Let’s Meet our New Ravens, Shall We?
After a bit of a blogging vacation (blogcation?), I’m back and finally ready to look at how the Ravens’ 2010 draft went.
Round 2 (43 overall) – Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
After trading out of the first round (for the record, as I predicted they would do if Jermaine Gresham was not available, which he was not), the Ravens used their first pick at #43 to take Kindle, the LB from Texas. In their final Mock Drafts, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay of ESPN had kindle going at #22 and #13 overall, respectively. This was just days before the draft, and Kindle was considered by the “experts” to be a first round talent.
The issue that caused Sergio (I’ve heard some call him “Serge”) to fall down the board are questions about his knees. Some anticipate that he may need the kind of microfracture surgery that caused Kelly Gregg to miss the entire 2008 season, and need it sooner rather than later. However, Eric DeCosta, in his post-draft interviews around town, swore up and down that the Ravens’ doctors have no concerns about Kindle. According to Eric, team doctors failed about 15 players in this year’s class due to health concerns, but Kindle was not one of them.
Kindle represents HUGE value for the Ravens at #43, and one has to believe that they were ecstatic to pick him up on Friday. In the interest of getting ourselves a little ecstatic as well, let’s look at some Kindle highlights.
I’m excited about Kindle, but I have to think that the choice hints that the Ravens aren’t too confident in guys like Antwan Barnes and Paul Kruger (unless they’re totally convinced he can make the switch to DE) moving forward.
Round 2 (57 overall) – Terrence Cody, NT, Alabama
Hey, look – another pick, another semi-accurate prediction by yours truly (I said that there was as much chance of the Ravens taking Cody in the 2nd round as there was in the first, where Jamison Hensley had them taking him).
Also, another pick, another guy with some red flags. Unlike Kindle, whose health concerns stem from injuries, Cody’s stem from a perceived lack of motivation and inability to stay in shape. 2009′s Man-Boobs award winner Andre Smith passed the torch to Cody this year.
I don’t really subscribe to the “Ray Lewis will just yell at him” mentality that some Ravens fans seem to buy into, but Ozzie & Co. must have liked what they heard from Cody in interviews and believe they can keep him motivated and in shape.
I just hope he works out better than the last guy named Cody they drafted in the second round.
Round 3 (70 overall) – Ed Dickson, TE, Oregon
The first of two consecutive “potential heir to Todd Heap” selections, was Dickson, the former Duck. Much like Heap, Dickson’s strength coming out of college is stretching the field, and he will have to work on his blocking skills considerably at the next level. Along with the next selection, though, Dickson should help the team be much improved at the position compared to a year ago, when the worthless L.J. Smith was running around M&T Bank Stadium.
Round 4 (114 overall) – Dennis Pitta, TE, BYU
I’ll admit, that video above was the first I had seen of Pitta. I don’t know about you, but I like what I see. It should be exciting to watch these two rookies battle it out in the preseason; they may both end up on the active game day rosters, especially if they can contribute on special teams, as their respective size and (apparent) athleticism suggests they’ll be able to.
Round 5 (156 overall) – David Reed, WR, Utah
Something tells me Reed and Cody may not be begging to be roommates at McDaniel College this summer.
Reed could have a hard time cracking the roster unless he can shine on special teams, with at least Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason, Dante Stallworth, and Mark Clayton already entrenched on the depth chart. He might be able to unseat Demetrius Williams, however, as that guy has to be hanging on by a thread in B’More.
If Reed does make the roster, is Ed Reed’s jersey now going to read “E. Reed?” That might be annoying. Is there really room for another Mr. REEEEEEEED in purple and black?
Round 5 (157 overall) – Arthur Jones, DT, Syracuse
Jones may be Ozzie’s next late round gem, a la Adalius Thomas. He was graded as a 2nd-3rd round talent by many scouts. With the losses of Dwan Edwards and Justin Bannan, many had the Ravens’ defensive front as a sudden weakness just a few weeks into free agency. However, they have since signed Cory Redding, and with the drafts of Cody and Jones, combined with Kelly Gregg continuing to get stronger from his 2008 knee surgery, the Ravens may be even stronger at DT in 2010 than they were in 2009.
Round 6 (194 overall) – Ramon Harewood, OT/OG, Morehouse
Harewood is another giant, at 6’7″ 360 lbs. You can never have too many offensive lineman, but Harewood will have his work cut out for him to make the team. We wish him luck.
The Ravens have been getting high grades from around the sports-yap world for their draft. Of course, nobody can REALLY grade a draft for at least three years. The talent that they came away with is undeniable, but so are the question marks, especially on the top guys. If Kindle’s knees prove healthy and strong, and Cody’s work ethic is sound, the second round here could help solidify the defensive front for years to come. If one of Dickson or Pitta can step up and become a nice big downfield target for Joe Flacco, it could really help his development as a quarterback.
With the draft finally wrapped up, the rampant ridiculous speculation can come to a close for this year. Now we await reports from the spring minicamps, from which we hope to hear glaring reviews of this latest class of purple rookies.