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  1. #1
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    Will trading for Boldin change the Ravens' draft strategy?



    Tony Lombardi: Does the trade for Boldin change the type of receiver that might attract you in the 2010 NFL Draft?

    Eric DeCosta: Not really. Itís all about getting a good mix of abilities. You donít want all small guys who can fly. You donít want all big possession/jump ball-type guys either. In the end, itís about finding playmakers. And they come in all different shapes, sizes, and speeds. You have to factor in special teams too.

    TL: What is a red star player and have you drafted any over the past few seasons?

    ED: A red-star player is a guy who is tough, durable, smart, productive and clean off the field from a character perspective. Heís got to play with a high motor and be relentless on tape. A few that weíve drafted over the years include Haruki Nakamura, Marshal Yanda, Ed Reed, and Ray Rice. Oh, and Cedric Peerman was a red-star last year too. We lost him to Cleveland and then Detroit. Lardarius Webb could have been a red-star from an ability standpoint but some off-field concerns kept us from being able to designate him.

    TL: Have you ever just missed on a red star player and did they pan out as you expected in the NFL?

    ED: Bob Sanders. We had him targeted in the 2004 draft in the second-round (we did not have a first-round pick that year). Another guy we liked as a red-star was Logan Mankins who New England drafted in 2005. We thought we could get him in round 2 and the Patriots took him at the end of round 1.

    Other questions answered:

    TL: What characteristics or qualities do you use when analyzing collegiate talent and building your draft board?

    TL: Do you use similar qualities to build your board for available pro personnel?

    TL: Character is an increasingly important element used to assess a player and his desirability. What sort of character red flags are the Ravens willing to work with and which do you shy away from?

    TL: You often hear about locker room chemistry and a player coming in and disrupting that chemistry Ė Terrell Owens comes to mind. Is that overdramatized or can a player really break down the fabric of a team?

    TL: With so many restricted free agents and without a salary cap, teams can hold on to players longer over the course of the offseason. Many good players could be released well after the draft, even late into training camp. Might this offseason reward the patient organization perhaps even more so than in past years?

    TL: This draft seems particularly deep with many declared underclassmen. Do you think that has anything to do with the potential of a rookie salary cap? Might it dilute the talent available in the 2011 NFL Draft?

    TL: Players can get better; coaches can get better; what can front office personnel do to improve and what have you learned in recent years that prepares you better for the upcoming draft?

    TL: What would make the Ravensí pass defense stronger, a stud corner or a stud pass rusher?

    UNLOCK THE ANSWERS HERE




  2. #2

    Re: Will trading for Boldin change the Ravens' draft strategy?

    Great interview. He seems like he would pretty do anything but rank the current draft for you.

    The last issue of pass rush vs CB play I agree with him, but Parcells is also right. The pass rush makes the CB play good, but bad CB play will get you beat a lot faster than average or poor pass rush will.







  3. #3
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    Re: Will trading for Boldin change the Ravens' draft strategy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremiah W View Post
    Great interview. He seems like he would pretty do anything but rank the current draft for you.

    The last issue of pass rush vs CB play I agree with him, but Parcells is also right. The pass rush makes the CB play good, but bad CB play will get you beat a lot faster than average or poor pass rush will.



    Puting it another way, a great pass rush makes a good CB considered for the pro-bowl, A bad CB makes a great D toast.


    One of Eric's greatest skills is to appear open and honest, give great informative answers, and not one hint of what he is specifically thinking.
    We come away with our thinking somewhat clearer and still in the dark.
    Gotta love him! and be glad he on our side.
    Heinz Field Ketchup official ketchup of the Ravens?




  4. #4

    Re: Will trading for Boldin change the Ravens' draft strategy?

    I have to agree with Parcells that those are thre areas you can really get burned... but that doesn't make pass rush less important.




  5. #5

    Re: Will trading for Boldin change the Ravens' draft strategy?

    Sounds to me like they are looking for compliments at the WR position. Bolidin will kill teams underneath and intermediate, Stallworth is a deep threat(not sure how much we can count on him at this point but im being optimistic), so it seems like compliment to them would be a taller guy that has a mixture of those elements like a Demaryius Thomas, Arrellious Benn or Brandon Lafell, these guys could also be a #1 WR down the line. Maybe this means they wanna transition to life after Mason? Maybe we are seeing a real change of the guard?
    Last edited by Carey; 03-09-2010 at 11:15 AM.




  6. #6

    Re: Will trading for Boldin change the Ravens' draft strategy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carey View Post
    Sounds to me like they are looking for compliments at the WR position. Bolidin will kill teams underneath and intermediate, Stallworth is a deep threat(not sure how much we can count on him at this point but im being optimistic), so it seems like compliment to them would be a taller guy that has a mixture of those elements like a Demaryius Thomas, Arrellious Benn or Brandon Lafell, these guys could also be a #1 WR down the line. Maybe this means they wanna transition to life after Mason?
    I still see WR as one of the top needs. Boldin is the only guy under contract for more than a year.

    Thomas would be the name on the card turned in about 30 seconds after the 24th pick if I was running hte draft. He looks like a young Fitzgerald or Andre Johnson type WR. After him or Dez Bryant there are going to be about 25 options at WR in the draft and guys the draft makes available.

    Mason should be back. I doubt anyone else will offer him more money or better chance to win. He may not get the same type of stats and catches, but if he really wants to play for 2 years he should only get about 50 grabs a year and play more of a #3 role with Stallworth or some bigger, stronger faster younger guy blocking or running off the FS on 1st down.
    On 3rd downs vs a nickle CB Mason should be open a lot or draw double coverage in the middle, giving Flacco all kinds of deep 1 on 1 matchups or room for Rice to work underneath.

    The O is already starting to look ridicuolus on paper. The major parts are all in place. The QB and OC are now 3 years into the system. The O line and RB depth is clearly near the top of the NFL. The WR issues seem to be that last part along with #2 TE, but the draft and late free agency set up perfectly to address that.

    DL is another need, but also another spot the draft is deep. Edwards and Bannan can be replaced as Nagta and Gregg's back ups with Mckinney and Talavou, but Pryce needs an understudy at the 3T and DE spot.

    CB depth is always very valuable. I really like Cory Ivy with all his pluck and determination and what not, but really was hoping to never see him on the field vs Peyton Manning in the playoffs again.

    The Ravens draft strategy is made possible by filling all or most of the needs before the draft and keeping a healthy mix of vets and youth in affordable expiring contracts. They can take 2 Qbs in this draft if the value is there and move the current backups. They can take the top TB in the draft and move Willis if that makes them better. Even a kicker or punter is possible. The only thing I doubt they will do is take more than 2 guys at any 1 position or a Qb in the 1st round. Other than that BPA pretty much goes with a good chance of trading up or down to get the right player at the right price and all that play like raven slogan stuff. In hindsight they really do draft and operate that way even if it sounds cliche or vanilla before the draft, or after when they do not even select a Wr when everyone said it was the top draft target.

    The Ravens are a great team to root for but a hard one to play fantasy GM or arm chair monday morning coach or QB. They pretty much always do what they are supposed to do. It may be more fun to off season fix some NFC team like Philly. How did they go out like that to Dallas?







  7. #7

    Re: Will trading for Boldin change the Ravens' draft strategy?

    TL: Have you ever just missed on a red star player and did they pan out as you expected in the NFL?

    ED: Bob Sanders. We had him targeted in the 2004 draft in the second-round (we did not have a first-round pick that year).
    This one still burns me up. I wanted Sanders badly back in that draft, and remember being on the edge of my seat every pick another team went by without taking him. Then Indi traded up, and as soon as the trade was announced I said - audibly to the room full of friends with whom I was playing poker - "SH*T!" knowing that they moved up to get him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carey View Post
    Maybe this means they wanna transition to life after Mason?
    Not sure about this yet, but I could easily see us waiting to sign Mason until after the draft. I would guess they have something like a handfull of WRs that they've got on their board as acceptable on which to use a 1st or 2nd round pick. Then in the draft, if they've got BPA at each of those picks at another position, they take them and come back to Mason with a new deal in hand. If not, they take one of the receivers and never reach back out to him.

    The thing is, if you're going to re-sign Mason, it almost makes drafting a WR in the 1st or 2nd round not a viable option. Where are you gonna put him? Q and Mason clearly would be the top two. Stallworth is #3. Clayton - for all the razzing we give him, is actually a pretty good option at #4. Our WR5 almost has to have some ST abilities. You could do it from the standpoint of knowing that Mason would only be around a year or two. But really, re-signing Mason and drafting a WR in the 1st or 2nd actually gives us too much at the position. And while the WR position is important - I don't buy what some people here say that it's one of the least important positions on the field - it's nowhere close to important enough to want it to be so much of a strength.

    - C -
    ---------------------------------------------------

    www.oblongspheroid.com

    A blog about any and everything football.

    Twitter: oblong_spheroid




  8. #8

    Re: Will trading for Boldin change the Ravens' draft strategy?

    PS - Great interview, Tony, thanks for sharing!
    ---------------------------------------------------

    www.oblongspheroid.com

    A blog about any and everything football.

    Twitter: oblong_spheroid




  9. #9
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    Re: Will trading for Boldin change the Ravens' draft strategy?

    No real comment other than to say, nice work on the interview, and thanks for putting it up here. Definitely some good insight; much appreciated.

    Tried to post earlier this morning when I read it, but the site was acting up and I couldn't post.




  10. #10

    Re: Will trading for Boldin change the Ravens' draft strategy?

    Quote Originally Posted by psuasskicker View Post
    This one still burns me up. I wanted Sanders badly back in that draft, and remember being on the edge of my seat every pick another team went by without taking him. Then Indi traded up, and as soon as the trade was announced I said - audibly to the room full of friends with whom I was playing poker - "SH*T!" knowing that they moved up to get him.



    Not sure about this yet, but I could easily see us waiting to sign Mason until after the draft. I would guess they have something like a handfull of WRs that they've got on their board as acceptable on which to use a 1st or 2nd round pick. Then in the draft, if they've got BPA at each of those picks at another position, they take them and come back to Mason with a new deal in hand. If not, they take one of the receivers and never reach back out to him.

    Your right, the 5th WR better be able to play special teams, especially on this team with the way Harbs values that. I think that gives Marcus Smith and edge over the other guys that would be vying for that 5th spot like Harper or Riley. I think it'll play out exactly how you've said.....Boldin,Mason,Stallworth,Clayton, Smith or Boldin,draft pick,Stallworth, Clayton, Smith....A guy to watch for in the later rounds would be Blair White from Michagan St., He's 6'2, great route runner, hands, with enough speed to get open, and he was a great special teamer before he became the go to guy, he could start as a 4th or 5th guy and work his way up.

    The thing is, if you're going to re-sign Mason, it almost makes drafting a WR in the 1st or 2nd round not a viable option. Where are you gonna put him? Q and Mason clearly would be the top two. Stallworth is #3. Clayton - for all the razzing we give him, is actually a pretty good option at #4. Our WR5 almost has to have some ST abilities. You could do it from the standpoint of knowing that Mason would only be around a year or two. But really, re-signing Mason and drafting a WR in the 1st or 2nd actually gives us too much at the position. And while the WR position is important - I don't buy what some people here say that it's one of the least important positions on the field - it's nowhere close to important enough to want it to be so much of a strength.

    - C -
    Your right, the 5th WR better be able to play special teams, especially on this team with the way Harbs values that. I think that gives Marcus Smith and edge over the other guys that would be vying for that 5th spot like Harper or Riley. I think it'll play out exactly how you've said.....Boldin,Mason,Stallworth,Clayton, Smith or Boldin,draft pick,Stallworth, Clayton, Smith....and if we did sign Mason before the draft and still draft a WR then that means Clayton will be gone, which for a 5th to a WR desperate team isnt a bad idea....A guy to watch for in the later rounds would be Blair White from Michigan St., He's 6'2, great route runner, hands, with enough speed to get open, and he was a great special teamer before he became the go to guy, he could start as a 4th or 5th guy and work his way up.
    Last edited by Carey; 03-09-2010 at 02:11 PM.




  11. #11

    Re: Will trading for Boldin change the Ravens' draft strategy?

    Quote Originally Posted by psuasskicker View Post



    The thing is, if you're going to re-sign Mason, it almost makes drafting a WR in the 1st or 2nd round not a viable option. Where are you gonna put him? Q and Mason clearly would be the top two. Stallworth is #3. Clayton - for all the razzing we give him, is actually a pretty good option at #4. Our WR5 almost has to have some ST abilities. You could do it from the standpoint of knowing that Mason would only be around a year or two. But really, re-signing Mason and drafting a WR in the 1st or 2nd actually gives us too much at the position. And while the WR position is important - I don't buy what some people here say that it's one of the least important positions on the field - it's nowhere close to important enough to want it to be so much of a strength.
    Stallworth is far from a lock at #3. The guy hasn't played football in over a year, and really didn't do much without Brady for a few years before that. Not to say that he won't do anything, but he is not the type of guy we should be counting on for a whole lot. Anything he gives should be seen as a bonus, rather than living up to expectations.

    I think it will be: Boldin - Mason - Stallworth/Rookie - Clayton/Rookie - Smith/Harper. The rookie competing with Stallworth would be in a situation where we take a guy in the first two rounds that will be expected to have some immediate impact. The rookie competing with Clayton would be a mid-to-late-round guy that has some potential but can't be counted on for anything yet.

    If Mason is back (which I think he will be), that gives us a year or two to develop a mid-round type of WR. Boldin and Mason is a solid start, but we really don't have much proven quality behind that. Considering Mason's age and Boldin's injury history, I would still rather add a WR in one of the first two rounds.
    Last edited by baltimore_hokie; 03-09-2010 at 03:26 PM.




  12. #12
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    Re: Will trading for Boldin change the Ravens' draft strategy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremiah W View Post
    The O is already starting to look ridicuolus on paper. The major parts are all in place.
    It could, but not quite yet for me.
    Still have some unsettled things like Gaither and Yanda, and to a lesser degree Chester and a TE and possibly a FB.
    I'm not going to start drooling over the O until the OL locks down. If Gaither and Yanda get ridiculous offers, I can see our draft having to change because once it gets past the top maybe 5 or 6, then it is best relative player available with hair splitting between some players/positions.
    I'm holding off till I know we don't have holes open on the OL.

    Once that happens I'll join you
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