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Ravens Draft Strategy Adds Up

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When the Baltimore Ravens traded their 25th pick in the 1st round of the 2010 NFL Draft, many, if not most Ravens fans let out a collective groan. At the same time, imagine how a lot of Denver Broncos did even worse when they heard that the guy the Broncos traded up for was announced as Tim Tebow? The Ravens could have had players such as Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams or Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson, two guys many Ravens fans had coveted in many Mock Drafts over the last couple of months.

Instead, the Ravens dropped out of the first round, leaving many fans with an empty feeling as the first round of the draft was over and Baltimore ended the night without anything to show for the prime time event. However, rounds two and three came the next night and rounds 4-7 the following day, proving the return on our investment was another feather in the cap of the 'Wizard of Oz.'

While no one would argue the selection of either Williams or Wilson, the combination of what the Ravens received at the end of the day more than outweighed what we could have gained if we stayed put. Incidently, according to team sources, Dan Williams was the guy the Ravens would have taken had they made that 25th pick of the 1st round. The fans that were clamoring for the team to try to get Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant were clueless, as had Bryant dropped to them they would not have taken him no matter what, according to those same sources. However, as good as Williams would be in this defense, the lack of a 3rd and 4th round pick would have greatly hindered the team's ability to add the much needed depth that they ended up with by getting those picks in the trade.

In addition, using their own 2nd round pick to nab Alabama DT Terrence Cody filled any gap in our defensive middle, as the combination of both the 350+ pound Cody alongside of the 340 pound Haloti Ngata will clog the middle of the line for years and make life extremely unpleasant for opposing offenses at the same time. Can you imagine what the opposition center, QB and RB will feel when they line up and see those two huge guys staring at them from only a few feet away? Can you say, "goal-line stand?"

With the Denver Broncos 2nd round pick, the Ravens selected Texas OLB Sergio Kindle, arguably a first round talent. With the Broncos 3rd and 4th round picks, they took two tight ends, Oregon's Ed Dickson and BYU's Dennis Pitta. Both have great hands and were among the top TE's in the draft and will add a ton of depth on both Special Teams as well as behind or along with Todd Heap in the passing and running game.

Therefore, while any pick in the first round is usually expected to make an immediate contribution, the three guys the Ravens ended up with in return for what could have been our 1st round pick far outweighs anything that we might have gotten. So embrace the wizardry that is the reputation of our General Manager, Ozzie Newsome, his right hand men in Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta and Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz, as that team, along with head coach John Harbaugh and the entire scouting department, deserve huge kudos for having, according to the experts at ESPN, the NFL Network, and our friends over at the National Football Post, among the best draft class of the 2010 NFL Draft - all despite not even having a 1st round pick.

These guys will all be "game-changers!"