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  1. #1

    Pro's Take: 2008 NFL Draft The Ravens Take... a DE? WHAT???

    How's it hangin everyone, it's 'Pro' after a long hiatus da boss is finally out of town for the day which means that today they'll be no 'cracking of the whip'. (that guy seems to not go anywhere anymore, sheeesh!!)

    Which gives me a chance to get on here and dispense my worthless thoughts and opinions to the Ravens faithful to be ground into a fine powder to be eaten, but that's ok with me! (dripping with sarcasm...)

    While I'm sure that like everyone else here it's been a foregone conclusion that the Ravens sure could use a top flight QB from the draft, I wouldn't be surprised if the Ravens went in a different direction.

    Unfortunately 'Mac9' at best is a back-up next season if he even comes back at all, Troy Smith is a 'wild card' (I don't know, do you know?) and if the season plays out like I think it will, Boller's gonna get one more shot at da title.

    Since the Ravens already have at least two guys in tow (3 if Mac9 is back), unless a premier QB shakes loose from another team they're less likely to draft a QB with their 'possible' top 15 draft pick.

    Realistically speaking they're more likely than not to at the very least win 2 of their last four games which should knock them out of the top 5-10 and place them somewhere under the top 15 or so in next year's draft. (that's a fair estimate at this point of the season)

    It's also fair to say that of the teams that'll more likely than not be picking ahead of our favorite team, three of them could possibly be gunning for a new signal caller as well.

    Looking at the abysmal QB performances in Miami, Atlanta and K.C. to begin with, nevermind whatever 'darkhorse' team is willing to sell the farm to pick a guy right in front of the Ravens (happens every year), it's not a given that the Ravens will have a shot at the two top QB's by the time their on the clock.

    There are varying opinions on this, but I'll throw in my 2 cents and say that the consensus two are Matt 'Matty-Ice' Ryan and Brian 'Cadillac' Brohm.

    Andre Woodson is in there somewhere, but he reminds me of a less athletic Jason Campbell and uh... I'm good... yeah... we're ok on that over here in Ravenstown. (no offense, just my worthless opinion)

    Which means there has to be a 'plan B' right? Well let's take a quick look at what's left to choose shall we?

    O-Line- Yeah, the Ravens could pick up another O-lineman, but they just got one this past draft in Ben Grubbs and he looks like he's gonna be a good one.

    They may draft one, but not this high. They'd be more likely to sign a guy in FA if they felt they needed one than to draft an O-line guy with a top 15 pick, not with the solid nucleus of young guys they've got in place right now.

    WR- I know my opinion isn't worth much, but from what I've seen this season, there isn't a huge difference betweeen a guy the Ravens could get in the 2nd-3rd round than there is in a guy who'd be there in the first round.

    IMO, the Ravens need another guy who can become a legitimate #1 WR AND HAS SIZE. There's no one guy who's separated himself far and away from the pack at this point in the year to me. We'll see what happens, but for right now, NO MAAS.

    TE- No player in this draft ranks that high, a lower round pick is a possibility for depth though, we'll see.

    RB- I think they've got this covered, Willis IMO as the O-line gets better his numbers will as well. He was a great pick up for the Ravens and might make the Pro-Bowl this year if he keeps playing as well as he did in the Pats game.


    LB- The Ravens have great depth and are one of the best teams at developing young unknown talents into Pro-Bowlers like Bart Scott and former Raven Adailus Thomas.

    They've got Barnes, Burgess and E. Jones in the wings and it's starting to look like they've got somethin in Barnes right now. The chances they'd use a top pick on an LB is highly unlikely.

    Safety- They've got great depth at safety with Reed and Landry starting and Sapp/Winborne and Prude when necessary. There's only one guy who's a possible top 15 pick, Kenny Phillips out of Miami and he's a junior who hasn't even decided if he's gonna declare or not.

    Bottom line is that safety isn't a position of need to the point where I'd think they'd be willing to drop a first rounder on a guy. The best of the rest aren't even being considered until the 2nd round honestly.

    Cornerback- This year's draft has alot of depth when it comes to this position and while there's alot of talent in this year's draft pool, there's also no consensus #1 guy out of the bunch at this point.

    With the Ravens phenomenal scouting staff and the fact that it'll be less likely that their pick would start right away, they could get a guy in the top half of the 2nd round that'll develop into a starter for them without a doubt.

    D-Line- Here they've got two great older players in Gregg/Pryce, one young one in Ngata and a few rotation players who are good but not spectacular players at their position. I'll get to Suggs in a moment.

    Pryce has maybe one more season in him, Gregg possibly two. Ngata is the future and is progressing VERY well, but after him there's NO ONE ELSE.

    I don't care what anyone says, Suggs is more effective rushing the passer from the LB spot so my silly way of thinking is why not play him more where he could possibly be more effective?

    At LB, T-Sizzle creates more opportunities both for himself and for others as blockers have to kick further out to block him and that leaves more gaps for others to attack the QB.

    What exactly would be ideal for our alignment at D-line, you ask? Why, the guy who I think was BORN to be a Raven and play on this defense, UVA's DE Chris Long.

    I'm not only saying this because he's HOFer Howie Long's kid, that he plays the same position that Howie played OR that Chris has admitted that his favorite NFL player is future HOFer Ray 'Da G.O.A.T.' Lewis.

    He's a legitimate top ten draft pick who may fall right into the Ravens laps due to the needs of the other teams that pick ahead of them.

    So far up to today he's been:

    ACC Defensive Player of the Year (2007)
    Ted Hendricks Award Winner (2007)
    Rotary Lombardi Award Finalist (2007)
    Bronko Nagurski Trophy Finalist (2007)
    Lott Trophy Semifinalist (2007)
    Chuck Bednarik Award Semifinalist (2007)
    Candidate for the Outland Trophy (2007)
    AFCA Coaches' All-America Team (2007)
    2007 Playboy preseason All-American
    First-Team All-America
    Started 24 games (prior to 2007)
    Team co-captain for two consecutive seasons

    In 12 games, Howie Long's kid made 75 tackles, including 22 for loss. He also racked up 14 sacks (3rd in the country in sacks with an average of 1.13/g)
    , intercepted a pass, forced two fumbles and blocked a kick. More than 25 percent of his tackles (.280 to be exact) this season have been for a loss (his career rate is 25 percent)

    And remember that Al Groh runs a 3-4 defense, sound familiar? Chris Long has operated out of this defense since Groh been at UVA, a PRO-STYLE Defense. (hint-hint)

    That means that he can start right away. He's been playing in our style of defense his entire college career and EXCELLING. He's probably one of the few 'can't miss' prospects in this entire draft IMO.

    While 'Mr. Overrated' LSU DT Glenn Dorsey wins all of the accolades, Chris Long will be the one who has the better rookie season, this much I can assure you. Especially if the Ravens pull the trigger and snatch up this phenomenal prospect of a kid who's only gonna get better as time goes on.

    Chris Long is usually compared to former UVA DE/ 1st rounder Patrick Kerney. They have the same intensity, but Long is more like a bigger, stronger version of Kerney as his stats were similar to what Kerney put up in 1998 when he was a UVA.

    For anyone interested, Kerney had 62 tackles and 15 sacks with 20 tackles for a loss in 1998 while Long had 75 tackles and 14 sacks and 22 tackles for a loss in 2007.

    When the Falcons finally let Kerney start full time at LDE in 2002 he led the team with 12.0 sacks (9th NFL). Finished with 68 tackles (41 solo) and two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

    If Chris Long and Patrick Kerney are similar players (although Long is more polished than Kerney was when he came out and has almost 20 more pounds of muscle packed on than Kerney did coming out) they could possibly put up similar numbers.

    Imagine having a kid who can make an instant impact like that at LDE, The unstoppable Haloti 'You ain't gainin' Ngata destroying the middle and Trevor 'Pay Da' Pryce ripping through double teams at RDE. Can you say Holy SHYT, I'm sure opposing QB's willl be.

    T-Sizzle would more often be in the spot that he's most effective in at LB, and you already know what the rest of the gang can do.

    They say that games are won and lost in the trenches, that's the truest statement you'll ever hear.

    If the Ravens were fortunate enough to land this kid in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, they'll have a solid foundation of impact D-linemen in Ngata and Long that'll all but guaran-freakin-tee Ravens dominance in the trenches for years to come.

    Just my opinion-Pro-

  2. #2

    Re: Pro's Take: 2008 NFL Draft The Ravens Take... a DE? WHAT???

    Good analysis Pro!

    I would heartily agree that one of our problems this year has been lack of pass rush. I also believe strongly that a team has a great chance of winning if they dominate on both sides of the line. Our OL will continue to gel, I really like the young guys we have. Our DL got a lot better with Ngata, but really was hurt without Pryce (in the pass rush area). So drafting a DE makes some sense.

    I would say though, the real answer is to take the best we can get out of DE, QB, and CB on round one. We really need all three if a high talent is available, or can be had by trading up or down.

    My other thought, maybe we can trade our #1 and BB for Wade Phillips

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Norwich, England

    Re: Pro's Take: 2008 NFL Draft The Ravens Take... a DE? WHAT???

    Quote Originally Posted by awalt View Post
    My other thought, maybe we can trade our #1 and BB for Wade Phillips
    You can keep Wade Phillips, I'll take Jason Garrett thanks. Someone's gotta force Jerry Jones' hand on this one. Jones is grooming Garrett to be an HC in the future, I want to make him either do it now or take a very promising young coach, he'd certainly improve our offence, and being an offensive coach would allow someone else to run the D in isolation.

  4. #4

    Re: Pro's Take: 2008 NFL Draft The Ravens Take... a DE? WHAT???

    Hi Pro! Welcome, or welcome back, whichever the case may be. :)

    Awesome post. But not everyone agrees it's a foregone conclusion the Ravens would need a QB in the first round. At least not yet. Drafting a DE to groom for either Suggs' departure, or to replace Trevor Pryce is a need. To some, it's a more important need than anything else.

    I have CB, DE, WR, QB in my order of needs. Especially since I didn't figure they were just going to jettison McNair next year. As much as I everyone thinks that is the best thing, the cap hit is just too restrictive. So McNair, Boller, and Smith are here next year. Drafting a QB means someone has to go, because Ozzie is not going to draft Matt Ryan and put him on the PS to have someone pluck him off it. Boller isn't going anywhere. So that leaves your Heisman trophy winner Troy Smith.

    My only problem is that I am not seeing a legit 1st round pick yet either. I would love to see us get a true #1 WR who can burn down field. I don't see anyone in 1st round calibur. I'm with you on CB too.

    Maybe DE is the way to pick in round one.

  5. #5

    Wink Re: Pro's Take: 2008 NFL Draft The Ravens Take... a DE? WHAT???

    Where you been, Pro? We've missed your insightful posts.

    I agree that a DE would make the most sense. Long's kid looks impressive -- thanks for the analysis. Or a CB, but seeing Rolle play Monday night makes me less concerned about the immediacy of that need. If Flacco or equal college QB is on the board at round 3, that would be my choice - but we could always pick up a FA vet QB for a million to two or so as the backup, so maybe hold off for the lower rounds on another QB to compete with Smith. If no QB, I'd go for a burner true WR (not another no-hands Figurs type), an LB or another OL -- I'm not convinced that any of the young ones we have in or projected for starting OL roles are very good.

    Another possibility, if we have one of the top 5 or 6: seek a trade down to get both a DE and CB in the first round.
    In a 2003 BBC poll that asked Brits to name the "Greatest American Ever", Mr. T came in fourth, behind ML King (3rd), Abe Lincoln (2nd) and Homer Simpson (1st).

  6. #6

    Re: Pro's Take: 2008 NFL Draft The Ravens Take... a DE? WHAT???

    I'll be happy with Long int eh first. I may disagree with some, but In my eyes the QB position can be summed up by saying Ryan, Brohm, Ainge or NOONE . I don't see the point of addign another late round guy to the mix, maybe really late to sit on the PS, but not early enough where it is Smith vs that QB for the 3rd spot, with the loser going to another team. IF McNair is going to come back and the team wants him(big mistake) then I guess we can't really draft a guy even early day 2.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Parkville, MD

    Re: Pro's Take: 2008 NFL Draft The Ravens Take... a DE? WHAT???

    If a possible franchise QB like Ryan or Brohm are there at our pick you have to take him IMO. That's the one thing that this team is in desperate need of. I know some are still holding out hope for Boller, but in year 5 he has yet to show that he is anything more than an average QB.

    Now of course a guy like Chris Long would be a monster pick. He would solidify this defense and add that pass rusher that we need with Pryce getting older and the status of Suggs still up in the air. A first day of the draft with Long or a CB and a QB like Brennan or Ainge would be spectacular IMO.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Solomons Island, MD

    Re: Pro's Take: 2008 NFL Draft The Ravens Take... a DE? WHAT???

    If the Ravens have a top 5-10 pick as it looks they will, there is no question in my mind that they are going to take Brohm or Ryan. No question whatsoever. And they should. A franchise QB that can carry a team is the fastest way to turn around the franchise's fortunes.
    ''You'd love to go on the first day but I'm glad for the situation I'm in,'' he said. ''Baltimore knows how to play defense.''

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Re: Pro's Take: 2008 NFL Draft The Ravens Take... a DE? WHAT???

    I don't know if the Ravens take a QB. Billick said that it has been a luxury to carry three QB's this year. If they go back to two next year, they would have to dump either Boller or McNair which isn't happening. I think it is pretty clear that Smith isn't going to stick.

    Hard to gauge at this point if they are serious about resigning Suggs.

    They also might choose "best player available" as they have done frequently in the past with good results.

    Cmac and Rolle are aging. Corey Ivey played a hell of a game against N.E. but he has struggled at other times in the nickle. Experiments with a 4th CB this year has been mostly unsuccesful and the most glaring weakness against N.E.. I think CB is the greatest need.

  10. #10

    Re: Pro's Take: 2008 NFL Draft The Ravens Take... a DE? WHAT???

    Isn't getting a QB rebuilding? Jus tbecuase a QB was good enough with the best D ever in football to moonwalk into the SuperBowl ONCE, doesn't mean that is a good model to follow. I think that's a poor line of thinking.

  11. #11

    Re: Pro's Take: 2008 NFL Draft The Ravens Take... a DE? WHAT???

    Quote Originally Posted by jonboy79 View Post
    Isn't getting a QB rebuilding? Jus tbecuase a QB was good enough with the best D ever in football to moonwalk into the SuperBowl ONCE, doesn't mean that is a good model to follow. I think that's a poor line of thinking.
    It equals out in the end. Boller > Dilfer. Boller could have done the same thing with the 2000 defense that Dilfer did. He's done more with less than Dilfer since. (Dilfer never met a starting QB job he could keep, you know)

    Monday night proved that Boller is better than just an average QB when the pieces around him play to their abilities. A QB is ALWAYS only going to be as good as the other 10 guys around him. And if you don't believe me ask Carson Palmer why he's not wearing a SB ring and Ben Rothlesberger and REX GROSSMAN is.

    Actually, ask Carson Palmer why his team is also 4-8 this year.

    Now, before you jump on me again Jon, because I know you disagree, I will say that if this proves to be the case the rest of the way out, then DE or CB is the way to go. If it's not, and the OL continues to play the way they did against NE, but Boller does not, then I'm all for dumping the team's needs elsewhere and drafting a new QB.

    Especially with the notion that McNair is returning next year, I highly doubt new QB is on Ozzie's front burner right now. The next 5 weeks could change that of course.
    Last edited by StingerNLG; 12-06-2007 at 08:42 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Houston, TX Y'all

    Re: Pro's Take: 2008 NFL Draft The Ravens Take... a DE? WHAT???

    Seriously, some people here actually want to rebuild? As if it's worked for any other team in the past?

    Gutting a team NEVER works. Hasnt even come close. Not even once.

    Teams like the Colts, Pats, Steelers, etc stay towards the top every year because the DONT rebuild. They keep key people, make smart draft picks and the rest comes from free agency. These teams are never in cap trouble as well.

    Rebuild? OMG ....


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