Thursday, August 06, 2009

Mark Clayton...last man standing from Ravens' 2005 draft class

And then there was one…

Adam Terry’s assignment to the injured reserve list has ended his 2009 season, his fifth as a Raven before it ever really started. His problematic knee puts an end to any hope of a competition for the starting right tackle position and it could also put an end to Terry’s career as a Raven, particularly if Oniel Cousins steps up and proves to be a capable reserve. Terry is not signed beyond the 2009 season.

The loss of Terry leaves only one player on the Ravens’ active roster selected during the 2005 NFL Draft. That player…Mark Clayton.

Clayton is also playing for his next contract and his toughness and determination; his level of inspired play will be on display this season and reveal something about Clayton. The consensus opinion is that Clayton given his level of production thus far is a bust as a first round selection.

But is that fair?

Is it fair to pin that on him after suffering through the Boller/Billick years? Is it fair to conclude that he was a disappointment in 2008 when he and other Ravens’ receivers often faced double coverage given the Ravens preference to hold in their backs and tight ends to support the pass protection?

Maybe…maybe not…

Clayton’s ability or inability to step up in 2009 will determine how he is viewed once and for all. And in retrospect, it will also determine how the 2005 draft class is viewed. Besides Clayton, that draft class included: Dan Cody (2nd), Adam Terry (3rd), Jason Brown (4th), Justin Green (5th), Derek Anderson (6th) and Mike Smith (7th).

Brown and Anderson are value picks given their performances but the rest clearly underachieved and consequently critics will argue that Ozzie Newsome and his front office did as well if Clayton fails to step up in 2009.

So far during this 2009 Training Camp, Clayton has done little to quiet his critics and now he’s on the shelf for two weeks with a hamstring injury and that could cost him his job given Demetrius Williams’ performance thus far.

There’s still one from that 2005 draft class but for how long?
Photo by Sabina Moran


Harryos29 said...

HARRY O 29 August 6th
...I love Mark Clayton. I met him personally, several times. What a great individual. But, he must produce on the field; to do that ; he must stay healthy.
...IMHO..this will be his last year as a RAVEN; Too many Hamstring injuries. Why can't the RAVENS draft a Wide Receiver with the Durability of a HEINZ WARD? Good question that I ponder all the time.
p.s I think OZZIE will have to go against his GUT and MAKE a BIG MOVE for W/R!!!

Harryos29 said...

Harry O 29 August 9th
Well Mark Clayton has just proven my point. Injuries happen: you have no control over them most times. for me..I tore my (LEFT Shoulder) Rotator cuff moving
furniture last month. Surgery on Sept 25th. But, I can still work the TV remote with my right hand.
...Mark Clayton cannot do a thing without TWO good Hamstring muscles.