Friday, April 23, 2010

The Ravens are Finally on the Board

After the Baltimore Ravens traded their first round pick, 25th overall, to the Denver Broncos on Thursday night, the Ravens knew they would not be able to pick again until the 2nd round on Friday night. Many wondered why the Ravens didn't take highly touted players still available at 25 like Kyle Wilson or Jared Odrick. Did they make a mistake? Time will tell, but as Charley Casserly said when asked who had the best second round, Casserly said, "The Ravens. Ozzie hasn't had a good draft in what? 12 months now?"

General manager Ozzie Newsome and his staff are known for their expertise at hitting on draft picks. The Ravens started Friday by taking Texas OLB Sergio Kindle at 43rd overall. Known for his strong motor, fierce hitting, and speed (4.67 40 time) Kindle was the typical first round talent that slid because of injury issues. Kindle has had four operations on the same knee since high school, but Newsome doesn't believe the knee will be a problem.

I think getting Kindle was a typical coupe for the Ravens. Well known coming from a program like Texas, Kindle may have the same impact that Brian Orakpo had with the Redskins in 2009. Kindle is much faster than Orakpo and has better instincts for the game, but he may not be on the field as often because of the Ravens quality depth at the position. I think if Kindle gives a solid pass rush and can make plays on third down the Ravens will be thrilled.

With their second pick in the 2nd round of the draft, the Ravens selected Alabama defensive tackle Terrence Cody. "Mount Cody" as he is referred to because of his massive size, is the type of player who can plug the middle of the line like Kelly Gregg. Cody, like Newsome, is a former Crimson Tide.

I like this pick because many had Cody as a late first round talent. To get him at the 57th overall selection is a steal. Cody must keep his weight down so he can stay on the field. The Ravens needed a DT to replace the aging Kelly Gregg in a year or two, and to make sure their defensive line had enough players to keep a fresh rotation going throughout the grueling games this season.

The Ravens picked Oregon tight end Ed Dickson in the third round. He's a very fast player who can run seam routes with the best of them. He's not much of a blocking end, but then again not many tight ends coming out of college are good blockers anymore. Dickson will team with Todd Heap to form a solid tight end group.

The Ravens will have four more selections on Saturday to end the draft. The Ravens may not have had a first round pick in 2010, but you can bet they believe they got their first round pick on March 5 when they acquired Anquan Boldin from the Arizona Cardinals.

More on the Ravens draft and their offseason in the coming posts!

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