Ravens lock up three draft picks: Osemele, Thompson and Jackson

Street Talk Ravens lock up three draft picks: Osemele, Thompson and Jackson

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OWINGS MILLS — The Baltimore Ravens locked up three draft picks Tuesday night, hammering out four-year deals with Kelechi Osemele, Christian Thompson and Asa Jackson.

All three players are scheduled to formally sign their contracts prior to the start of a rookie minicamp Friday.

Osemele is the Ravens’ second-round draft pick from Iowa State, a 6-foot-6, 333-pound offensive tackle-guard slated to compete with Jah Reid for the starting left guard job.

Selected 60th overall, Osemele is an All-Big 12 Conference blocker who allowed only one sack in college and that was to Denver Broncos Pro Bowl outside linebacker Von Miller.

Osemele started 43 consecutive games, lining up at left tackle for 38 of them and another five at left guard. He was credited with 299 knockdown blocks and 49 blocks that led to touchdowns.

“I feel like I bring a lot of competitiveness and I feel like I bring a lot of physicality and aggression to the table,” Osemele said during a conference call during the draft. “I just want to get in there and compete and try to fit where I may.”

Thompson is a fourth-round draft pick from South Carolina State.

The 6-foot, 211-pounder is expected to provide depth behind Pro Bowl free safety Ed Reed, who has been mentoring him, and strong safety Bernard Pollard.

Thompson ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 to 4.50 seconds at the NFL scouting combine, faster than any other safety.

“Christian is in the mold of the guys we like on defense,” defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. “He’s hard-nosed, tough and physical and smart. We like his versatility.”

“We don’t really consider guys box safeties or whatever. We don’t want a one-dimensional safety that can only play down or play up. Christian can help us in a lot of ways.”

Jackson is a fifth-round cornerback from Cal Poly.

The 5-foot-10, 190-pounder has 4.47 speed in the 40-yard dash and the return skills to make him a candidate for the punt returner job and in the secondary.

Jackson surrendered no touchdowns at Cal Poly, intercepting eight passes and returning three for touchdowns.

He averaged 14.7 yards per punt return for his career and 26.9 yards per kickoff return.

He finished with 199 career tackles, 31 pass deflections.

Jackson played in the Senior Bowl and bench pressed 225 pounds 19 times at the NFL scouting combine.

"He’s a quick-footed guy," Ravens director of player personnel Eric DeCosta sadid. "He has some suddenness. You can see some burst and some twitch. He catches the ball pretty well. He’ll be a guy that can go back there and compete.

"We’re not going to anoint him as the punt and kick returner, but we think he has a chance to be a guy that can compete with some other guys."

Still unsigned out of the Ravens’ draft class: second-round outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw (Alabama), third-round running back Bernard Pierce (Temple), fourth-round center-guard Gino Gradkowski (Delaware), sixth-round wide receiver Tommy Streeter (Miami) and seventh-round defensive tackle DeAngelo Tyson (Georgia).

 
 

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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors. 

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