When Considering Julian Edelman, Buyer Beware!

edelman airplane 728

It’s interesting how so many fans, even members of the media suggest that the Ravens should scrap the idea of drafting a receiver and just sign a free agent pass catcher instead.

The rationale has its roots in the team’s history of drafting wide receivers, which admittedly has been anything but stellar.

But such opinions are narrow-minded and shortsighted.

Naturally proponents of such thinking will point to Travis Taylor, Mark Clayton, Devard Darling and Tandon Doss as evidence to support their claims. And while the argument is compelling to some degree, particularly when the Ravens passed on Roddy White back in 2005, opting instead for Clayton, the logic is flawed.

A receiver’s success is predicated upon quality play at quarterback. The Ravens haven’t exactly been a beacon of consistent signal calling throughout their history.

Secondly, the Ravens have hardly been known as an offensive juggernaut. They’ve been the victims of inconsistent and at times obsolete offensive play design. Just as players like Lance Moore or Julian Edelman may be productive products of a system, it’s possible that a player like Clayton was a victim of his.

Lastly, organizations like the Ravens’ are continually challenging themselves internally to improve processes, to explore new approaches and adopt outside-the-box ways of thinking as a means to improvement. When they miss on a receiver, they study why and use the education as a means to improvement the next time they hand in a card on draft day carrying a receiver’s name.

The 2014 draft class is deep at the position of wide receiver.

Don’t be concerned if the Ravens call upon one.

Speaking of receivers, don’t count me among those who support a Ravens signing of Julian Edelman. Edelman has played a full 16-game season only once in his career. And while he had a huge 2013 season with 105 catches for 1,056 yards and 6 scores, it could be argued that he was the product of a system and that his productivity was heavily boosted by a dearth of receiving options available to Tom Brady in New England.

During his 4 seasons as a Patriot prior to 2013, Edelman had a total of 69 catches for 714 yards and 4 TD’s.

Edelman isn’t a big target and is most productive when he’s hit in stride. Mix that with Joe Flacco’s inconsistencies in the accuracy department and the Ravens might not enjoy the dividends they expect on an investment in the former QB out of Kent State.

And finally, the Ravens successfully extended Terrell Suggs to create more cap space and they signed Dennis Pitta to a contract that might be a slight reach today but certainly favorable on a relative basis 2 to 3 years from now. But you have to wonder if it may have been better to wait on both.

Hindsight being 20-20, if Ozzie Newsome knew that OLB’s DeMarcus Ware, Julius Peppers and TE Owen Daniel were all to hit the market as of March 11, would the Ravens have ponied up so much money for Suggs and Pitta?

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About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

26 Raves on “When Considering Julian Edelman, Buyer Beware!

  1. Steve on said:

    So Flacco is so inaccurate that he can’t hit a receiver in stride? I agree his accuracy is a weak point in his game but that should not be a deterrence from getting a receiver…

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      But if you are paying him to be as productive as he was in New England during the 2013 season then Flacco’s accuracy could be a deterrent.

    • John P on said:

      I think Tony’s point is that Brady’s accuracy drove Edelman’s statistics. We can all agree that Joe’s not as accurate as Brady and that Joe has trouble hitting receivers in stride.

      That said, Tony’s saying we’re better off with a guy that is known for his ability to adjust to the ball in flight (something Edelman is not known for).

  2. JPP on said:

    Simply put, Eldeman catches balls thrown his way. What’s simple is not always easy and we’ve had enough stone handed pass catchers. For the right price, why not.

  3. Ravenlady on said:

    While I agree that FLACCO isn’t perfect, the constant criticism is just getting old & tired. Whether we agree or not, this is the QB chosen for us. His positives far outweigh his negatives for me. Perhaps because I am female, I look at other things than just stats. I look at the fact that he plays EVERY game. He NEVER gives up & keeps fighting until the whistle blows. He takes all of the constant criticism without losing his cool. He stands up, faces all of you & never blames his team. He answers all the questions you ask. You never hear anything more embarrassing about JOE than he bought a lottery ticket. He’s a down-to-earth family man. He took an absolute pounding last season without bitching & whining. He didn’t put down his O-Line. He just kept playing. He’s only 28 and he WILL get better so cut him a break once in a while

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      RL, don’t disagree with any of what you’re saying. But that doesn’t remove the fact that Brady is far more accurate than Flacco.

      Brady is better looking than me but my wife still likes me better ;-)

      • Raven lady on said:

        Thanks for responding. I understand that Brady is a good QB and more accurate than JOE. BUT I know Brady had been doing it longer & had a little more time initially to develop than JOE. FLACCO went from U of D to the field. FLACCO will only get better & he can take a hit. Brady wears down the harder & more often you hit him. Sorry, I think he’s a prima donna, diva who acts like a little bitc*. I just don’t like him. JOE is the best QB for OUR team. As far as being better looking, I doubt it. Brady looks like Matt Damon. YUCK!!!! LOL. Anyway, I usually enjoy your articles. Even if I don’t agree, they are well written& give you something to think about

      • Anonymous on said:

        Robert, I just meant that it isn’t all about stats for me. I think intangibles are just as important as numbers. If that doesn’t make sense to you, I’m sorry. I don’t know how to explain it any better

  4. D rock on said:

    I also believe Edlelman is a bad fit in Bmore. Just don’t want him. Sign Daniels or preferably Pittagrew and draft a receiver in one of the top 3 rounds. Edelman will not survive in this division I think he will want more than he is worth as well

  5. bogeyroy on said:

    Not just Flacco…Brady is arguably more accurate than any other QB in the NFL.

    But I agree with Ravenlady…everyone needs to get off Joe’s back…he has done a remarkable job from his rookie year on to the present. Last year it was as though Joe was on an island by himself with no help anywhere in sight. Where would we be without Joe at the helm ?

  6. Jay on said:

    I’ve been telling anyone that will listen Golden Tate would be a much better fit….he’s stro get and faster and breaks alot of tackles. Would be great across from Torrey.

  7. Iota Phi Theta on said:

    I don’t think Edelman would be a good fit here in Baltimore. I would say sign Owen Daniels to make better use of two TE sets and draft a receiver, Marquise Lee has my vote. The Ravens have always overreached on receivers, picking dudes, who looked good for like one season of college ball.
    Also lets stop dumping on Flacco. His inaccuracy may be the product of a shoddy line. The dude never quit on us. He did lead the team to a SB. We cannot compare Flacco with Brady; two totally different quarterbacks. Two totally different franchise and head coaching mindsets. We have Flacco and not Brady, deal with it or move on!

  8. Vince on said:

    Why cant we sign a veteran WR and draft a WR? They are not mutually exclusive…1st year WR’s rarely make a big impact so bringing in a veteran to bridge the gap and provide immediate impact while developing a WR through the draft makes the most sense to me

    Ideal scenario for me…Sign Steve Smith (assuming he is cut) and draft an impact WR in the first 2 rounds

  9. RavenBKen on said:

    Edelman is a bad fit in Bmore. I am slightly disturbed that this is even a considered conversation. It must be a ruse to throw people off of the REAL scent…
    Go Ravens!

  10. Tucker: M&T Sec 527 on said:

    Ware and Peppers are top shelf veterans, but our money is already tied up in aa couple of top shelf veteran OLBs. Suggs tenure givers him leadership strength and Dumervil fell from the sky last offseason. Both experienced off years last season. I say we play the hand we have @ OLB. Get Daryl Smith done instead of scraping our plate and going through the chow line again. And as for edelman, the Pitta deal makes him or a Smurf-like WR less necvessary. I’m not saying Pitta is a Smurf, but he can make possession catches like he was one.

  11. Mark on said:

    I agree that not only did Brady’s unwordly accuracy drove Edelmans stats but Brady and Manning’s skills drove Welker’s also) Cameron was right about throwing big to big. Not a knock on Joe but get him some big receivers (both WR and TE) and it will maximize his skill set. Plenty of big (6’3″+) WRs in draft who can help even in round 2 and beyond. Evans is only one with Round 1 value but Benjamin, Matthews, Bryant and Moncrief might be had in rounds 2 or 3.
    I particularly hope for TE C J Fiedorowicz in purple. He is huge and his blocking ability makes him a great fit to play the Y in Kubiak’s 2 TE sets. He can also catch well and would compliment Pitta perfectly. Would love to get him in round 3 but have a feeling he wont be there for our pick.

  12. Voice of Reason on said:

    I think the Ravens need a receiver like Wes Welker or Julian Edelman. Ray Rice sort of filled that role before he was hurt, but we definitely need a short to medium range yardage receiver who can be dependable and know where the first down marker is located. I don’t trust the Ravens to do well in drafting receivers. Our most successful ones including TEs have been Dennis Pitta, Todd Heap and Torrey Smith. There are too many busts to count and the Ravens need O-line help, desperately. And yes, way too much criticism is directed toward Joe. I guess if Johnny U was playing in today’s world, we would be all over him too.

  13. Greg on said:

    Suggs has been in our scheme and IMO is the equal of Ware, both in talent and age. Can’t envision a scenario where we would let him go just to sign his clone for an even larger hit. I have a hard time buying that Ware is $4 million better than Suggs. Actually I feel good saying it isn’t.

    Anyway, no i don’t think Ozzie feels any regret. Its much more important to re-sign your own players than someone else’s.

  14. scott on said:

    You had me in full agreement until the quibbling about the timing of the Suggs and Pitta deals. First, forget about Peppers. The bum is washed up and is no substitute for Suggs. He is a DE and unlike Suggs, cannot set the edge or slip into coverage. Apples and oranges. Second, Ware got MORE guaranteed money than Suggs, and was snapped up immediately by Denver, so where is there evidence he had some dilutive effect on supply and demand for OLBs? As you said, Suggs was a salary cap move, not about the cash to be paid out. Ozzie did it in before the FA opening bell so he would know how much was in his wallet to play with. As for Pitta, you mention Daniels being cut but you don’t mention Graham being franchised, which sets the top of the market (and could go higher if it goes to arbitration, as expected). Pitta was rumored to be like Graham as a potential franchise candidate — someone who was eligible for the WR category for comp purposes because of where he lined up for the majority of snaps. Not only did he not get paid like a WR, he got less than a franchise TE. It’s a great deal. Owen Daniels got cut with an injury designation by the Texans, and nobody has touched him since, including us — so who knows what his physical condition is. The other thing is we had no choice but to lock-in Pitta. He is too important to our offense and to Flacco to lose. Not after losing Boldin last year. Ozzie locked him in at a good market price. Ozzie did play the waiting game with Monroe to get a good bargain, but he wasn’t going to risk losing Pitta in the hopes of saving another nickel.

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      Scott, the intent wasn’t to acquire Ware or Peppers to replace Suggs or Daniels to replace Pitta. It was about leverage. If those guys are available does that shift leverage towards the team and drive down the asking price. Just a thought, not a recommendation. Sorry if you took it as such.

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