baltimore his career just did not make him worthy of the pick.

(Continued on next page…)

Comments (2)

Tags: , ,

Former NM State WR Franklin says he can digest playbook quickly

Posted on 28 April 2014 by WNST Audio

Comments (0)

Tags:

Rotoworld’s Norris believes NIU safety Ward best fit for Ravens at value and need

Posted on 26 April 2014 by WNST Audio

Comments (0)

Tags: , ,

Rotoworld’s Norris thinks defensive line may be early focus of Ravens in draft

Posted on 12 April 2014 by WNST Audio

Comments (0)

Tags: , ,

Indiana WR Latimer says he must prove on field he’s different than recent busts

Posted on 29 March 2014 by WNST Audio

Comments (0)

Tags: , ,

Rotoworld’s Norris says Zuttah worth 5th round trade value for Ravens

Posted on 26 March 2014 by WNST Audio

Comments (0)

B&B Rapid Fire: Lewan, Vick, Schaub, Jackson & More

Tags: , , ,

B&B Rapid Fire: Lewan, Vick, Schaub, Jackson & More

Posted on 25 March 2014 by Brett Dickinson

By: Brett Dickinson & Barry Kamen

Each week on the Brett & Barry Show (Saturdays 9am-12pm), we gather each others’ analysis on the biggest local and national stories and headlines of the week for a couple of minutes a piece in a segment we call Rapid Fire.  We post our responses in blog form every week to a visual version, with links to our segment in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.

LISTEN TO THE AUDIO SEGMENT HERE!

Brett 1: After an arrest in the middle of December, former Michigan offensive tackle and NFL draft prospect, Taylor Lewan, is facing three assault charges just months before the draft.  With the Ravens arrest total rising this off season, along with the controversy over Richie Incognito and the Miami Dolphins last season, should Ozzie Newsome consider drafting the guy with such a checkered past?

The Ravens organization has not been afraid of taking a chance on players with legal issues, as Ray Lewis, Jamal Lewis, Donte Stallworth, and Rolando McClain all come to mind. Taylor Lewan’s overall talent and willingness to discuss the incident with NFL teams, makes him worth the risk. Lewan is a top 10 talent, and if he were to fall to the Ravens at pick 17, it is a no-brainer. Plug Lewan in at right tackle, and the Ravens will have turned last year’s biggest weakness into a strength.

Devin HesterBarry 1: Week 2 of NFL free agency is officially in the books, with the second tier of available players signing on with their new teams. Is there one move from last week that stands out as significant, whether good or bad?

BD: I thought the that a couple teams have made nice under the radar moves as of late.  Though it may not be for huge contracts, the Atlanta Falcons adding return specialist Devin Hester and offensive guard Jon Asamoah, were great additions.  Hester is still the best return man in the game, even though he may not have many touchdowns, he will put the offense in good starting field position consistently.  Asamoah just made sense as an upgrade for their line that desperately needed.

Other moves I like include: WR James Jones to the Oakland Raiders, CB Walter Thurmond to the New York Giants and CB Antonio Cromartie to the Arizona Cardinals.

Mike Vick JetsBrett 2: Speaking of free agency, probably the “biggest named” quarterback, Michael Vick, left the Philadelphia Eagles to sign on with Rex Ryan and the New York Jets.  The much maligned signal caller has struggled the past couple seasons, before eventually losing his starting job to Nick Foles.  He now is trying to supplant Geno Smith as the starter for “Gang Green.”  Do you think this was the best fit for Vick and the Jets?

The Michael Vick signing is extremely confusing to me. As mentioned, the Jets spent a high 2nd round pick on Geno Smith, and despite his struggles and multiple injuries to the wide receiver position, finished 8-8. Signing Vick makes it clear that the Jets do not have full faith in Smith as their franchise quarterback, yet Vick cannot be relied on to be healthy for an entire season. The Jets love to make headlines with their  quarterback signings (Brett Favre, Tim Tebow, Vick), but I think the signing will be regrettable. The Jets need continuity, not publicity, at the quarterback position.

Matt Schaub RaidersBarry 2: Matt Schaub was another quarterback on the move, as the Houston Texans traded him to the Oakland Raiders for a late round pick.  For most of his career, he was pretty successful, until last year’s debacle of a season for the entire team. Can the Schaub trade enough to bring the Raiders back to relevance?

BD: This move is not about putting the Raiders over the top and back into contention. It was more about finding a veteran to hold down the position, so that Oakland is not forced to reach on one of the first round quarterback prospects.  Schaub has been decent for most of his career and now the team can focus on putting talent around that position, before bringing in a franchise player via the draft within the next couple seasons. Does Schaub make this team better? YES. But he is still probably the worst quarterback in a division that includes: Peyton Manning, Phillip Rivers and Alex Smith.

Phil Jackson KnicksBrett 3: The New York Knicks have officially brought in former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers head coach, Phil Jackson, as their President of Basketball Operations.  Do you think this marriage will end with Jackson taking the Knicks back to the promised land with a NBA championship?

Phil Jackson’s triumphant return will make the New York Knicks a much better franchise because of the respect he has earned from his years as a coach. While the Knicks have very few pieces to build around, Jackson has stood by F Carmelo Anthony, providing the star player with much-needed confidence and stability.

I do not think that the Knicks will win a championship with Jackson as president. The Pacers and the Heat are set up to be the class of the Eastern conference for the foreseeable future, and the only way to intrigue free agents will be for Jackson to return to the sidelines and coach. With all signs pointing to Steve Kerr becoming the Knicks coach, the team will be much improved, but Carmelo Anthony’s style of play will have to change if he ever wants to add a ring to his resume.

Steve FischerBarry 3: After the first round match up in the NCAA Tournament, where San Diego State defeated New Mexico State in overtime after midnight, the losing NMSU was forced immediately on a plane to go home. SDSU head coach Steve Fischer had some poignant comments about the situation, saying the NCAA was “disgraceful” by their actions (Watch the post game interview HERE).  Do you agree with Fischer that NMSU should have been the opportunity to stay the night after such hard fought late night game?

BD: I could not agree with Fischer more, as I think it was bush-league to shovel off a losing team so late in the night.  We are not talking about them finishing in the middle of the day; it was the middle of the night.  Those kids just laid everything out on the court, not only for themselves, but benefiting the TV ratings for the NCAA! They deserved better and I am not surprised they did not get it from such a narrowed-minded organization. If I had any money to bet, I would put the bank on the fact that the NCAA changes this scenario as soon as next year.

Comments (0)