Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Don't look now but Matt Ryan could be a Raven...

It is not beyond the scope of reason that Matt Ryan conveniently (or inconveniently depending upon your perspective)falls into the lap of Ozzie Newsome on April 26. It isn’t exactly Bill Parcells’ style to draft a QB that high in the draft (Miami has the No. 1 pick) so look for him to try and trade down and if not Parcells will go with what he believes to be the best athlete available. My money is on Chris Long.

At No. 2 the Rams have committed big dollars to Marc Bulger and they have other more pressing needs. The Falcons could pull the trigger but there seems to be an opinion circulating and growing in popularity in Atlanta that the Falcons could be 2008’s surprise team and they might emulate Phil Savage’s 2007 strategy which could point the Dirty Birds in the direction of Michigan OT Jake Long (while remembering Joe Thomas’ rookie success).

The Raiders certainly won’t take Ryan given the investment in Jamarcus Russell bringing us to No. 5 and the KC Chiefs. They could pull the Ryan card but one might wonder if Herm Edwards might soon feel some pressure and he may want to win sooner than later. Brodie Croyle is hardly a sure bet at QB for the Chiefs but Edwards might feel that he can pick from Flacco, Brohm or Henne with his high end second round pick.

That brings us to the Jets at No. 6 and the Patriots at No. 7. The Jets have Pennington and the developing Kellen Clemens while the Patriots have you-know-who and they have needs a corner and linebacker.

And then we have the Ravens nestled in at No. 8…

If Matt Ryan is there, he will be a Raven. You can count on it!

Should the Ravens pass on the Boston College slinger, just imagine all of the negative backlash directed towards Ozzie if Ryan goes on to have a solid NFL career, particularly in light of all the quarterback upheaval we’ve experienced here in the Land of Pleasant Living.

ODDS & ENDS: Ravens fans who think Steve Bisciotti’s prices are too high may find this tidbit a bit comforting. As you may already know, the Yankees are playing their final season in historic Yankee Stadium this season. Next year they move into the new Yankee Stadium where the team will charge between $500.00 and $2,500.00 for seats near home plate…Some thought that Trent Dilfer was finished. Some might have to think again because word from the Bay Area is that the former Raven will serve as a tutor of sorts to JeMarcus Russell in Oakland. Recently Dilfer spoke during Easter services in Northside Christian Church in Clovis, California and he informed the congregation that the Raiders are interested in his services. The gathering cheered. What a sight that must have been – all those Raiders’ uglies gathering in a place of worship. Talk about ironies…And finally, speaking of Easter, ever wonder why the day is so unpredictable from one year to the next? Well hopefully this will make the date of Easter a bit clearer for you. Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon that follows the spring (vernal) equinox. Got it? There are auxiliary rules that make March 22 the earliest possible date for Easter and April 25 the latest. By the way the equinox is the time when the sun crosses the earth's equator, making night and day of approximately equal length all over the earth.


Anonymous said...

Of course, if the Ravens draft Matt Ryan and he busts, the fans will rail on the FO just as hard. I bet this year the FO is working extra hard.

Anonymous said...

Shortly after the season concluded, you wrote a column indicating that the Ravens may have hurt themselves in the 2008 draft by beating the Steelers in the last regular season game. That may prove to be a very prophetic statement. Several draft experts see the top of the 2008 draft as essentially 6 outstanding players at the very top tier. The Ravens pick at #8. If they had lost to the Steelers, perhaps they would have been in line for one of those top 6 players. I guess time will tell.

My instincts tell me that Ryan will be grabbed before the Ravens pick. The Falcons ownership would love to have their fan base forget about Michael Vick. The Chiefs can't be seriously thinking that Brodie Croyle is their man, but they might wait until round 2 or later for a QB like many suspect that the Ravens will do as well.

I can't envision Ozzie doing anything but taking the highest rated player at #8, and in my opinion Matt Ryan isn't a top 8 player. I think they'll wait for a QB pick in round 2.

Anonymous said...

In Decosta, we trust!

Anonymous said...

Well...we certainly have serious questions with regard to our QB situation. Is Troy Smith the future QB? Is Ryan? Brohm? Flacco? Henne? Josh Johnson?

Who knows.

But one thing we DO know is that everything starts from the O-line. And while we're moving in the right direction, I don't think we're quite there yet. So for me, picking up Clady or Otah or Cherilus or Williams makes the most sense -- although arguably only Clady is actually "worth" a #8 pick.

Beyond that, we need a CB, DE, and maybe a QB if Troy Smith isn't going to be our future. Going down the list, if we could get Clady in the first, Cason/Flowers/Porter in the 2nd, and Josh Johnson in the third (assuming we get a third for AD), I'd be happy with the draft.

As it stands, we'll just have to wait and see what Ozzie & Co come up with. And what coach Harbaugh and his staff come up with with what we have and what we get via the draft.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that nobody seems to be the least bit concerned about the receiver position. ESPN recently posted its listing of the top 60 receivers in the NFL. Our guys rank 41 (Mason), 49 (Clayton), and 57 (D. Williams). Figurs isn't on the list. Arguably, our offense suffers considerably from the fact that we have no true downfield threat that the opposing defense needs to be concerned about.

Unless Demetrius Williams and / or Mark Clayton have breakout seasons, which is not an unreasonable expectation, should the Ravens be looking for a free agent receiver or possibly a draft choice? Is Yamon Figurs capable of being that deep threat?

Anonymous said...

We don't worry about what espn insider thinks about our receivers because that insider article was crap. Derrick Mason was panned for being a possession receiver that can't go deep. What in the world is wrong with a possession receiver, anyway? Especially one that was 4th in the NFL in receptions. Move the chains = score points. If we had only had some talent at QB, we would have scored points. He was also a 1,000 yard receiver, and his 10.6 yards per reception isn't bad. (Wes Welker has 10.5 yards per reception, and TJ Houshmazilly had 10.2. Derrick Mason even made a 79 yard play for a touchdown. With two young receivers that need time to develop in Mark Clayton, and Demetrius Williams, receiver can't be a top priority for us.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 9:11 AM:

Arguably, our offense has suffered considerably for nine years as the result of one of the worst X's/O's HC's ever to step onto a football field. Now that Billick is gone, I think we've got more than enough firepower to field a middle of the pack offense (rather than a bottom of the barrel one).

It all starts with the O-line, however. If any of our QBs (at least the ones who can throw the ball more than 12 yards) have time, they can work with Mason, Clayton, D-Will, Heap, Wilcox, Sypniewski, and even McGahee out of the backfield to at least move the chains and score some points. I sincerely hope that the days of just protecting the ball, eating up the clock, and jockeying back and forth to get into Stover's range are finally, mercifully, OVER. Cameron has experience working with similar personnel, and I look forward to some significant changes in the O-schemes and the O-line blocking schemes. It still blows my mind that Foerster reportedly never prepared for the upcoming opponent. He simply ran generic drills. And it looked like it.

D-Will has serious speed, Clayton had decent speed, and Mason runs very accurate routes (which can make up for pure sprint speed if/when he fakes out the defender).

But without pass pro, it wouldn't matter if we had Brady and Moss -- just like they were neutralized against the Giants in the SB. We were like that EVERY week. It's amazing we did as much as we did on offense. Most of that was largely due to McGahee. But this year, with Heap back, a bolstered up O-line that's had an opportunity to play together for a while, and a healthy Clayton, and hopefully some sanity at the QB spot (to me, that means either Boller or Smith -- preferably Smith), I think we'll be fine at WR. We simply have other spots that are a priority. At least as far as picking up a F/A. If we can get somebody in the draft in the later rounds, that'd be ok. But not before we address the other needs first. Just my 2 cents.