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  1. #13
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    Re: Average at best draft?



    Quote Originally Posted by chicagoravensfan View Post
    To some degree you have to adjust for what they were working with each year. It's quite a handicap to start out with the 29th pick in each round
    Yeah, I wanted everyone to keep in mind that Ngata and Suggs and Flacco all were obtained because they were in a better slot. Likewise, I wanted to remind people about some of the "sleeper" value they were able to get in some later rounds because, like picking later in each round, is an indicator of overachieving in scouting.

    Quote Originally Posted by chicagoravensfan View Post
    and while 2008 yielded 2 foundational starters, the rest of the picks are fairly disappointing considering we started with the 8th pick in every round and had bonus picks after trading down with Jacksonville.
    That's why it's hard to rate some of these classes. Flacco and Rice are impact players. Do they count more heavily than a "solid B" class with a Grubbs/Yanda/McClain? Also, do you credit them for UDFA Jameel McClain in 2008?

    How much better is 2002, Ed Reed's class, when you consider that Chester Taylor came in the sixth and Will Demps and Bart Scott were UDFA's?


    Quote Originally Posted by chicagoravensfan View Post
    That said, if Gradkowski develops into a starting Center, the trade down from 29 to 35 while still picking up Upshaw will go down as one of Ozzie's finest draft day moves. It's also way too early to make a judgment on Asa Jackson or Christian Thompson which could significantly nudge 2012 up the ranks.
    Correct. I'm actually higher on the UDFAs from this class than the back end of the draft itself. Justin Tucker, Bobby Rainey, and Deonte Thompson are interesting players to say the least.




  2. #14

    Re: Average at best draft?

    Maybe Kris Jones meant average for what the Ravens typically get out of a draft, since they typically get about 2 or 3 starters, which is what they've gotten so far from the 2012 class.




  3. #15

    Re: Average at best draft?

    Hey guys, it's Kris Jones. I'm a little swamped at the moment but plan on hanging out on the message board a lot more during the offseason.

    As far as my comment about a draft that was "average at best", I was actually planning on doing a more drawn out post at the end of the regular season but I'll give a preview into my thoughts as of now.

    First, the draft wasn't something that a lot of the media nor front office people seemed was one of their best. I can't remember exactly which front office member it was but they said a lot of the guys they were trying to get were taking just picks before them (any fantasy football team owner knows the feeling).

    As far as the 2012 draft, there are some issues that I had with it and I'll do a preview of it here and a more drawn out post next week after the game.

    Courtney Upshaw-
    Great value pick and he's coming into his own. I don't have a problem with them taking him, especially at the 34th pick and he's a guy who will only get better.

    Kelechi Osemele-
    Another good pick, especially because of the value. He's played well at tackle, even after admitting that he'd rather be at guard. He's faced better competition and for the most part done a pretty stand up job at handling it. Out of the entire draft, he's my favorite pick.

    Bernard Pierce-
    I think Bernard is a great player, will become an even better player and an is a nice guy in person as well. I absolutely hated the fact that the Ravens took a running back in the third round, and that they gave up a fifth round pick to move up to get him as well. I know Pierce has a ton of upside and is a change of pace for Rice but a veteran free-agent could have filled the same role. I've frankly seen more of Pierce than I'd like to because Rice needs his touches and he clearly hasn't gotten them consistently this year.

    So yes, Pierce is a great value and a good player. But, this team had plenty of other issues they needed to address in the third round before not only their pick in that round but giving up a fifth round as well.

    Christian Thompson-
    He has a lot of upside and played at a smaller school due to off the field issues but watching him in training camp every day, he just lost me. He wasn't someone who stood out and wasn't someone who did anything wrong. Before he was placed on IR, he was just around as a special teams player and once again, was nothing extra special.

    I'm not the only person who felt this way about him as well. It'll be more interesting to see what he can do next season with Reed probably not returning. I love the addition of James Ihedigbo and think he's someone to be considered at safety, even though he's primarily played at strong safety while replacing Bernard Pollard who has been dealing with a rib issue.

    Gino Gradkowski-
    Possibly the most head scratching pick of the draft. He's extremely undersized (listed at 6'3 300lbs) but seems smaller than that. I could accept drafting a smaller guy like this had he played at a big time school and proved that he can handle bigger defensive lineman but that's not the case. The only film coaches are seeing is from him playing at Delaware and I could care less what he does against someone from Towson versus seeing a small guy being able to block someone from LSU or Alabama.

    Matt Birk hasn't had his greatest season and has essentially shrunk Joe Flacco's pocket because he's constantly pushed backwards. For as bad as Birk has played this season, don't you think they would have eventually put Gradkowski in if he was able to play?

    Asa Jackson-
    Once again, an undersized player but I like Jackson. He won me over when I saw a 6' guy leaping into the air and beating Tommy Streeter 6'8" multiple times to break up a pass in training camp. He was only a thought to sniff the field when Lardarius Webb went out with his ACL injury as the plan was to use him and Corey Graham in the slot. When he did have his time, he didn't stick around long as is currently suspended for violating the performance enhancing drug policy.

    Not the best move.

    Tommy Streeter-
    Waste.Waste.Waste. This guy is a project but can't catch a ball to save his life. Throughout training camp, I watched him closely each day and he was allowing Jackson as I previously mentioned to out-leap him. He's got the ideal body of a prototypical red zone threat but you have to have the effort and heart to go along with it. He is raw in his route running and just didn't show much during practice or the games for that matter in training camp/preseason.

    The Ravens only placed him on IR because of his potential but there was no way that even if he was "healthy" he was on the bubble to even be placed on the practice squad where he could be claimed by another team. Streeter could possibly turn into something but I'd only give it a 9% chance based off of what I saw through watching him at training camp each day.

    DeAngelo Tyson-
    Great value at the end of the draft. During the preseason and in limited action this year, he's showed promise. He's probably another year or two away from being a decent contributor but I like what I've seen out of him better than Terrance Cody on the defensive line. A solid seventh round pick.

    Justin Tucker (undrafted)-
    Definitely the gem of the free agent class. Tucker has the talent and confidence to be around here for quite some time. His addition doesn't make me feel better about the questionable moves the team made in between rounds 3-6.

    Hope this explanation helps, I've watched these rookies very close from their first day in camp and it's my honest assessment. With the start of the regular season, all anyone can really go off of is what has happened with Upshaw, Osemele and Pierce as they've been the only ones to see significant playing time.

    -Kris (I look forward to hanging around more in the offseason)
    Last edited by Goob24x7; 12-27-2012 at 03:33 PM. Reason: bolding




  4. #16
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    Re: Average at best draft?

    Thanks, Kris. I don't disagree with your assessment. I had a reaction to "average at best" not in that I disagreed, per se, more that was perplexed -- I could see the argument that it was fairly weak in that no one outside of Baltimore will look at it and think, "wow,' but I could also see the argument that it was one of the strongest from a next-man-up/budget-management point of view.

    That's what made me wanbt to sort of think out loud with my post to figure out where ended up on the question. I guess I haven't really decided still. I think I'd call it average to above average, but not great. Probably a "B" but not a "C" at best kind of draft.

    For those who look for grabbing a real impact player, and that's the way they judge good drafts, I can see how you'd call it average. Upshaw seems like a pretty solid replacement for Jarret Johnson, but he isn't an elite pass rusher, which you'd probably want out of your first pick. Osemele is a solid replacement for Grubbs. And Pierce steps in to fill a role that guys like McGahee and Ricky Williams moved on from. They saved a bunch of money without really losing a lot in terms of production with those three picks. Not sexy, but a pretty good outcome.

    If it means being able to spend money elsewhere to keep big hitters like Rice and Flacco and Ngata in the fold, that's not bad. As I said, budget management.

    In the 2012 draft I don't see even a Lardarius Webb or Paul Kruger or Torrey Smith type player in terms of adding a guy who can impact a game all on his own. So it's hard to call it a great draft from that perspective. In fact, Justin Tucker may be the biggest impact guy, and he wasn't even a draft pick.

    On the other hand, It's hard to find a draft that beats this one in terms of solid role players that they got out of their first three picks -- players who I suspect will all play for a number of years. 2009 also saw them pick up three players who filled roles in Oher, Kruger and Webb -- and two of those players are impact players, which makes 2009 better probably.

    2012 is probably like getting three Michael Ohers. Oher is a disappointment for those who think the first round pick should be a Ring of Honor type player. But if he was taken in the third round that would have been a damn good pick.

    Getting three Michael Oher-level players (or Ben Grubbs) from two seconds and a third isn't bad. Solid, not spectacular.
    Last edited by Shas; 12-27-2012 at 04:24 PM.




  5. #17

    Re: Average at best draft?

    Yes, that blog title threw me for a loop as well. For not having any first rounders, a lot of the rookies have really contributed, certainly more than just in an "average" fashion. Upshaw and KO look like they could be starters/heavy contributors for a long time, Pierce is a future starter, Gino might be the heir apparent to Birk, Tyson has been a part of a nice D-line rotation, and, of course, there is Tucker, who looks like he'll be kicking for us for ten years. I would say this draft has been better than average.




  6. #18

    Re: Average at best draft?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shas View Post
    Correct. I'm actually higher on the UDFAs from this class than the back end of the draft itself. Justin Tucker, Bobby Rainey, and Deonte Thompson are interesting players to say the least.
    I think Omar Brown might end up being a good find as well.




  7. #19
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    Re: Average at best draft?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goob24x7 View Post
    I can't remember exactly which front office member it was but they said a lot of the guys they were trying to get were taking just picks before them (any fantasy football team owner knows the feeling).
    I think it was DeCosta who admitted that. Again, I'm perplexed. Don't know whether to crap on them for allowing themselves to get snookered, or applaud them for bouncing back and at least getting solid players rather than panic.

    I liked Hightower a lot -- saw him as instinctive and a more of a need, but the Pats jumped up and got him. And I was worried the Ravens would settle for Harrison Smith, a sexy pick at the time, but was happy when they traded out with the Vikings and ended up with Upshaw, who was indeed better value. Gradkowski was the bonus player they got in the deal. I'm not high on him, but time will tell. The Ravens recently adopted a philosophy that they'd grab small school players that other teams overlook -- spurred on by successful picks like Flacco and Webb, but I think they tend to out think themselves sometimes. I think it was Peter Konz and Vinny Curry who nearly fell to them in the second round, and Mohammed Sanu who went one spot ahead of Pierce before they traded up to get him.




  8. #20
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    Re: Average at best draft?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenalytics View Post
    I think Omar Brown might end up being a good find as well.
    True. I doubt he'll be Ed Reed's replacement, but certainly looks like he could be a better value than a player like Zbikowski who they used a third round pick on. There was a lot of solid hole filling out of this draft, which is fine with me as long as they can come back next year and find more of that home run hitter -- someone who could be match up across from Torrey Smith, a la Julio Jones across from Roddy White, or a big time left tackle who could bump Oher to the RT spot and Osemele to LG. Or a Geno Atkins or Vince Wilfork or Casey Hampton disruptive type to play in the middle next to Haloti.




  9. #21
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    Re: Average at best draft?

    [QUOTE=Goob24x7;544561]Bernard Pierce-
    I think Bernard is a great player, will become an even better player and an is a nice guy in person as well. I absolutely hated the fact that the Ravens took a running back in the third round, and that they gave up a fifth round pick to move up to get him as well. I know Pierce has a ton of upside and is a change of pace for Rice but a veteran free-agent could have filled the same role. I've frankly seen more of Pierce than I'd like to because Rice needs his touches and he clearly hasn't gotten them consistently this year.

    So yes, Pierce is a great value and a good player. But, this team had plenty of other issues they needed to address in the third round before not only their pick in that round but giving up a fifth round as well.

    Christian Thompson-
    He has a lot of upside and played at a smaller school due to off the field issues but watching him in training camp every day, he just lost me. He wasn't someone who stood out and wasn't someone who did anything wrong. Before he was placed on IR, he was just around as a special teams player and once again, was nothing extra special.

    I'm not the only person who felt this way about him as well. It'll be more interesting to see what he can do next season with Reed probably not returning. I love the addition of James Ihedigbo and think he's someone to be considered at safety, even though he's primarily played at strong safety while replacing Bernard Pollard who has been dealing with a rib issue.

    Gino Gradkowski-
    Possibly the most head scratching pick of the draft. He's extremely undersized (listed at 6'3 300lbs) but seems smaller than that. I could accept drafting a smaller guy like this had he played at a big time school and proved that he can handle bigger defensive lineman but that's not the case. The only film coaches are seeing is from him playing at Delaware and I could care less what he does against someone from Towson versus seeing a small guy being able to block someone from LSU or Alabama.

    Matt Birk hasn't had his greatest season and has essentially shrunk Joe Flacco's pocket because he's constantly pushed backwards. For as bad as Birk has played this season, don't you think they would have eventually put Gradkowski in if he was able to play?

    Asa Jackson-
    Once again, an undersized player but I like Jackson. He won me over when I saw a 6' guy leaping into the air and beating Tommy Streeter 6'8" multiple times to break up a pass in training camp. He was only a thought to sniff the field when Lardarius Webb went out with his ACL injury as the plan was to use him and Corey Graham in the slot. When he did have his time, he didn't stick around long as is currently suspended for violating the performance enhancing drug policy.

    Not the best move.

    Tommy Streeter-
    Waste.Waste.Waste. This guy is a project but can't catch a ball to save his life. Throughout training camp, I watched him closely each day and he was allowing Jackson as I previously mentioned to out-leap him. He's got the ideal body of a prototypical red zone threat but you have to have the effort and heart to go along with it. He is raw in his route running and just didn't show much during practice or the games for that matter in training camp/preseason.

    The Ravens only placed him on IR because of his potential but there was no way that even if he was "healthy" he was on the bubble to even be placed on the practice squad where he could be claimed by another team. Streeter could possibly turn into something but I'd only give it a 9% chance based off of what I saw through watching him at training camp each day.
    QUOTE]

    This is really interesting. I don't remember reading anything good, bad or indifferent about Christian Thompson so this perspective is interesting, though disheartening, to read.

    I also was disappointed on draft night when the Ravens had traded up for a Running Back who wasn't really touted as a game-breaker. I wonder how much of that decision was driven by concern about getting Ray Rice locked up to a long-term deal. The Ravens also traded up in the 3rd round for Jah Reid in 2011, which to this point is not looking like a great move.




  10. #22

    Re: Average at best draft?

    Yeah def no home run blue chip pro bowl type players, but still contributors. So depending on how you grade, sure I'd go with average.

    Oh and Cody=Bust. Never seen a guy that big get shoved around that badly.




  11. #23
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    Re: Average at best draft?

    Yeah because all 3rd round picks are ''great moves''.

    Jah Reid is now a starter at LG and is holding out well, while Bernard Pierce had 13 carries for 124 yards on Sunday. What do people expect?




  12. #24

    Re: Average at best draft?

    Quote Originally Posted by JustaslowZ06 View Post
    Yeah def no home run blue chip pro bowl type players, but still contributors. So depending on how you grade, sure I'd go with average.

    Oh and Cody=Bust. Never seen a guy that big get shoved around that badly.
    Cody and Kindle the bust draft. At the time it looked good, but you never know about a draft until 3 years later. That is why those silly draft grades annoy me, pointless.




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