On a Wednsday after one of the craziest weekends of the year for the NFL, many have finally broken down the ins and outs of the Baltimore Ravens' draft. Where we stand right now with the 6 guys we took between Saturday and Sunday, no one exactly knows. However, there is a very great chance that this team has become even stronger then what they were after our third tragic loss in Pittsburgh.
So what is being said around the sports world of the Ravens? What are the so called "experts" and sports writers saying about how Ozzie and Eric DeCosta handled themselves in the 2009 draft? If anyone has not been able to read up on what is being said of our draft, here are a few sports writers intakes.
National Football Post writer, Matt Bowen on Michael Oher being the steal of the 2009 Draft: "Oher was a top 15 lock on most draft boards but began to slide when a rush on defensive players began with Buffalo at No. 11. I'm still shocked that Detroit didn't take him at No. 20 (the Lions could have had both a franchise QB and a franchise tackle in the first round), but give the Ravens credit for trading up to get Oher at No. 23. He loses some money in the free fall, but he goes to a winning franchise."
Sports Illustrated's Peter King likes the first two picks: "First two picks were gems for a team that rarely blows the high picks. How do you not love Michael Oher at 23, even with part of the organization frothing at the mouth over the prospect of sitting at Baltimore's original pick in the round and taking Rey Maualuga? ... Ravens have the highest-motor DT in football, Kelly Gregg. Now they just might have a DE to rival Jared Allen for motor -- Utah's Paul Kruger, a first-round prospect on one draft board I know of."
Mike Lombardi on CBS Sports talks of how Ozzie stole players from the rest of the teams: "The Ravens solved their need at right tackle, get a future left tackle in Michael Oher and add a very good corner in Lardarius Webb in the third. They added good players in each round. Watch out for Cedric Peerman from Virginia, their pick in the sixth."
Grades for the Ravens have varied in certain senses. I have seen the Ravens get a grade anywhere from an "A-" to a "C+." This is just the opinion of many. The higher grades are because of the talent that Ozzie snatched up in later rounds that many thought would be drafted much higher. Lower grades were most likely given because of the Ravens "failure" to address what most think is our weakest position right now, WR. But Ozzie feels very comfortable with the group of Wide Outs that we currently have in place.
The last thing that needs to be pointed out is how tough this group of rookies truly is. Nearly every player drafted by the Ravens this past weekend have overcome a hardship in their life or were considered by many of their teammates to be one of the most hardnosed players on the team.
- Offensive Tackle, Michael Oher is considered to be the most inspirational story in this year's crop of rookies. At 7 years old, Oher and his other 12 siblings were forced to find food for themselves. Oher struggled to avoid Foster care, and all his hard work and ability to overcome situations like these has finally paid off.
- Defensive End, Paul Kruger was in a very serious car accident 10 years ago where his injuries caused Paul to lose a kidney. In the beginning of 2008, Kruger was involved in a stabbing, requiring 50 staples to seal the wound.
- Defensive Back, Lardarius Webb grew up with a mother who was a drug addict, a father who was an alcoholic, and his only brother was in Prison.
- Linebacker, Jason Philips has been described as a "glass-eating" overachiever because of his play style where during games, he is always bleeding.
- Running Back, Cedric Peerman is a hard fighting kid who grew up working on his parent's tobacco farm.
Many of us really did not pay too much attention to the 6 guys we drafted simply because we do not understand what is going on in the mind of Ozzie Newsome. But from the little we have seen and heard of our rookies, it looks that we got one hell of a group of guys.