We've already seen the profiles for the newest Baltimore Ravens from the 2010 NFL Draft last week, but while we mostly heard about on our first two selections, Sergio Kindle and Terrence Cody, the "sleepers" of this draft will be coming out of the Day 3 picks, where the "steals" of the draft will be talked about as the season progresses.
For the Ravens, the guy who being spoken about that may fit this bill is Syracuse DT Arthur Jones. Jones was the Ravens 5th round pick and was largely unknown by most casual fans, as were most picks after the 2nd or 3rd rounds. However, Jones' name would have been well known had he come out of college after the 2008 season. Unfortunately, he chose to stay in school and after an injury-marred and relatively unimpressive 2009 season, he slipped to the later rounds. His loss was the Ravens gain, and now he adds additional depth to the already deep interior of the defensive line.
Some NFL scouts say that based on Jones' 2008 season, when he had 60 tackles, including 13 tackles for losses and 3.5 sacks, being named to the 1st team All-Big East, he might have gone as high as a late-1st round or early-2nd round in the 2009 NFL Draft. The one specific game that put him on the map was at Notre Dame, when he had 15 tackles, including four tackles for losses totaling 20 yards and 1.5 sacks for 20 yards.
At 6''3" and 301 pounds, he is a big body, although nowhere near the size of the mammoth guys named Haloti Ngata (340 pounds) and Terrence Cody (350 pounds). However, the athleticism of Jones allows him to play a lot bigger than his "diminutive" size in comparison, and he could develop into a starter if he recovers from his injuries and returns to his junior season form.
The Ravens other 5th round pick, WR David Reed (Utah) is seemingly average sized for a wideout, standing 6'0" and 191 pounds, but he plays much larger. Not afraid of contact over the middle of the field, Reed takes the hits and continues downfield for the yards after the catch that can make the difference in the game. Reed had 81 receptions in 2009, after setting the JuCo receiving record with 111 receptions before moving over to Division 1 football two years ago. He was named to the All-Mountain West Conference 1st team at both WR and kick returner, which should allow him to parlay his value to the Ravens in both areas.
Everyone knows how good the early picks in the draft have been in their college careers and should be in the NFL. However, it is players like both Arthur Jones and David Reed that can make the difference for a team's success as these little known guys seem to always show up for the Ravens and are a major reason while our General Manager Ozzie Newsome has earned his reputation as the 'Wizard of Oz.' Jones and Reed plan to confirm that rep starting with the team's mini-camp next weekend.