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  1. #1

    Average at best draft?

    Check out the nice piece Kris Jones did on Kelechi Osemele. The rookie really has had a nice season.

    I got a little hung up on the opening line from this piece, however.

    In a 2012 draft class that is shaping up to be average at best for the Ravens...
    That got me to think about how average or not this draft class has been for the Ravens. While there are no big stars probably -- not in a class that had Luck, RG3, Wilson, for instance, it was maybe better than average. At least compared to the last ten Ravens drafts when I looked at them.

    Below I subjectively list the best three picks in each draft (and the round selected) I also noted anytime a pick from the first three rounds never really panned out at all -- the busts -- or the picks from rounds 4 and on who overachieved and became regular contributors in the league. Finally, I tried to note how many picks "stuck" in the league long enough to be considered a minimally productive pick/versus the guys who really never panned out from each class.

    Where does 2012's class fall? Too early to say for sure, but surely better than the god-awful 2004 and 2005 classes (the Phil Savage era) where I couldn't even bring myself to list a top three.

    While there will probably be no stars, I'm not sure how many classes can match the top three as being guys who could become solid role players for a long time, at the very least, and maybe more.

    Ed Reed 1st
    Dave Zastudil 4th
    Chester Taylor 6th
    Bust: None
    Sleeper: Taylor
    Sticks: 5/10

    Terrell Suggs 1st
    Jarret Johnson 4th
    Aubrayo Franklin 5th
    Bust: Kyle Boller
    Sleeper: Johnson, Ovie Mughelli, Franklin
    Sticks: 6/10

    Dwan Edwards 2nd
    Bust: Devard Darling
    Sleeper: None
    Sticks: 1/7

    Mark Clayton 1st
    Jason Brown 4th
    Bust: Dan Cody, Adam Terry
    Sleeper: Brown
    Sticks: 4/7

    Haloti Ngata 1st
    Dawan Landry 5th
    Sam Koch 6th
    Bust: David Pittman
    Sleeper: Landry, Koch
    Sticks: 8/10

    Ben Grubbs 1st
    Marshal Yanda 3rd
    Le'Ron McClain 4th
    Bust: Yamon Figurs
    Sleeper: McClain
    Sticks: 6/8

    Joe Flacco 1st
    Ray Rice 2nd
    Tom Zbikowski 3rd
    Bust: Tavares Gooden, Oniel Cousins
    Sleeper: None
    Sticks 4/10

    Michael Oher 1st
    Paul Kruger 2nd
    Lardarius Webb 3rd
    Bust: None
    Sleeper: None

    Ed Dickson 3rd
    Dennis Pitta 4th
    Arthur Jones 5th
    Bust: Sergio Kindle, Terrence Cody
    Sleeper: Jones
    Sticks 6/7

    Torrey Smith 2nd
    Jah Reid 3rd
    Pernell McPhee 5th
    Bust: Jimmy Smith
    Sleeper: McPhee
    Sticks: 8/8

    Courtney Upshaw 2nd
    Kelechi Osemele 2nd
    Bernard Pierce 3rd
    Bust: None
    Sleeper: DeAngelo Tyson, 7th
    Sticks: 7/8

    It's very subjective. You may weigh a class with one star but then a bunch of marginal picks (eg, 2002) higher than I do.

    Or, unlike me, you may downgrade a draft with a clear bust, even though they still salvaged a handful of really good picks from that same class (eg, 2003)

    When all is said in done, where do you rank 2012 among these ten drafts?

    Bear in mind, I think they only held a top-15 pick three times in these ten drafts (the drafts they selected Suggs, Ngata, and Flacco -- in 2008 they sent the 8th pick to the Jags, and then traded back up from the bottom of the first round to take Flacco 18th.) I think it's hard to expect a star from drafts when you aren't picking in the top 15.

  2. #2

    Re: Average at best draft?

    I think the front end of the draft was pretty good, especially based on where they were drafting. The back end can't be judged til time allows the others to develop. I think Tyson in the 7th was a good value pick and will be a rotation guy. Plus, Tucker wasnt drafted but adds extreme value to the rookie class.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    "Merry old England"
    Blog Entries

    Re: Average at best draft?

    Great thread Shas.

    I actually think this may be the BEST draft that the ravens have had since 2008. KO is likely to be our starting RT for years to come, and could shift over to guard and excel there too. It would not surprise me if KO ended up as a pro bowl OT or OG down the line. Upshaw looks to be at the very least Jarrett Johnson, and at the very best Lamar Woodley. Not bad at all with the first two picks.

    Then you have a stud in Bernard Pierce in the 3rd round, who IMO could start on a lot of teams in the NFL as it is. 4th round picks in developmental players Gino and Thompson are yet to the be determined same for Asa Jackson.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Stevensville, MD

    Re: Average at best draft?

    I think you're labeling Smith a bust too early. Jury is still out on him, IMO.
    Never get in a fight with a pig; you both get muddy, and the pig likes it...

  5. #5

    Re: Average at best draft?

    Quote Originally Posted by esmd View Post
    I think you're labeling Smith a bust too early. Jury is still out on him, IMO.
    Totally agree.

  6. #6

    Re: Average at best draft?

    Upshaw has kinda quietly come on as the season has progressed IMHO.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Re: Average at best draft?

    Quote Originally Posted by saintmatthew View Post
    Upshaw has kinda quietly come on as the season has progressed IMHO.
    Yes, agreed. And I think his development was hampered some by the injury he suffered, I believe in the preseason.
    That kept him off the field where he needed the reps, which is of course, the foundation for learning so much quickly.
    I believe he is getting better every week and he is a big body out there.
    He tackles with force and may in the near future develop some moves (learning from Suggs) to get to the quarterback more often and begin separating runners from the ball. I see nothing but upside.

  8. #8

    Re: Average at best draft?

    Yeah, I debated whether to include Jimmy Smith as a bust, Cody too for that matter. But for our purposes of comparing drafts -- when you can't really say for sure where the recent drafts will end up -- i wanted to remind everyone that their first round pick from two years ago has really not even been on the field much over the course of two seasons and it's starting to feel like a Dan Cody, David Pittman, Yamon Figures, Sergio Kindle situation...only worse considering most of those are second rounders and Smith was a first round pick.

    There are a bunch of second round players who we wanted to call a bust for at least two or three seasons -- Paul Kruger, Dwan Edwards, Anthony Weaver, Chris Chester -- and they eventually shook off the bust label, albeit most of them only by virtue of getting a contract elsewhere just as they are finally contributing.

    I really hope Cody (and Smth) follows this pattern of eventually justifying the pick, and not the pattern of second and third rounders like Adam Terry, DeRon Jenkins, Patrick Johnson, David Pittman and Yamon Figurs, Tavares Gooden, and Devard Darling.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Stevensville, MD

    Re: Average at best draft?

    Cody I'm fine with. And Smith is definitely borderline. I think the rest of this year, and more to the fact, next season, will be the defining moment for his NFL future.
    Never get in a fight with a pig; you both get muddy, and the pig likes it...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Jumped off Couch

    Re: Average at best draft?

    To some degree you have to adjust for what they were working with each year. It's quite a handicap to start out with the 29th pick in each round and while 2008 yielded 2 foundational starters, the rest of the picks are fairly disappointing considering we started with the 8th pick in every round and had bonus picks after trading down with Jacksonville. In 2010 the FO started off without 3rd and 4th round picks because of the Anquan Boldin trade which probably nudged them to make the Tebow trade.

    That said, if Gradkowski develops into a starting Center, the trade down from 29 to 35 while still picking up Upshaw will go down as one of Ozzie's finest draft day moves. It's also way too early to make a judgment on Asa Jackson or Christian Thompson which could significantly nudge 2012 up the ranks.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Blog Entries

    Re: Average at best draft?

    Quote Originally Posted by esmd View Post
    I think you're labeling Smith a bust too early. Jury is still out on him, IMO.
    Cody as well.

  12. #12

    Re: Average at best draft?

    I could quibble with a few of those spots, Shas, but that's a helpful way to think about the drafts we've had. Which is all you intended it to be.

    And Osemele and Upshaw have both been fine; either or both may still emerge as stars at their positions, which isn't bad for 2d round picks.

    His definitions and arguments were so clear in his own mind that he was unable to understand how any reasonable person could honestly differ with him.


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