Ravens Roost

April 25, 2010 9:32 AM

Ravens draft finds mixed emotions

2010 Draft.jpgIf you talk to people around Baltimore you'll find they are either ecstatic about the players the Ravens chose or they are shaking their heads in disbelief. It seems the Ravens can't please everyone but overall I believe they are a better team today then they were at the end of last season.

For the first time in their history the Ravens opted out of the 1st Round. At the last minute they made a deal with the Denver Broncos to trade away their 25th pick and added a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rounder. It seems the Broncos were desperate to sign Tim Tebow and gave up an awful lot to get him, much to the Ravens liking.

After sitting out the first night of the draft Ozzie Newsome and company were chomping at the bit on Day 2. They wasted no time selecting  Sergio Kindle, OLB Texas, who many teams shied away from due to numerous knee problems. The Ravens felt confident in Kindle's health after they sent a team of doctors to thoroughly examine his medical records. Kindle looks to be able to contribute right away and become a bookend to OLB/DE Terrell Suggs rushing the passer, an area the team struggled with much of last season.

Later in the 2nd Round the team looked to bolster their defensive line after the departure of Justin Bannan and Dwan Edwards to free agency. They choose perhaps the biggest defensive lineman in the draft, one Terrence (Mount) Cody.  Many teams saw him as a player who would have trouble keepeing his weight down but the ravens looked at how he slimmed down  from nearly 400 lbs. to keep his weight at around 350 for the past four months. Teaming him with Haloti Ngata will present an unmovable mass of human flesh that teams will find nearly impossible to penetrate.

With their newly acquired 3rd Round pick the Ravens chose to draft Ed Dickson, TE Oregon. Many draft analysts looked at Dickson as being the 3rd best tight end in the Draft. After enduring the non participation of tight end T.J. Smith last year the Ravens added a sure handed tight end who isn't afraid to go over the middle and can break tackles. He looks more like a big wide out with his acrobatic catches and solid route running. A definite "A" pick.

But the Ravens weren't finished bolstering their supply of tight ends as they added Dennis Pitta, TE Brigham Young with their very next pick. This was one that left many Raven fans shaking their heads. Why go after another tight end instead of a much needed cornerback? The answer is that Newsome didn't think any of those available were worth the pick, and he wasn't about to make a stretch for a player he thought was a hit or miss proposition. Pitta is nearly a clone of Dickson and the two of them will be a battle to watch in training camp this coming Summer. This also doesn't bode well for LB/TE Edgar Jones. The team would be stretching it by carrying 3three tight ends and certainly won't carry four. And, with the glut the team has at linebacker Jones looks to be the odd man out.

The 5th Round saw the Ravens add yet another weapon for up and coming quarterback Joe Flacco in the form of WR David Reed of Utah. Reed set single-season school records in 2009 with 81 catches for 1,188 yards his senior year. In Utah's spread offense, Reed ranked 15th in the nation in receiving yards per game which shows an enormous amount of upside.

Later in the 5th Round the team added more depth to their defensive line with the addition of Art Jones, DT out of Syracuse. Jones suffered a torn meniscus last year and a torn pectoral muscle that shortened his  season, but Raven officials seem to think that he is nearly back to full health and should be able to participate fully in the upcoming team workouts.

The Ravens finished out the 2010 Draft by adding OT Ramon Harewood, a 360 lb. behemoth that will be a project in the coming years. He has athletic ability but his technique needs a lot of improvement. It will be interesting to see how he develops.

So, there you have it, the newest additions to the Ravens flock of players. Many people will moan that the team didn't address cornerback, much as they moaned about not drafting a wide receiver last year, but Ozzie stood by his best player available philosophy and added solid depth to the Ravens organization. The team is almost certain to address the corner position sometime later this year but overall the team looks to have become a much stronger unit then they were a season ago.

Time will tell just how wise these picks were, but at the moment I wouldn't count any of them out. Rave on brothers and sisters!    

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