Saturday, April 30, 2011

What to expect from the Ravens on Day 3 of 2011 NFL Draft

Plus other draft day observations

I find myself going back and forth from ESPN’s draft coverage and NFL Network’s and here are some meandering thoughts:

· Chris Berman needs to give it up. He brings NOTHING to the table and just like the last few drafts, he seems poorly prepared.

· Mel Kiper, Jr. remains the ESPN star and his passion is contagious. That said I do enjoy Mike Mayock’s take as well as that of Charles Davis on NFL Network.

· Adam Shefter far outshines Chris Mortensen who like Berman has worn out his usefulness.

· ESPN has to be benefitting from NFL Network incessant replays of the Alyssa Milano and the Play 60 spots. I think it’s time for NFLN to hire some account execs to sell ads.

· Cam Newton has been well-coached and delivered smooth albeit canned answers during his pressers. It reminds me a bit of the end of Bull Durham when Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins) addresses media questions after being coached up by veteran Crash Davis (Kevin Costner). Newton is a poser and come September, he’ll be EXposed.

· As for the war rooms, first blush suggests that the Tampa Bay Bucs, Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints and the Washington Redskins have all outperformed many of their previous draft day efforts.

Today I expect the Ravens to get a pass rusher, a RB and a backup quarterback. The name of Christian Ballard has been mentioned quite a bit but word is he was a drug flunky at the NFL Combines. That said the Ravens are dialed in tightly with the Iowa staff and I’m sure they have a solid read on Ballard.

A running back will do two things for the Ravens: 1) provide a fresh look to spell Ray Rice and; 2) allow them to cut ties with Willis McGahee who is set to earn $6 million this coming season. The saved money can be used when free agency opens up to sure up areas of need not addressed in this draft.

As for backup QB, I’m thinking Greg McElroy from Ozzie Newsome’s alma mater the University of Alabama. McElroy is a smart quarterback who could be a long-time backup for Joe Flacco without really pushing for the starting position. Think Frank Reich to Jim Kelly during the Bills’ heyday.


donnaj said...

Well Tony you got the back up QB and RB, but not really a pass rusher. I don't get the 5th round picks at all - the DE they picked up isn't a pass rusher and why did they pick up another CB that isn't a great cover corner nor does he tackle well. I was hoping we would get Chris Carter OLB from Fresno, that the Steelers picked up two picks before us in the 6th. Not a big fan of the QB pick, either. Greg McElroy was still on the board and I see him like a Jason Garrett behind Troy AIkman kind of back-up. He's smart can read defenses and see the game well, plus his style would be similar enough to Flacco's if he did need to come in as a back-up. Taylor is a running QB and is short, not at all the same style as Joe which would mean you couldn't run the same offense if he had to come in as a back-up. Knowing how much Ozzie loves players from the SEC, with big game experience, not to mention an Alabama player, that move surprised me. This was the first year that the Ravens didn't get at least one of my "draft crushes". This year I liked ANthony Castonzo, Greg Salas, Mike Pouncey, CHris Carter, Casey Matthews, Robert Sands, and Owen Marecic. Several times on Saturday, I thought there was better talent on the board when we picked. I was pleased with most of the picks but the 5th and 6th rounds seemed like Ozzie was napping - hopefully this isn't a reflection on DeCosta's draft style. We didn't get a C(for the future), ILB, OLB, or pass rushing DE in the draft yet we took a corner that I can't see how he is an improvement over Carr, Washington, Webb, or Wilson. If our number 1 and 2 CB's are Foxworth and newly drafted Jimmy SMith, drafting a guy that doesn't tackle well in Chykie Brown. I like the RB pick og Allen - he's a big Brandon Jacobs size RB and can really be a great trio with Ray Rice and Le'Ron McClain!

Tex said...

Carter was picked in the 5th round (not the sixth), two spots before the Ravens picked. McPhee had 33 sacks in JC according to website bio. And also, Chris Carr and Josh Wilson are both free-agents so banking on them is foolish.