It is often said that three years is a sufficient waiting period before grading an NFL team’s draft class.
While that amount of time isn’t gospel, it is a fairly useful metric to determine the success of a draft.
Three years ago, the Baltimore Ravens hauled in a 2010 group of prospects that consisted of seven players. They traded out of the first round, but ended up with two second-round picks.
Let’s take a look at each pick with a grade for each:
Sergio Kindle, Linebacker (Round 2, Pick 43)
The Ravens were able to trade back in the draft and still end up with Kindle, who fell on draft day due to off-field problems, primarily. While the pick at the time appeared to be one of the steals of the second round, it turned out to be one of the worst picks of the entire 2010 draft for any team. He suffered a head injury that prevented him from playing during the 2010 season, and only ended up playing in three games before being released in October of 2012. He recorded just one tackle as a Raven and was never in the mix of being a starting outside linebacker for Baltimore.
Terrence Cody, Defensive Tackle (Round 2, Pick 57)
Like the Kindle pick, the selection of Cody seemed to be great value for the Ravens at the end of the second round. The true nose tackle had a productive career at Alabama and was one of the better defensive tackle prospects in the 2010 draft. However, he’s never proved to be an impactful player in the middle of the Ravens defense, and has only been a full-time starter for one season (2011). He’s been consistent enough to be a regular rotational player, but has never developed into anything noteworthy.
Ed Dickson, Tight End (Round 3, Pick 70)
Based on where he was selected and who was selected after him (Jimmy Graham), Dickson has failed to live up to expectations. He’s proved to be exclusively a receiving tight end, with minimal skills as a blocker. Essentially he has almost become more of a slot receiver than a tight end; however, that’s also a result of the Ravens’ current offensive scheme. After a 54-catch season in 2011, Dickson regressed in 2012, catching just 21 passes. He’s struggled with drop problems and it appears he has reached his potential. Still, offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell has a full offseason to incorporate Dickson more into the game plan as a receiver, so the jury may still be out on his future. For now, he’s been nothing more than a complementary player who hasn’t necessarily lived up to his third-round label.
Dennis Pitta, Tight End (Round 4, Pick 114)
The Ravens double-dipped on tight ends in the 2010 draft, and so far, Pitta has undoubtedly been the better of the two tight ends taken. Like Dickson, he hasn’t amounted to much as a blocker, but as a receiver, Pitta proved to be one of quarterback Joe Flacco’s favorite targets in 2012. After a 2010 season that resulted in just one catch for Pitta, he managed to catch 40 passes in 2011 and 61 in 2012. If he builds on his successful 2012 campaign, Pitta could turn out to be one of the better receiving tight ends in the NFL.
David Reed, Wide Receiver (Round 5, Pick 156)
When Baltimore selected him, there were expectations for Reed to possibly become a staple as a rotational fourth or fifth receiver for the team. Instead, he quickly found his niche on special teams, where he has excelled. He averaged 29.5 yards per kick return over his first two seasons, and when he was healthy in 2012, he was one of the best gunners for the Ravens on primarily the punt coverage team. So far, he’s still infamous for his fumble debacle in Seattle in 2011, but overall, he’s developed into a fairly successful special teams ace.
Arthur Jones, Defensive Tackle (Round 5, Pick 157)
In terms of value, this may be the Ravens’ best pick of the 2010 draft. Jones spent the 2010 season primarily on the sideline, being activated for just two games. However, in 2011 he was active for 14 games and in 2012 he finally developed into a well-balanced lineman with underrated pass rushing skills. He played in every game for the Ravens in 2012, and recorded 4.5 sacks during the regular season. He showed his true potential last season, and it appears that he’s primed for a long, successful career in Baltimore.
Ramon Harewood, Offensive Lineman (Round 6, Pick 194)
Using a late-round pick on a project player is something the Ravens do on occasion, and that’s exactly what they did with Harewood. After spending time developing and recovering from injuries during his first two seasons, he cracked the starting lineup for the Ravens in 2012. He started five games and played in six games; however, that’s been the highlight of his career so far. He doesn’t appear to be capable of being a full-time starter in the NFL, with “versatile backup” being his role for now.