Baltimore Ravens Draft Grades


First Round: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

Philosophy: A

Adding talent at the cornerback position was a big need for the Baltimore Ravens. A lot of the quality starting cornerbacks in the league seem to come from the early part of the draft (I’ll be doing a empirical study on this sometime soon when I find the time) so taking a cornerback early is a good move.

Player/Value A+
Players like Jimmy Smith make mock drafts very hard. Anyone who follows the draft recognizes that Jimmy Smith had the dread character concern label attached to him, but is it overblown? Was he just an immature college kid? Does he love football? Can he mature into a leader? I don’t know. I have no personal contact with Jimmy Smith. I can only watch him on film. I think some of the stuff is overblown and I read a few people who know Smith or know people who know Smith that have said Smith’s problems seem to be mostly behind him. But I just don’t know.

I know on the field he’s excellent. He’s big, strong, fast and even though he doesn’t intercept a ton of passes he really helps out in the run game and can be a very good press coverage man in the league. If he is dedicated to football he could be Nnamdi Asmougha. I think the Ravens are a perfect spot for him. They have some true leaders on defense. Great pick by the Ravens, the best pick they could have made in my opinion.

What’s a better time to take an uber talented player than late in the first round with a great locker room full of leaders in a winning atmosphere? There isn’t. Great pick by the Ravens.

Round 2: Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

Smith is a speedy wide receiver from Maryland, which might scare some off because of the propensity for Maryland players of late to be athletic freaks that aren’t considered good players. But Smith was also a good player in college. Smith has better than average size for a speedy wide receiver at 6’1 204 pounds, and gives Joe Flacco a legitimate stretch the field threat that the Ravens sorely missed last year.

Philosophy A

I’m pretty easy on philosophy grading. It’s hard to fault teams for too many picks (really it’s positional value. So for instance drafting an interior OL at 15th overall instead of a better tackle, or taking a QB in the first round after taking one a year before would be bad ideas to me, but generally I can make sense out of what teams are thinking). Wide Receivers are important in the league and the Ravens grabbed a guy that was often mocked into the first round.

Player Value A

I personally wouldn’t have touched Torrey Smith in the first round, but in the second round I would have. The Ravens filled a need (which I consider, not rely on) at good value, which is always a plus. They also got a player who happened to give the offense a different look than what they already have. Few players would be better values at this point. Another good pick.

Round 3: Jah Reid, OT, UCF

Reid is a massive right tackle prospect who is athletic for his size, but lacks refinement. He’s 6’7 327 pounds with 34 3/8 inch hands and 10.25 inches. He was a player I pumped up as a late round target, but climbed draft boards as we approached the drafted and ended up in the third round.

Philosophy: Any time an offensive linemen is high on a teams board they should take them. Linemen are supremely important and also can be players that can last on a team 10-15 years, which is always a huge plus.

Player Value: A-

Most of the players who were better values play cornerback and the Ravens already drafted on, or running backs, which don’t offer as great positional value. Another very good pick.

Round 4: Tandon Doss, WR, Indiana

Doss is a very talented, but oft injured prospect. He’s 6’2 201 pounds and explosive. He has big hands, and is a player who can catch the ball in traffic and also go over the middle. He gets on cornerbacks in a hurry, is a willing run blocker. He isn’t as elusive as say a Mario Manningham, but can still make players. He also wasn’t supremely productive in college.

Player Value A+

Players available that were clearly better value: None. And he fills a position of need. Great pick.

Fifth Round (comp): Chykie Brown, CB, Texas

Brown is a 5’11 190 pound cornerback out of Texas. Brown is athletic, but doesn’t have great size (he has tiny hands), but isn’t a great tackler and doesn’t intercept a ton of passes. Still he’s rangy, athletic, and is a player that can contribute on special teams and cover slot guys.

Player Value B+

Quan Sturdivant, Tyler Sash, Ross Homan, Jerell Powe, Dwayne Harris, Deunta Williams, DeAndre McDaniel are some of the players who were arguably better value, but the Ravens already drafted two wide receivers and the other players might not be great fits for the Ravens or had up hill battles to make the roster. Another plus, plus pick for the Ravens.

Fourth Round (comp): Parnell McPhee, DL, Mississippi State

The Ravens had back to back picks at the end of the fifth round. McPhee is a solid player who’s listed at 6’3 278 pounds. A hard worker who lacks elite measurables, but should be a solid N.F.L. player. Though I thought he was a better fit as a 43 DE the Ravens think he can fit their scheme.

Player Value B+

Another very good pick by the Ravens. Like the Giants, Lions (and some other teams…Cardinals it can be argued) the Ravens let the board come to them and took their highest rated player. They are draft grade paper champions. We’ll see how it really turns out over the years.

Round 6: Tyrod Taylor, QB, VA Tech

The mobile Hokie quarterback is a player who was very productive in college. And who won a lot of games. Taylor could run some special sub packages and develop into a quality starter for Joe Flacco.

Player Value: B

I watched Taylor enough to know that I liked him. I think he’s every bit as good a pro prospect as Troy Smith (Connection is both were quarterbacks liked by the Ravens late in drafts) was and Smith is a player who can come into a game and accomplish something. Neither Taylor or Smith may ever be long term starters, but they are good spot starters who can come in make some plays and win a few games in spot-duty.

Anthony Allen, RB, Georgia Tech

Though, I thought the Ravens had some opportunities to take running backs earlier in this draft, they waited until the 7th round and selected a solid unspectacular prospect in Anthony Allen. Allen ran a 4.59 40 yard dash and put up 24 bench press reps (41.5 inch vertical jump is impressive). He had a lot of carries last season 240 and was productive (1316 yards and 7 touchdowns), but plays in the funky GA Tech triple option so he has adapt to the N.F.L. game. Could be a solid chain moving back.

Player Value C

He was a draftable player so a decent pick. Jeremey Beal, Eric hagg, Deunta Williams, Lawrence Guy, Cliff Matthews, Henry Hynoski are just some of the players I thought were better values at this point.

Final Grade A

Great draft. There’s a reason why teams like the Ravens, Packers, Giants, Lions (recently), outclass everyone on draft day. They are just better drafters. This was a great draft by the Ravens and Ozzie Newsome showed his genius again. Tandon Doss was one of the best value picks in the entire draft in any round. They added great players while filling needs. Future G.M.s watch Newsome and take notes. This is how you draft. I debated giving this draft an A+, but I don’t want to get crazy. An A+ is like getting a future hall of famer, plus another pro bowl starter and a few other players, but this could be an A draft for sure.

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