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  1. #16
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    Re: Average at best draft?



    Thanks, Kris. I don't disagree with your assessment. I had a reaction to "average at best" not in that I disagreed, per se, more that was perplexed -- I could see the argument that it was fairly weak in that no one outside of Baltimore will look at it and think, "wow,' but I could also see the argument that it was one of the strongest from a next-man-up/budget-management point of view.

    That's what made me wanbt to sort of think out loud with my post to figure out where ended up on the question. I guess I haven't really decided still. I think I'd call it average to above average, but not great. Probably a "B" but not a "C" at best kind of draft.

    For those who look for grabbing a real impact player, and that's the way they judge good drafts, I can see how you'd call it average. Upshaw seems like a pretty solid replacement for Jarret Johnson, but he isn't an elite pass rusher, which you'd probably want out of your first pick. Osemele is a solid replacement for Grubbs. And Pierce steps in to fill a role that guys like McGahee and Ricky Williams moved on from. They saved a bunch of money without really losing a lot in terms of production with those three picks. Not sexy, but a pretty good outcome.

    If it means being able to spend money elsewhere to keep big hitters like Rice and Flacco and Ngata in the fold, that's not bad. As I said, budget management.

    In the 2012 draft I don't see even a Lardarius Webb or Paul Kruger or Torrey Smith type player in terms of adding a guy who can impact a game all on his own. So it's hard to call it a great draft from that perspective. In fact, Justin Tucker may be the biggest impact guy, and he wasn't even a draft pick.

    On the other hand, It's hard to find a draft that beats this one in terms of solid role players that they got out of their first three picks -- players who I suspect will all play for a number of years. 2009 also saw them pick up three players who filled roles in Oher, Kruger and Webb -- and two of those players are impact players, which makes 2009 better probably.

    2012 is probably like getting three Michael Ohers. Oher is a disappointment for those who think the first round pick should be a Ring of Honor type player. But if he was taken in the third round that would have been a damn good pick.

    Getting three Michael Oher-level players (or Ben Grubbs) from two seconds and a third isn't bad. Solid, not spectacular.
    Last edited by Shas; 12-27-2012 at 05:24 PM.




  2. #17

    Re: Average at best draft?

    Yes, that blog title threw me for a loop as well. For not having any first rounders, a lot of the rookies have really contributed, certainly more than just in an "average" fashion. Upshaw and KO look like they could be starters/heavy contributors for a long time, Pierce is a future starter, Gino might be the heir apparent to Birk, Tyson has been a part of a nice D-line rotation, and, of course, there is Tucker, who looks like he'll be kicking for us for ten years. I would say this draft has been better than average.




  3. #18
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    Re: Average at best draft?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shas View Post
    Correct. I'm actually higher on the UDFAs from this class than the back end of the draft itself. Justin Tucker, Bobby Rainey, and Deonte Thompson are interesting players to say the least.
    I think Omar Brown might end up being a good find as well.




  4. #19
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    Re: Average at best draft?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goob24x7 View Post
    I can't remember exactly which front office member it was but they said a lot of the guys they were trying to get were taking just picks before them (any fantasy football team owner knows the feeling).
    I think it was DeCosta who admitted that. Again, I'm perplexed. Don't know whether to crap on them for allowing themselves to get snookered, or applaud them for bouncing back and at least getting solid players rather than panic.

    I liked Hightower a lot -- saw him as instinctive and a more of a need, but the Pats jumped up and got him. And I was worried the Ravens would settle for Harrison Smith, a sexy pick at the time, but was happy when they traded out with the Vikings and ended up with Upshaw, who was indeed better value. Gradkowski was the bonus player they got in the deal. I'm not high on him, but time will tell. The Ravens recently adopted a philosophy that they'd grab small school players that other teams overlook -- spurred on by successful picks like Flacco and Webb, but I think they tend to out think themselves sometimes. I think it was Peter Konz and Vinny Curry who nearly fell to them in the second round, and Mohammed Sanu who went one spot ahead of Pierce before they traded up to get him.




  5. #20
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    Re: Average at best draft?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenalytics View Post
    I think Omar Brown might end up being a good find as well.
    True. I doubt he'll be Ed Reed's replacement, but certainly looks like he could be a better value than a player like Zbikowski who they used a third round pick on. There was a lot of solid hole filling out of this draft, which is fine with me as long as they can come back next year and find more of that home run hitter -- someone who could be match up across from Torrey Smith, a la Julio Jones across from Roddy White, or a big time left tackle who could bump Oher to the RT spot and Osemele to LG. Or a Geno Atkins or Vince Wilfork or Casey Hampton disruptive type to play in the middle next to Haloti.




  6. #21
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    Re: Average at best draft?

    [QUOTE=Goob24x7;544561]Bernard Pierce-
    I think Bernard is a great player, will become an even better player and an is a nice guy in person as well. I absolutely hated the fact that the Ravens took a running back in the third round, and that they gave up a fifth round pick to move up to get him as well. I know Pierce has a ton of upside and is a change of pace for Rice but a veteran free-agent could have filled the same role. I've frankly seen more of Pierce than I'd like to because Rice needs his touches and he clearly hasn't gotten them consistently this year.

    So yes, Pierce is a great value and a good player. But, this team had plenty of other issues they needed to address in the third round before not only their pick in that round but giving up a fifth round as well.

    Christian Thompson-
    He has a lot of upside and played at a smaller school due to off the field issues but watching him in training camp every day, he just lost me. He wasn't someone who stood out and wasn't someone who did anything wrong. Before he was placed on IR, he was just around as a special teams player and once again, was nothing extra special.

    I'm not the only person who felt this way about him as well. It'll be more interesting to see what he can do next season with Reed probably not returning. I love the addition of James Ihedigbo and think he's someone to be considered at safety, even though he's primarily played at strong safety while replacing Bernard Pollard who has been dealing with a rib issue.

    Gino Gradkowski-
    Possibly the most head scratching pick of the draft. He's extremely undersized (listed at 6'3 300lbs) but seems smaller than that. I could accept drafting a smaller guy like this had he played at a big time school and proved that he can handle bigger defensive lineman but that's not the case. The only film coaches are seeing is from him playing at Delaware and I could care less what he does against someone from Towson versus seeing a small guy being able to block someone from LSU or Alabama.

    Matt Birk hasn't had his greatest season and has essentially shrunk Joe Flacco's pocket because he's constantly pushed backwards. For as bad as Birk has played this season, don't you think they would have eventually put Gradkowski in if he was able to play?

    Asa Jackson-
    Once again, an undersized player but I like Jackson. He won me over when I saw a 6' guy leaping into the air and beating Tommy Streeter 6'8" multiple times to break up a pass in training camp. He was only a thought to sniff the field when Lardarius Webb went out with his ACL injury as the plan was to use him and Corey Graham in the slot. When he did have his time, he didn't stick around long as is currently suspended for violating the performance enhancing drug policy.

    Not the best move.

    Tommy Streeter-
    Waste.Waste.Waste. This guy is a project but can't catch a ball to save his life. Throughout training camp, I watched him closely each day and he was allowing Jackson as I previously mentioned to out-leap him. He's got the ideal body of a prototypical red zone threat but you have to have the effort and heart to go along with it. He is raw in his route running and just didn't show much during practice or the games for that matter in training camp/preseason.

    The Ravens only placed him on IR because of his potential but there was no way that even if he was "healthy" he was on the bubble to even be placed on the practice squad where he could be claimed by another team. Streeter could possibly turn into something but I'd only give it a 9% chance based off of what I saw through watching him at training camp each day.
    QUOTE]

    This is really interesting. I don't remember reading anything good, bad or indifferent about Christian Thompson so this perspective is interesting, though disheartening, to read.

    I also was disappointed on draft night when the Ravens had traded up for a Running Back who wasn't really touted as a game-breaker. I wonder how much of that decision was driven by concern about getting Ray Rice locked up to a long-term deal. The Ravens also traded up in the 3rd round for Jah Reid in 2011, which to this point is not looking like a great move.




  7. #22
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    Re: Average at best draft?

    Yeah def no home run blue chip pro bowl type players, but still contributors. So depending on how you grade, sure I'd go with average.

    Oh and Cody=Bust. Never seen a guy that big get shoved around that badly.




  8. #23
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    Re: Average at best draft?

    Yeah because all 3rd round picks are ''great moves''.

    Jah Reid is now a starter at LG and is holding out well, while Bernard Pierce had 13 carries for 124 yards on Sunday. What do people expect?




  9. #24

    Re: Average at best draft?

    Quote Originally Posted by JustaslowZ06 View Post
    Yeah def no home run blue chip pro bowl type players, but still contributors. So depending on how you grade, sure I'd go with average.

    Oh and Cody=Bust. Never seen a guy that big get shoved around that badly.
    Cody and Kindle the bust draft. At the time it looked good, but you never know about a draft until 3 years later. That is why those silly draft grades annoy me, pointless.




  10. #25

    Re: Average at best draft?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shas View Post
    Thanks, Kris. I don't disagree with your assessment. I had a reaction to "average at best" not in that I disagreed, per se, more that was perplexed -- I could see the argument that it was fairly weak in that no one outside of Baltimore will look at it and think, "wow,' but I could also see the argument that it was one of the strongest from a next-man-up/budget-management point of view.

    That's what made me wanbt to sort of think out loud with my post to figure out where ended up on the question. I guess I haven't really decided still. I think I'd call it average to above average, but not great. Probably a "B" but not a "C" at best kind of draft.

    For those who look for grabbing a real impact player, and that's the way they judge good drafts, I can see how you'd call it average. Upshaw seems like a pretty solid replacement for Jarret Johnson, but he isn't an elite pass rusher, which you'd probably want out of your first pick. Osemele is a solid replacement for Grubbs. And Pierce steps in to fill a role that guys like McGahee and Ricky Williams moved on from. They saved a bunch of money without really losing a lot in terms of production with those three picks. Not sexy, but a pretty good outcome.

    If it means being able to spend money elsewhere to keep big hitters like Rice and Flacco and Ngata in the fold, that's not bad. As I said, budget management.

    In the 2012 draft I don't see even a Lardarius Webb or Paul Kruger or Torrey Smith type player in terms of adding a guy who can impact a game all on his own. So it's hard to call it a great draft from that perspective. In fact, Justin Tucker may be the biggest impact guy, and he wasn't even a draft pick.

    On the other hand, It's hard to find a draft that beats this one in terms of solid role players that they got out of their first three picks -- players who I suspect will all play for a number of years. 2009 also saw them pick up three players who filled roles in Oher, Kruger and Webb -- and two of those players are impact players, which makes 2009 better probably.

    2012 is probably like getting three Michael Ohers. Oher is a disappointment for those who think the first round pick should be a Ring of Honor type player. But if he was taken in the third round that would have been a damn good pick.

    Getting three Michael Oher-level players (or Ben Grubbs) from two seconds and a third isn't bad. Solid, not spectacular.
    Even a 3rd-rounder should be expected to, at least, slow down a defensive lineman.




  11. #26
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    Re: Average at best draft?

    Quote Originally Posted by leachisabeast View Post
    Yeah because all 3rd round picks are ''great moves''.

    Jah Reid is now a starter at LG and is holding out well, while Bernard Pierce had 13 carries for 124 yards on Sunday. What do people expect?
    Agreed. Ried has looked decent, avlot better than williams anyway. And i understand the critcism of the piece pick, but he is a guy that definately has "impact player" written all over him. God forbid Rice goes down, i dont think the offense would miss a beat a beat with pierce. Plus i think he is better short yardage/goaline back than rice. Nothing wrong with having two studs in the backfield.




  12. #27
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    Re: Average at best draft?

    Quote Originally Posted by ballhawk View Post
    Agreed. Ried has looked decent, avlot better than williams anyway. And i understand the critcism of the piece pick, but he is a guy that definately has "impact player" written all over him. God forbid Rice goes down, i dont think the offense would miss a beat a beat with pierce. Plus i think he is better short yardage/goaline back than rice. Nothing wrong with having two studs in the backfield.
    Yeah I agree.

    People are always harping on about ''BPA'', well Pierce was clearly the BPA here, and is an impact player. If you think he can be a pro bowl player, you draft him regardless of how stacked you are at one position. Who knows how the contract talks were developing with Rice at the time, plus we did need a back up RB, as Anthony Allen would have clearly been terrible.




  13. #28
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    Re: Average at best draft?

    I think that one of the problems that we've been having in the first round in the past few years has been the Patriots screwing us. We could have had Dez Bryant if they wouldn't have traded their pick to the Cowboys, Gronkowski was taken one selection before us, Hernandez was taken right before we picked, and they took Chander Jones and traded right in front of us to get Hightower in this draft. But without a rediculous number of picks next year, the Patrtiots draft day reign of terror might be over.




  14. #29
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    Re: Average at best draft?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coastergenius View Post
    I think that one of the problems that we've been having in the first round in the past few years has been the Patriots screwing us. We could have had Dez Bryant if they wouldn't have traded their pick to the Cowboys, Gronkowski was taken one selection before us, Hernandez was taken right before we picked, and they took Chander Jones and traded right in front of us to get Hightower in this draft. But without a rediculous number of picks next year, the Patrtiots draft day reign of terror might be over.
    The problem isn't the Patriots, it's Ozzie's unwillingness to trade up. They could have had Dez Bryant if Ozzie had been willing to part with a later pick in that draft to move up two or three spots. Same can be said for Gronkowski and this year they sat in their spot while guys like Hightower, Zeitler, Mercilus, and DeCastro all went in the five spots directly before their pick.

    Instead of Dez and Gronk they ended up with Kindle and Cody. Think about where the Ravens would be if they had both Bryant and Gronkowski right now - they were 1 pick away from having them.

    Also...can't judge this draft yet. They seem to have a few solid picks with their first three guys, not sure about the rest. If you include Tucker in the group then I think it's their best draft in several years at this point. Pierce selection was puzzling but it's also a guy they can look at as trade bait down the road, or eventual successor to Rice. Nothing wrong with having two strong RBs with different skill sets in today's NFL.




  15. #30

    Re: Average at best draft?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bhcforlife View Post
    The problem isn't the Patriots, it's Ozzie's unwillingness to trade up. They could have had Dez Bryant if Ozzie had been willing to part with a later pick in that draft to move up two or three spots. Same can be said for Gronkowski and this year they sat in their spot while guys like Hightower, Zeitler, Mercilus, and DeCastro all went in the five spots directly before their pick.

    Instead of Dez and Gronk they ended up with Kindle and Cody. Think about where the Ravens would be if they had both Bryant and Gronkowski right now - they were 1 pick away from having them.

    Also...can't judge this draft yet. They seem to have a few solid picks with their first three guys, not sure about the rest. If you include Tucker in the group then I think it's their best draft in several years at this point. Pierce selection was puzzling but it's also a guy they can look at as trade bait down the road, or eventual successor to Rice. Nothing wrong with having two strong RBs with different skill sets in today's NFL.
    We got Oher instead of Dez, as well as Hakeem Nicks still ont he board and Veldheer for a couple more rounds...

    We got Kindle the Pick after Gronk, and then Cody with Geno Atkins on the board a few rounds, and DIckson instead of Jimmy Graham or Aaron Hernandezx who went right in front of Pitta....




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