Ravens' Draft Picks: Analysis

A little bored at work, so I thought I would give an analysis of the Baltimore Ravens' draft picks from what I have seen on tape.

Courtney Upshaw, OLB

The first thing I notice is he's NFL ready. He's got the build and strength that should allow him to contribute early on. Fantastic run defender. I feel he can come in right away and be an above average run defender with the potential to be elite there. In terms of pass rushing ability I think people's expectations need to be tempered a bit. Not to say he's a bad pass rusher, but it's unreasonable based on tape to think he will just come out and give double digit sacks. He gets compared to Suggs, but doesn't have the first step or anticipation that makes Suggs elite. He does however have a fantastic bull rush and uses his hands pretty well. It's a great move by him to try and lose a few as that could help with the short area quickness. If he can become really good at anticipating the snap it would really improve his pass rush ability. I think Kruger will take over as the primary pass rusher as I think he's the better of the two at this point. I see him more as a 7-8 sack guy and elite run defender, but this kid is violent and knows how to play the game so I wouldn't be shocked if he proves me wrong. He will be fun to watch.

Kelechi Osemele, G

Obviously the first thing that stands out is he is HUGE!! He's got great size and Strength. He was a 4 year starter at LT, but on tape you see why he translates better to G. Struggled in space a bit and had a tough time with speed guys. Kicking into G he won't have those problems as much and can use his strength and freakishly long arms as it's more confined inside. Once he engages his man it's game over for the defender. His strength is really impressive and I think he can play early as well. Some were concerned about him in our zone blocking scheme, but for his size he is pretty athletic and I think he will be fine. more of a waist bender than a knee bender which he needs to work on to win the leverage, but he does have the strength to compensate for that. The LG position should come down to him or Jah in what will be one of the best battles in camp.

(More analysis on the other Ravens draft picks after the 'Jump')

Bernard Pierce, RB

Many people were confused or upset by this pick, but after watching the tape I see why Ozzie loves this guy. I hate throwing out elite NFL player comparisons, but I do see some Arian Foster in this kid's game. He's got that taller build and is an extremely patient runner. Tremendous vision, patience and ability to set up his blocks. Also like Foster he is deceptive on how well he can make people miss in the open field. He also has a nose for the endzone. He knows when to hit the hole quick and when to lower the pad level. Very underrated RB IMO. Doesn't have blazing speed, but is faster than I have seen him given credit for. This kid is a starting caliber RB and (knock on wood)if Rice was ever to go down I think this kid could carry the load. He's a guy the more you watch, the more you love. I think he wins the backup job.

Gino Gradkowski, C

Love this kid. Played G most of college, but is expected to move to C where I think this kid will be a stud. Former NFL scout described him as "athletic and nasty." He is an ideal fit for our scheme as he moves well and loves to finish his blocks. For a C he will have pretty good strength as well. A small school scout I talked to said he is one of his favorite players he watched and that he's a hardworker and just a great all around guy. Birk is one of the guys he has looked up to and I believe after this year that he will be our next starting C for years to come.Christian Thompson, S

He really loves contact. Big hitter who is not afraid to mix it up. Has the mindset of Bernard Pollard when it comes to being physical. Has all the tools to become a quality S, however I don't quite know that I see him as Ed's replacement. I like him better as a SS in our D where he can play the run and he did a pretty good job covering the slot and TE's. Doesn't quite have the ball hawking ability you would like to see in Ed's replacement. Doesn't diagnose plays very fast and doesn't quite have the instincts you see in the ball hawks. He has been getting mentored by Ed even pre-draft, so maybe that will help some, but he's a bit of a project. He's a guy I think could play both S spots if needed potentially, but in our D I like him a bit more as a SS. Like I said though he has all the athletic tools, so maybe just some mentoring under Reed will improve his ball hawking ability.

Asa Jackson, CB

The opposite of Thompson, this kid has a knack for being around the ball. Whether it's him undercutting a route, or somebody tipping it, the ball just finds it's way to him. Big time play maker and it seems like every time he's returning it for some good yards. Pretty good hips and short area speed which allows him to break on the ball fairly well. Can get over aggressive when it comes to trying to make a play on the ball, but that is part of what I like about him. Does a great job in zone because of the traits I mentioned as well as having good instincts. In man he struggles in press coverage. Little small and not very strong, so he gets beat at the line at times and struggles to recover. Not that he's horrible in man, but doesn't play very effectively in the press and in the league it's important to be able to get your hands on the receiver. Needs to work on form tackling, but does not hesitate to come up and play the run.I think he has the makings of a good slot CB. Hard for him to crack any playing time with our deep and young secondary group.If he shows something in camp the team may be willing to let Cary walk after this year, then let Asa and Gorrer battle it our for the #3 job.

Tommy Streeter, WR

One of the picks who will have the most eyes on him. Streeter is a raw prospect, but has some natural athleticism that could be big for our offense. Very tall with long arms and good speed which should make him a nice deep threat. Really needs to work on catching the ball. He's not a fluid pass catcher at all and this will be the main thing he needs to focus on in his career. More of a long strider with build up speed and that hurts him in terms of running routes. What you have is a guy who is straight line fast and tall. Fortunately for us that is exactly what we need in our O. We need some size on the outside and another guy who can consistently make plays down the field. I do think Streeter has that potential. If he improves his hands he should make a good red-zone target as well. Arguably the most intriguing pick and I can't wait to see how he develops. I personally think he shouldn't be counted for much if anything his rookie year. He really does need a lot of work and a guy who I think would benefit more from sitting and working on the small intricacies of the position.

DeAngelo Tyson, DL

Wasn't able to find much tape on him, but from what I hear he sounds more just like a depth guy with limited upside. Has a nice NFL body, but doesn't really do anything particularly well. He is a hard worker though and one of the leaders of the Georgia defense. Highly recruited player out of high school, but never quite lived up to it at Georgia.

The opinions posted here are those of the administrator of this blog and his loyal readers. They are in no way official comments from the team, and should not be misconstued as such, even though he thinks he could do just as well or even a better job!

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