Wednesday, November 08, 2006

RAVENS DRAFT TRACK RECORD OVERRATED?


The Ravens certainly have a lot to be proud of so far this 2006 season. They’ve weathered adversity and they are playing as a team. Brian Billick’s crowning achievement to date is certainly the 2000 season when he helped keep the team together despite 21 consecutive quarters without a touchdown and the negative affects of the Ray Lewis murder trial.

However if the 2006 season continues down a rosy path it will arguably be Billick’s finest moment even if they don’t win the Super Bowl. Stay tuned.

But what happens beyond 2006 is anyone’s guess. Adalius Thomas just might be the team’s MVP and this could be his last season as a Raven. Salary cap pressures might prevent him from returning. And while the Ravens will likely do all they can to keep him, if they let him hit the open market the market could price him out of the Ravens’ range. If Carolina jumped at the chance to sign Maake Kemoeatu (who by the way is behind his statistical pace from 2005) by offering him a $12 million signing bonus, what do you think AD might get?

Cha-ching!

If second round pick Dan Cody is to be the heir apparent to AD might it be wise to get him a little PT? How about at least activating him? I would think he is more important to the Ravens future than a spindly one-dimensional receiver like Clarence Moore. Anyone watch Moore on the kick return team on Sunday? He was about as tentative as a pimple-faced teenager attending a supermodel cocktail hour.

The truth be told, the Ravens have done a miserable job of finding playing time for several of their first day draft picks. Chris Chester (2006, Round 2, 56th Player Selected), David Pittman (Round 3, 87th Player Selected), Dan Cody (Round 2, 53rd Player Selected), Adam Terry (Round 2, 64th Player Selected), Dwan Edwards (Round 2, 51st Player Selected) and Devard Darling (2004, Round 3, 82nd Player Selected) have a TOTAL of 1 start among them.

ONE START!

I don't care whose fault it is that is an alarming number for the level of investment in these players.

Want more staggering numbers? These guys have collectively played in only 51 games and they have been inactive a total of 68 games.

If these guys aren't given the opportunity to step up and play it could cost the Ravens in the future and it will be an indictment against the coaching staff, the front office or both.

7 comments :

Anonymous said...

Ravens draft track record overrated??? I have a good mind to put on my Chris Barnes jesery and march right down there and give you a piece of my mind. ...Hmmm maybe I should make that my Ron Johnson jersey...or maybe my Aubrayo Franklin or Roderick Green?

Anonymous said...

I guess starting on special teams doesn't count? David Pittman has played splendidly so far this season there. Because of the play of Ronnie Prude (undrafted) Evan Oglesby (fa) Dawan Landry (a steal in the 5th) Pittman has not gotten a chance. His injury in camp did not help.

Edwards played a little this year so far, in the rotation with the other linemen. He has played some special teams too I do believe. Because of the play of Franklin (5th round)and the signing of Bannan (who has played better than most thought he would) Edwards has been supplanted at times.

Does every team hit on every drafted player?

ravensfan86 said...

Tony:

I agree with your assurtion and it bothers me the way our draft on the first day has lined up the last few drafts. We are going to pay a severe penalty because of it. Most likely starting next season, the Ravens will have a tough time competing because of these picks. Every team misses in the draft, but the difference between being 4-12 and 12-4 can be the quality and depth of first day drafted players.

It is somewhat of a mystery to me why Cody isn't getting PT because I think the Ravens will be very hard pressed to keep AD. He will be very expensive on the market and other teams (many connected to the Ravens in the past, will make big time offers to sign him. Cleveland anyone?)

Some say the reason Cody stays de-activated is he doesn't play special teams. This presents a problem for me. Why doesn't he play special teams? Justin Bannan who came over from the Bills and is productive in the DT rotation plays special teams. Why would we draft a guy who doesn't (want) to play special teams? And what is the reason? Too good for it or not trained? At any rate, Eric Decosta and Ozzie will have to answer for very poor 1st day picks the last 3 years. I am sure they will quickly point out that they have found sucess the 2nd day and UDFAR. But they usually are not expected (due to rookie signing bonuses) to come in and start.

A few exceptions:
Mark Clayton is turning into a solid #2 WR and Ngata is holding his own and is a major factor for the Ravens stout run defense. Teams are not gaining yards up the gut this season.

I would quantify your title there Tony: (2) Hall of Fame players drafted the same day, is extremely rare these days with parity in the NFL. I might add that Peter Boulware was a top pick and contributed to our superbowl defense.

Ed Reed might have potential for HOF player down the road if he can pick up where he left off 2 seasons ago. Heap is a top 3 TE. Jamal was a top 10 running back. But those picks date back (other then Ngata and Clayton)to pre-Kyle Boller and Opie (Phil Savage).

We may have to sign some FA's to make up for the lack of talent on the line

Anonymous said...

The Ravens draft record overall is still very good (especially considering success with undrafted free agents), but as you point out, their record in the 2nd and 3rd round the last few years is miserable, possibly the worst in the league. What's worse, they have traded away picks to move up to get guys like Terry and Darling. Chester and Pittman look like three year projects at best. A team needs its first day picks to be able to start or significantly contribute by their second year at the latest. Even more puzzling is that DeCosta has bragged that he had Musa Smith and Dan Cody rated as first round selections. That's not something he should be bragging about. Thanks for bringing up this topic. The media needs to challege DeCosta on this instead of fawning all over him during interviews.

Superboller1 said...

While our track record in the second and third rounds have not been glowing, to call our draft success overrated is so inaccurrate. Let us look at our success in the later rounds and amongst the undrafted free agents and our knack for finding gems such as Bart Scott, Priest Holmes, Ronnie Prude, BJ Sams, Adalius Thomas, and Chester Taylor to name a few. Additionally, over 78 percent of our drafted players are playing in the NFL since 1999.

It would be correct to state that we need more production and success from our second and third round picks, that has nothing to do with our overall drafting success which is amongst the best in football.

Tony Lombardi said...

Superboller1...I don't think the initial post on this blog topic claims the Ravens draft track record is overrated. It asks if it might be. And the success or lack thereof is evidence to at least suggest that the track record is overrated.

In my opinion something can be overrated but still be very good...just not as great as advertised.

Anonymous said...

doesn't anyone pay attention? how many games did ed hartwell, casey rabach, gary baxter, or chester taylor play early in their careers in baltimore. until a player gets a chance to play (think jason brown who is only playing because muli got hurt)it's irresponsible to say they can or cannot play. if flynn didn't get hurt in '04, rabach never plays...if ray doesn't get hurt in '05, bart scott never plays. i don't think we should assume that a player who isn't playing isn't talented. it just means that the coach is content to play the veteran in front. can we really expect cody to play when he's behind suggs and AD on the depth chart at both spots? you are talking about two pro bowlers. the ravens, according to ron wolf, have the most depth of any team in the NFL. I heard him say this on the radio. also, the ravens (according to stats compiled by the titans pr staff) have over 75% of their drafted players since '99 currently playing in the league. the next closest team is at 60%.