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Are we really a great drafting team?


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#1 ellicottraven

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:38 AM

Folks,
All this time for the foreseeable past, I have been one of the greatest Ozzie Newsome and front office homer. However, lately I have been thinking if we take our prowess at drafting great for granted. Is it really so great to have more picks in the lower rounds and hope for a good player to fall to us? I don't know anymore. Our defense seems to be waning over the last couple of years. When I see studs like Von Miller, JJ Watt, Clay Mathews, etc. perform, I think the balance of defensive power is shifting slowly but surely. We drafted Kindle (a statistical anomaly given he had a skull fracture), but even otherwise our drafting is nothing to write home about. Jimmy Smith isn't as good as we thought he may have been. Upshaw is still learning. Kindle on the practice squad. Oher is alright. If I remember correctly, the two best players we have had are Joe Flacco and Ray Rice (2008).

So, I am thinking either our drafting philosophy needs to be less risk averse or we need to draft better. Look at the teams we laughed at in recent times that gave up their entire draft to pick the likes of Julio Jones (Atlanta) and RG3 (Washington). One is yet to lose a game and the other is trending really better than past years. Is that the way to be? Steve Bisciotti has said he was willing to give up the entire draft for Matt Ryan but was advised not to by the front office. I agree that was a good decision not because we got Joe Flacco instead, but because we would have missed out on Ray Rice! I just don't know if we are as good or Ozzie is as good as we think he is. I want to believe otherwise, but unless something changes, we are trending down as a football team in my opinion! It all begins with the draft, but something is amiss right there!

While I understand it is blasphemy to criticize Ozzie in any way, I believe it is time to question his tactics... Please provide your inputs whether we are on the right track and why? Otherwise what is the way forward?
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#2 gabefergy

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:57 AM

We are definitely one of the best drafting teams, considering we always have late round picks. The best talent is normally gone by the time we pick.

Sure, there have been misses, but show me the team that doesnt get some picks wrong. It happens to everybody. Where we excel is getting solid contributors after the first round and in free agency.

Ellerbe and McClain, both UDFA. Neither are elite talents, but they play important roles on the team. Two starting Dlineman, McPhee and Jones are 5th round picks. Once again, they havent played great this season whether it be injuries or just poor play, but they have both shown flashes of potential and can at least be rotational players.

Yanda, Webb, Pierce and Dickson 3rd round picks, Torrey, KO, and Rice 2nd round picks. Harewood a 6th round pick. Gradkowski and Pitta 4th round picks. Reid 3rd round pick. Our offensive line moving forward is full of late picks with Michael Oher as the only 1st rounder.

Edited by gabefergy, 11 November 2012 - 11:58 AM.

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#3 RavensAllTheWay

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:18 PM

I agree with gabefergy. It seems like our misses have stuck out to us, while the hits have gone unnoticed.

#4 NaveSenrag

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:44 PM

The way I see it, the great players go in the first round, the good ones in the second, the solid ones in the third and fourth rounds, and the projects in the last rounds with wildcards in UDFA. We usually miss the all star, elite players because we have to draft so low, but we hit on the good and solid players. When you combine fairly talented players with good star coaching and a heavy veteran presence, you get a team that beats young teams that have a lot of "elite" players. That's why Atlanta where everyone is a no name except for Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Roddy White is able to punish Dallas where half of the players are common names.

#5 Bravens292

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:45 PM

well it depends. if you want to go by history then yes but if you're looking at our recent draft classes, we have fallen back a bit. that said, with all the pro bowlers we've drafted over the years, our expectations come april are always sky high. we sat on a pedestal for a while and with just a few bad classes, these questions come up. Certainly the classes haven't exactly turned out the way we wanted but its still better than a lot of teams especially with the position we pick.
"Thats what white guys do when they're excited" - Joe Flacco

#6 Ravenseconbeast

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:53 PM

We basically had to use garbage draft picks to make something out of nothing the past 5 years.

Has any of them became 'great' players? Probably not. But most if not all of them had some contribution to the game.

I think the past 3 years has been especially difficult. We've been a playoff contenders. Thats just what happens.




#7 Ngata Chance

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:53 PM

There's a big difference between a first round talent and a top 10 talent. We usually pick in the former. When we do draft early first, we have done phenomenally well. (Ogden, Suggs)
"Flacco got a hug from owner Bisciotti after game.. Flacco told him: “that felt good.. That was big”


That seems like it was worded wrong...

#8 Free Agent

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:55 PM

Most teams' first round and maybe second round picks stand out, because those players become their key components/stars. In our case, we turn obscure mid to late draft picks into key components/stars. This is what proves that we draft well.

"It's like somebody created him on Madden." - Jacoby Jones on Joe Flacco

 

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#9 redrum52

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 01:01 PM

A few years down the line the 12 draft will be looked at as one our best drafts recently. 09 as a whole there wasn't a surplus of talent I think. Jimmy will get better as well and people will realize that 10 was pretty good as well. Mark my words though about the 12 draft.

#10 Bravens292

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 01:37 PM

There's a big difference between a first round talent and a top 10 talent. We usually pick in the former. When we do draft early first, we have done phenomenally well. (Ogden, Suggs)


don't forget ngata :)
"Thats what white guys do when they're excited" - Joe Flacco

#11 Bazooka Joe

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 02:31 PM

Yes we are a great drafting team.




#12 nextgen_RavensFan

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 03:10 PM

Buddy have you been watching this weeks game ? Upshaw is all over the ball. Not sure where we got Tyson but have heard his name a few times as well. Suggs has been all around the ball. Ray Rice is having a decent day. Do these names sound familiar at all. Did we not draft these guys ? Reed is a HOF shoe in, Ray Lewis is a HOF shoe in. Bernard Pierce can hit any hole and is a very good runner. Ogden was one of the best when he was playing.

I dont know, are we really good at drafting.
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#13 Cville-Raven

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 03:36 PM

Buddy have you been watching this weeks game ? Upshaw is all over the ball. Not sure where we got Tyson but have heard his name a few times as well. Suggs has been all around the ball. Ray Rice is having a decent day. Do these names sound familiar at all. Did we not draft these guys ? Reed is a HOF shoe in, Ray Lewis is a HOF shoe in. Bernard Pierce can hit any hole and is a very good runner. Ogden was one of the best when he was playing.

I dont know, are we really good at drafting.

Don't forget T. Smith; he could have had like 4 TD's today.

#14 Blex64

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 05:13 PM

I'm so tired of hearing about how bad Jimmy Smith is and about how he was a bust.

If you look at the information on him heading into the draft, he was touted as a press corner. That was his strength, that was where he was shutting down opposing receivers.

We don't press him. At all. Surprise! He's under-preforming!

#15 dhstandard

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 05:36 PM

Von Miller was the 2nd pick of the draft while JJ Watt was the 11th. The last time the Ravens drafted even close to that high they took Haloti Ngata so you know Ozzie does well picking high. The Ravens are usually picking in the late round and Clay Mathews was 26 I think and we took Michael Oher instead. We DESPERATELY needed a tackle at that point while OLB wasn't a big need.

Give the Ravens some high picks and they will grab top rated talent. Ozzie has found some great guys in the later rounds including Ray Rice, Kelechi Osemele, Yanda, Webb, Pierce, Dickson, and Pitta. I think Ozzie is pretty damn good at drafting.

Edited by dhstandard, 11 November 2012 - 05:38 PM.

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#16 PolishRifle

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 05:38 PM

Joe Flacco + Ray Rice >>>>> Matt Ryan

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#17 Ravensfan23

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 05:42 PM

Why are people so quick to judge young players, when it's clear that peoples need time to develop. Do you have some studs who can come right in from college and do great, yes, but on average guys need time to develop.

You can't mention guys like Von Miller and ask why none of our players perform like him, the guy was the best pass rusher coming out of college that year. If the Ravens are able to draft a guy like Manti Teo next season, how great would that be for us? If they were able to draft Bjoern Werner, who's a Suggs type, that'd be great. But guys like that aren't always available for the Ravens.

The Ravens have had 10 defensive players on the field today who has 3 years or less experience in the NFL. We as fans can't expect these guys to just come in and understand what it's like to play like a Raven, just because guys like Ray, Ngata, Suggs, Reed and Pollard are still here. These guys have to learn, not only the system, but their craft as well.

Then you have another 3 guys in Kruger, Cary and Ellerbe who have been in the NFL 4 years, but are just finding their way as starters. Yes Cary was a starter last year, but it was his first, now he has to deal with offenses actually game planning to attack him this year. That's a total of 13 guys out of 20 players who actually saw time today and throughout the season.

That's a lot to deal with.

Then you go to the offensive side of the ball. Unlike times past with guys like Taylor, Hymes, Boller, and some of the other players, the Ravens actually have tremendous talent on the offensive side of the ball. Getting that talent to perform at a high level, or creating plays for them to perform is more on the coaches imo. The Ravens are a highly talented team and 4 straight playoff appearances prove it. For whatever reason people wanna view this season as if the Ravens are on the way to a losing season, but they are the 2nd seed right now and still well in the hunt for a #1 seed. 7-2 isn't a mistake people. You don't reach that mark unless you have talented players and seeing as how most of the players on this team have been drafted, I'd say yes....The Ravens are really a great drafting team.

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#18 sflegend89

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 05:54 PM

You gotta give younger studs like Upshaw, Jimmy Smith, McPhee, KO, and even prospects like Asa Jackspn time to establish themselves in the NFL. Corners especially take time to become comfortable in any situation in an NFL game, Jimmy STILL has some growing pains and it's honestly to be expected from a 2nd year CB. 2 years in no one EVER thought Webb would be the player he ended up being, We spent that whole offseason talking about signing a true shutdown corner and we had one on our roster already.. only problem is no one knew that at the time. I gotta say I have faith in the above players really developing into solid if not excellent players.

We've been winning game(s) in the playoffs the last 4 years. That's the price you pay for success, these teams you mention like Texans and Falcons had less then stellar years in the recent past that's given them a better echelon of talent to choose from.

Edited by sflegend89, 11 November 2012 - 05:56 PM.

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#19 JoeCool#5

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:01 PM

Joe Flacco + Ray Rice >>>>> Matt Ryan

Didnt have to give up the farm (future 1st round picks) to trade up either.

Webb was a great find as well, coming from a small school.

9 playoff wins
3 AFC Championship game appearances
1 AFC Championship
1 Super Bowl Title
1 Super Bowl MVP

 

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#20 izvoodoo

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:14 PM

Really the consistent quality of drafting come from how many players get picked up from your team. And usually we do very well with that.

I'd say Green Bay and Houston right now have done the best with drafting (although Houston has been picking high, so really Green Bay). After that I'd say us pittsburg, NYG.

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