Draft Grader: Baltimore Ravens
The mantra of great teams being built in the draft is put to the test by Khaled Elsayed as he looks over Baltimore's draft choices from 2008-10.
Draft Grader: Baltimore Ravens
In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve been going back over the 2008, 2009, and 2010 draft classes of each franchise and assigning each pick a grade. Who is up next? Well, that’s the Baltimore Ravens.
Each pick between the 2008 and 2010 draft classes has been assigned a grade between +2.0 and -2.0 (in 0.5 increments) that depends upon:
• Where they were drafted
• Their performance
• Their contribution (how many snaps their team got out of them)
• Other factors, such as unforeseen injuries and conditions that could not have been accounted for
Let’s take a look at how well Baltimore drafted.
+2.0: You’ve just found Tom Brady in the 6th round
Not here …
+1.5: Getting much more than you bargained for!
Joe Flacco, QB (18th overall pick in 2008): Ultimately you draft a quarterback to lead your team to the postseason and to win the Super Bowl. In that regard Flacco has been a massive success and exactly what the Ravens needed. In the regular season he hasn’t always impressed, so there’s still room to improve here.
+1.0: The scouts nailed it!
Ray Rice, RB (55th overall pick in 2008): A complete back, Rice isn’t the most dominant runner in the league, but he is extremely good in space. For Baltimore that’s been just what they have needed, with his ability in the passing game extremely important.
Paul Kruger, DE/ LB (57th overall pick in 2009): Just handed a big pay day by the Browns, even though there remains some doubts about his ability to contribute on an every-down basis and be a team’s top pass rusher. The former second-round pick has proved productive when getting to the quarterback, leading our Pass Rushing Productivity stat for 3-4 outside linebackers in 2012.
Lardarius Webb, CB (88th overall pick in 2009): The only thing holding this back from being even better value is the two big injuries that Webb has suffered which has limited his playing time. When he’s been on the field he’s constantly delivered as you’d expect an elite cornerback to be able to do. Our fourth-ranked cornerback in 2011, let’s just hope he can bounce back in 2013.
+0.5: Never hurts to find a solid contributor
Haruki Nakamura, S (206th overall pick in 2008): The former sixth-rounder didn’t get much action (483 snaps) on defense, but for four years he was a contributor on special teams with 33 tackles. Nice for a sixth-round pick.
Dennis Pitta, TE (114th overall pick in 2010): A dangerous receiver, Pitta isn’t often trusted as a blocker (understandably) but he has proved to be an important weapon for his quarterback. Overall, he has earned a +17.8 grade for his receiving in three years.
Arthur Jones, DT (157th overall pick in 2010): Made it onto the field for 281 snaps in 2011 without really distinguishing himself, but saw his playing time jump in 2012. Jones responded well, turning 704 snaps into a +5.3 rating.
0.0: It could have been worse
Tom Zbikowski, S (86th overall pick in 2008): When you have Ed Reed ahead of you on the depth chart you’re going to struggle for playing time. Zbikowski did a decent enough job when he asked to fill in and has proved one of the league’s better special teamers with 38 tackles over four years (despite not making any in 2010).
Marcus Smith, WR (106th overall pick in 2008): It could have gone different for the former fourth-round pick, as he got on the field for only 189 snaps on offense. Smith wasn’t helped any by an ACL tear in 2009 from which he never seemed to recover, so this move gets a pass.
Justin Harper, WR (215th overall pick in 2008): Played 46 snaps on offense and bounced between the active roster and practice squad before being cut in 2010.
Cedric Peerman, RB (185th overall pick in 2009): Was likely destined for a practice squad spot before being picked up off waivers by the Browns.
David Reed, WR (156th overall pick in 2010): Reed has managed 33 snaps on offense, but his biggest impact has been felt on special teams. That has not always been a good thing. After looking the part in 2010 with a 29.3 yard kick return average (with a touchdown), Reed went fumble-heavy a year later. His errors arguably cost Baltimore the Week 10 contest with the Seahawks.
Ramon Harewood, T (194th overall pick in 2010): No snaps for the tackle so far, who has spent two years on injured reserve.
-0.5: That pick was not put to good use
Tavares Gooden, LB (71st overall pick in 2008): Gooden was expected to partner with Ray Lewis in the middle of the Ravens’ hybrid scheme. While he had a chance to start in 2009, he struggled to make much of an impact and had his role reduced a year later. Having been outplayed by others, Gooden was cut before the 2011 season before latching onto the 49ers as a special teams player.
David Hale, T (133rd overall pick in 2008): A former fourth-round pick, Hale managed just 17 snaps for the Ravens after they moved him from his college position of tackle to center. It didn’t work out and he was gone after two years.
Allen Patrick, RB (240th overall pick in 2008): Cut after his first preseason and no other teams deemed him to be a worthwhile pickup for their practice squad.
Michael Oher, T (23rd overall pick in 2009): In some respects, you feel sorry for Oher. It was all going so well for him when he was a rookie right tackle earning a +23.4 grade. A switch to the left side brought with it some struggles, and a switch back to the right side didn’t help rectify them. Since then he’s earned a -25.9 grade, constantly struggling against the better defenders in the league.
Davon Drew, TE (149th overall pick in 2009): The former fifth-round pick never got onto the field for the Ravens, failing an early physical and eventually being released as a rookie. The Ravens brought him back to their practice squad after the Dolphins gave up on him, but he did nothing for the team.
Jason Phillips, LB (137th overall pick in 2009): Missed his rookie year as he came back from a pre-draft injury then struggled when he was on the practice field. Waived after two years with the team, that is the risk you take on when you select an injured player.
Terrence Cody, DT (57th overall pick in 2010): Mount Cody is as big as advertised, but has struggled to do much more than eat up a lot of playing time in his second year. Offers nothing as a pass rusher and doesn’t contribute enough in the run game to justify his selection.
Ed Dickson, TE (70th overall pick in 2010): When you watch Dickson, who became a starter in 2011, the first thing you notice is just how bad a blocker he is. You could live with this if the guy was a difference-making receiving tight end, but he’s not.
-1.0: What a waste!
Oniel Cousins, T (99th overall pick in 2008): A former third-round pick, Cousins hung around the roster for a while but was never able to grasp any of the numerous opportunities placed in front of him. As his -11.5 grade on 361 snaps shows, Cousins was a liability on the field. He is currently working as a backup right tackle for the Browns.
-1.5: The scouts/ coaches failed, big time!
Sergio Kindle, DE/ LB (43rd overall pick in 2010): There were a lot of concerns with Kindle coming out of college and the Ravens have received just 15 snaps out of the former second-round pick. A lot of that is due to a fractured skull from an off-field incident, but even when healthy Baltimore didn’t opt to get him on the field and they have since cut their losses with him.
-2.0: You just drafted the love child of JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf!
No Russell/ Leaf hybrids in this draft.
Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled