April Madness: Who is Ozzie’s best-ever “Diamond in the Rough” find?

Street Talk April Madness: Who is Ozzie’s best-ever “Diamond in the Rough” find?

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In case you missed the introduction to “April Madness: Ozzie’s greatest late-round picks and undrafted signings,” click here. Click here for part 2.

Before I get into Boh’s and my selections, we’d like to point out a few things we took into consideration when picking winners:

1. The Recent Success Bias – guys who have performed really well within the past year or two may trigger an exaggerated opinion of their career as a whole.

2. The Super Bowl Run Hero Bias – this really only applies to a few guys, but basically we didn’t want to over-value an otherwise mediocre career because of contributions to a Super Bowl run when matching up with a guy who was better than mediocre for his tenure with the Ravens.

3. The Post-Ravens Success Bias – as noted in part 1 of April Madness, we will not be deciding matchups with a player’s entire career in mind – only their time as a Raven.

4. The Humor Factor – it’s a thing, deal with it.  Guys who have a certain degree of humor attached to themselves will get by in boring matchups.

Here are write-ups of close matchups with the winner in bold.

With this year’s rounds 4 through 7 in the books and plenty of undrafted guys signing on in Baltimore, let’s finish the bracket off and daydream about the possibility of having found the next Jermaine Lewis or Dawan Landry this past weekend…

Elite 8 Outcomes 

 

The Tony Banks Region

3. Edgerton Hartwell vs. 5. Dawan Landry

Boh’s take: “The ‘I parlayed playing next to a Hall of Famer into a lucrative contract’ Bowl is a classic matchup of lesser known quality football players.” 

 Landry takes a lateral from Ed Reed and goes all the way to the Final 4!

The Stoney Case Region

8. Adalius Thomas vs. 14. Priest Holmes

Adalius is just too good to lose this one.  The dude only got better during his time with the Ravens, eventually maxing out his yearly AV with an 18 during his contract year that led to the big bucks from Belichek & Co.

The Eric Zeier Region

1. Jarret Johnson vs. 3. Edwin Mulitalo

JJ, the lone #1 seed to survive upset city and make it to the Final 4, takes down Mulitalo in a close one.  We love how Mulitalo was so solid on the o-line for seven years before going down with an injury, but he loses this one probably thanks in part to the OL bias.  That is to say, look in your closet and tell me how many jerseys you own with of o-linemen compared to defensive or skill position players.  Sorry, Edwin, you just weren’t sexy enough.

Yep, just this dude.

The Scott Mitchell Region

5. Jermaine Lewis vs. Chad Williams

Chad’s blaze of glory ends abruptly in the Elite 8.  A career defined by a few epic plays can only take you so far.

Boh’s take: “The Boh Special.  A Maryland stud takes down the unheralded ball hawk.”

Final 4 Outcomes  

The Tony Banks Finalist vs. The Stoney Case Finalist

5. Dawan Landry vs. 8. Adalius Thomas

AD’s combined AV for his time with the Ravens is a bit more than double Landry’s – 57 vs. 28.  AD was a contributor for six years, Landry 5.  As solid as Landry was in the secondary, we enjoyed seeing AD lined up back there a bit more in the heyday of Rex’s Controlled Chaos.

The Eric Zeier Finalist vs. The Scott Mitchell Finalist

1. Jarret Johnson vs. 5. Jermaine Lewis

JJ was always solid; Jermaine was solid and at times more-than-studly.  He made two Pro Bowls as a return man, and who can forget his kickoff return for a TD in Super Bowl XXXV?  He was also named All-Pro twice.  His best year as a receiver came in ’98 with 41 grabs for 784 yards and 6 touchdowns.

The Championship of Oz-itude Outcome

 

5. Jermaine Lewis vs. 8. Adalius Thomas

We can’t say enough good things about AD.  The dude led the league in non-offensive touchdowns in 2005 with 3 – one on a pick, two on fumble recoveries.  Nothing screams Ravens D quite like that stat.  Ah, the days when AD with the ball in his hands was more likely to end up in a TD than the ball in Kyle Boller’s hands at the 1.

 

Boller with the fumble…the Ed Reed/AD offense re-takes the field

As mentioned earlier, we loved when he’d line up in the secondary.  AD’s ability to line up at just about any spot on the D cannot be under-emphasized.  As a pass rusher, he averaged roughly 9.5 sacks per year during his final three seasons in Baltimore.

We’re even big fans of AD’s line of barbeque sauces:

Even though these rankings excluded what the player did after being a Raven, it’s worth noting AD’s post-Ravens career truly matches the profile of the consummate Ravens out-of-nowhere stud.  He came up in our system, then took the money and ran right out of town, and his career was never the same.  Sound familiar?  Edgerton Hartwell, Jarret Johnson, Ovie Mughelli, Dawan Landry, Bart Scott, and plenty of other guys (in this very bracket) have done the same thing.  Watch out for this year’s exit class – Kruger and Ellerbe most notably – to experience similarly happy trails…

 

Boh’s take: “If Rex Ryan could’ve been Dr. Frankenstein, he would’ve created AD.”

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About David Hallman

David Hallman is the self-proclaimed Purple Prophet. After years of mediocre predictions coming true, he told his parents his greatest prophecy on the drive to the airport to leave for Thailand in July 2012: “The only year I live overseas, the Orioles will make the playoffs, and the Ravens will win the Super Bowl.” We all know how that story ended: sleepless nights watching games thanks to the time difference and an office of foreign co-workers who refused to talk to him the day after he called out “sick” to watch the Super Bowl. He graduated from Calvert Hall in ’08 and Towson University in ’12 with a degree in English. More from David Hallman

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