THE GRAPEVINE: Ryan could fall to Baltimore

Lombardi's Way THE GRAPEVINE: Ryan could fall to Baltimore

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Mockingly speaking don’t you just love these mock drafts? It seems to me that every football related web site has one or more versions or they are planning one or more versions. We’ve done them before but I think the only people that actually read them were the participants in the mock. Two words for those mocks – mock you!

Not that there’s anything wrong with them…

I just don’t pay attention to them. Scouts and NFL war room officials across the league chuckle at them, especially those completed around the first of the year. NFL Draft Countdown had Andre Woodson as a top 10 player a couple months ago. Today he doesn’t even show up through two rounds of their mock draft. Don’t be surprised if Woodson is a Day 2 shot in the dark for some team. Troy Smith is better if you ask me.

Brian Brohm should be a Raven a month or so ago they said. Now he’s projected as a late second round pick.

I find it interesting too how Ravens’ fans favor mock drafts that deliver a preferred player but mock (pun intended) those that have the Ravens selecting and undesirable player.

Then there are the seven round mock drafts. I’ll call that a completely crocked mock. I think some folks just have too much time on their hands. Do yourself a favor – take them for what they are and that is nothing more than a collection of imperfect educated guesses given imperfect access to information.

And in the NFL Draft information rules!

Just ask Roger Goodell.

Quarterbacks should be smart right? They need to quickly process the rapidly changing environment that surrounds them and make good decisions with the football. All other key skills being equal, you’d prefer the guy with the good noggin, right?

To help quantify a good noggin NFL scouts lean on the Wonderlic Test to help separate the field. The Wonderlic is a twelve-minute, fifty-question exam to assess one’s problem solving skills while on the job. SI’s Paul Zimmerman in his book The New Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football provides average test scores by position for NFL wannabes. They are as follows:

Offensive tackle, 26; Center, 25; QB, 24; Guard, 23, Tight end, 22; Safety & Linebacker, 19; Cornerback 18; Wide Receiver and Fullback 17; Halfback 16.

Now back to quarterbacks and this year’s draft candidates that have attracted the watchful eye of Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta & Co, Matt Ryan and Brian Brohm posted scores of 32. Joe Flacco checked in with a 27 while Chad Henne’s scorecard read 22.

A score of 50 is perfect while the overall average is 21 for all disciplines. A score of 14 is equivalent to an unskilled worker and anything below that suggests someone was a professional truant during their childhood school years.

If you are interested in a sampling and how you might score, check it out here — WONDERLIC.

It is not beyond the scope of reason that Matt Ryan conveniently (or inconveniently depending upon your perspective)falls into the lap of Ozzie Newsome on April 26. It isn’t exactly Bill Parcells’ style to draft a QB that high in the draft (Miami has the No. 1 pick) so look for him to try and trade down and if not Parcells will go with what he believes to be the best athlete available. My money is on Chris Long.

At No. 2 the Rams have committed big dollars to Marc Bulger and they have other more pressing needs. The Falcons could pull the trigger but there seems to be an opinion circulating and growing in popularity in Atlanta that the Falcons could be 2008’s surprise team and they might emulate Phil Savage’s 2007 strategy which could point the Dirty Birds in the direction of Michigan OT Jake Long (while remembering Joe Thomas’ rookie success).

The Raiders certainly won’t take Ryan given the investment in Jamarcus Russell bringing us to No. 5 and the KC Chiefs. They could pull the Ryan card but one might wonder if Herm Edwards might soon feel some pressure and he may want to win sooner than later. Brodie Croyle is hardly a sure bet at QB for the Chiefs but Edwards might feel that he can pick from Flacco, Brohm or Henne with his high end second round pick.

That brings us to the Jets at No. 6 and the Patriots at No. 7. The Jets have Pennington and the developing Kellen Clemens while the Patriots have you-know-who and they have needs a corner and linebacker.

And then we have the Ravens nestled in at No. 8…

If Matt Ryan is there, he will be a Raven. You can count on it!

Should the Ravens pass on the Boston College slinger, just imagine all of the negative backlash directed towards Ozzie if Ryan goes on to have a solid NFL career, particularly in light of all the quarterback upheaval we’ve experienced here in the Land of Pleasant Living.

ODDS & ENDS: Ravens fans who think Steve Bisciotti’s prices are too high may find this tidbit a bit comforting. As you may already know, the Yankees are playing their final season in historic Yankee Stadium this season. Next year they move into the new Yankee Stadium where the team will charge between $500.00 and $2,500.00 for seats near home plate…Some thought that Trent Dilfer was finished. Some might have to think again because word from the Bay Area is that the former Raven will serve as a tutor of sorts to JeMarcus Russell in Oakland. Recently Dilfer spoke during Easter services in Northside Christian Church in Clovis, California and he informed the congregation that the Raiders are interested in his services. The gathering cheered. What a sight that must have been – all those Raiders’ uglies gathering in a place of worship. Talk about ironies…And finally, speaking of Easter, ever wonder why the day is so unpredictable from one year to the next? Well hopefully this will make the date of Easter a bit clearer for you. Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon that follows the spring (vernal) equinox. Got it? There are auxiliary rules that make March 22 the earliest possible date for Easter and April 25 the latest. By the way the equinox is the time when the sun crosses the earth’s equator, making night and day of approximately equal length all over the earth.

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and he hosts "The Fanimal" also heard on 105.7 The Fan, Saturdays from 8-9AM. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi


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