Some Ravens fans were left scratching their heads over the team’s selection of CJ Mosley with the 17th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. They reasoned that the Ravens have other needs much more pressing than inside linebacker.
After all, didn’t the Ravens re-sign Daryl Smith to a new 4-year deal and didn’t they burn their second round pick in 2013 on Arthur Brown?
But let’s consider the big picture.
CJ Mosley was the best player on the team’s draft board and from what we’ve heard it wasn’t even close. The Ravens entertained offers to move back but none was enticing enough to pass on this special player who is built to play the Mike linebacker at a high level in the modern day NFL.
If Mosley was the defacto best player on the board hasn’t Ozzie earned our blind trust?
Back in 2001 the Ravens didn’t need a tight end but they picked Todd Heap anyway. One year later they really didn’t need a safety but remained true to their board and picked Ed Reed.
How did those choices work out?
Is the pick of Mosley a knock on Arthur Brown?
Not at all!
According to sources the Ravens are hopeful that the one-two punch of Mosley and Brown will ultimately rival the best in the league. Mosley has been compared favorably to Patrick Willis while Brown projects as a Navarro Bowman clone.
Just because Brown didn’t see much of the field in 2013 doesn’t mean the Ravens have lost faith. In fact the buzz out in Owings Mills is that Brown possesses mad athleticism and the coaches are excited to see how that translates to the field now that Brown is more immersed in defensive coordinator Dean Pees’ system.
Smith was a great free agent acquisition in 2013. He provided leadership and was a productive player at a bargain price. The Ravens were able to keep last season’s defensive standout by signing him to a cap friendly contract.
But don’t think for a second that Smith will see the end of his 4-year deal. Smith is 32 and is entering his 11th season in the NFL. Don’t be shocked if at some point during the 2014 campaign the Ravens hopeful answer to Willis-Bowman begins to take shape.
More than likely, Smith will be a quality backup in 2015 after which odds are he’ll be a cap casualty. Releasing him in 2016 would represent a $2.125M cap savings.
Being an armchair GM is great and it’s one of the reasons why the NFL is relevant 365 days per year and it’s why the NFL Draft TV ratings outpaced two NBA and two NHL playoff games combined.
But let’s be real here. Criticizing Ozzie Newsome and his extremely capable staff for making what many fans believe was a bad pick is ridiculous.
The trouble with Ozzie’s business is that he has millions of “experts” trying to tell him what the Ravens should do on draft day. It’s akin to listening to a bunch of whiny hypochondriacs for medical advice instead of trusting your doctor.
Watch out for those rubber gloves…