Sunday, April 25, 2010
2010 NFL Draft Recap
The Baltimore Ravens did it again. This time without a first round pick in hand.
Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta, and the rest of the Ravens brain-trust used the three extra draft picks to acquire premium talent in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. The Broncos just had to trade three picks to acquire Tim "Jesus" Tebow. All the Mighty Power to them.
As usual, I love what the Ravens did with their draft. They added a monster off the edge in Sergio Kindle, a fleet-footed tight end in Ed Dickson, another tight end in Dennis Pitta, and a few extra picks in the later rounds who are projects. Kindle and Terrence Cody of Alabama should contribute right away, while Dickson and Pitta will compete with Todd Heap for reps at the tight end position.
The Ravens needed to upgrade their pass rush. That's an absolute fact. They couldn't get to the quarterback consistently without using blitz packages. Kindle will team with Terrell Suggs who will terrorize opposing offensive lines coming off the ball with their speed and strength. When you watch Kindle play on tape he looks like he is a cheetah chasing a gazelle. Let's just say that doesn't end well for the gazelle in most cases. Suggs had a down year last year and looked to be out of shape, but all indications are that he has slimmed down and is ready to roll in 2010.
The Ravens did all of this without using a first round pick. They still got premium talent from the 43rd overall pick on, which is incredibly impressive. Many prognosticators had the Ravens taking Cody at 25 overall, and they still got him with the 57th pick overall. It's a testmanent to how Ozzie works the draft board on draft day.
The Ravens have been successful over the years because of how they draft. They don't just pick up quality players in the first round; they pick quality hall of fame caliber players in the first round (Ray Lewis, Jon Ogden, Ed Reed). They have picked many pro bowl players in the later rounds when most late round guys are special team players or projects. Ozzie and DeCosta have an incredible track record with draft picks, and it makes you believe any of the guys they picked this weekend could turn into very quality players for years to come.
If I had to pick, I would say that I think Kindle will be a tremendous player for the Ravens. He fits their defensive mindset of tough, crazy, and willing to not just tackle; but absolutely destroy anything in his way. Yes, cliche fans. He "plays like a Raven."
Look for my recap of the Redskins draft in the next day or two.