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Mel Kiper Regrades 2012 NFL Draft

NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper looked back at last year's draft and re-graded each team in this ESPN Insider article, based on how the players selected performed for their new teams in their rookie seasons.


Kiper liked what he saw from the Baltimore Ravens rookies with their contributions in the 2012 season, which culminated in an unexpected Super Bowl XLVII victory last week. Here is what he said about the eight guys the Ravens selected and the ones who made the biggest impact in the season:

Round Pick Position Player College
(2) 35 LB Courtney Upshaw Alabama
(2) 60 T Kelechi Osemele Iowa State
(3) 84 RB Bernard Pierce Temple
(4) 98 G Gino Gradkowski Delaware
(4) 130 S Christian Thompson South Carolina State
(5) 169 CB Asa Jackson Cal Poly
(6) 198 WR Tommy Streeter Miami (FL)
(7) 236 DE Deangelo Tyson Georgia

Post-draft grade: B

Summary: Few teams have extracted more value lower on the draft board in recent years than the Ravens. Once again, even without major holes to fill, they found immediate and future starters commensurate with a team that was drafting early in Round 1, and yet they didn't even have a pick until No. 35 overall. Courtney Upshaw was as advertised, a capable edge-setter in the 3-4 scheme, a guy who won't wow anybody as a pass-rusher, but that's not what he's asked to do. He'll be a longtime fixture in Baltimore. Kelechi Osemele moved inside to left guard and should remain there as the starter for years to come. Gino Gradkowski will ultimately be the starter at center, and Bernard Pierce did more than spellRay Rice, he showed that he can pile up big numbers if Rice is out. When you get immediate starts and ultimately four certain starters out of a draft where you didn't pick early, you've done really well. And remember, these are guys contributing to a team playing in the final game of the season. Another value-filled draft for Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta.