Draft Grader: Baltimore Ravens
Draft season is upon us as free agency quiets down and prospect watch goes into overdrive. But the reality for us is that we’re not that involved in the College side of things, but that doesn’t mean we’re not fans of the draft.
For me though that means reflecting back on drafts gone by to tell you which teams made the best picks and which ones the worst. So as I do every year I’m grading every draft pick from 2009 through to 2011 on the PFF rating scale (-2 to +2), factoring in where they were drafted, injuries and a host of other things.
Up first? Well we’re moving in draft order so it’s the Baltimore Ravens
+2.0: You’ve just found Tom Brady in the 6th round
+1.5: Getting much more than you bargained for!
Ladarius Webb, CB (88th overall pick in 2009): Is this a little high? Perhaps when you consider some of the time that Webb has missed injured. When he has been on the field he’s proved to be one of the top cornerbacks in the league, amassing a +44.7 career grade. Excellent value here.
+1.0: The scouts nailed it!
Arthur Jones, DL (158th overall pick in 2010): I don’t think Jones is the kind of top tier talent some would believe, but he has developed into a fine starter (particularly on early downs). If you can land one of those in the fifth round then you’ve done very well.
Torrey Smith, WR (58th overall pick in 2011): Smith might be a guy who needs a solid number two opposite him, but in his short time in the league he’s become one of the top deep threats in the league. His ability to get behind defenses is second to none and a great find in a league looking for difference makers.
+0.5: Never hurts to find a solid contributor
Dennis Pitta, TE (115th overall pick in 2010): He’s not much of a blocker but if you’re going to use a lot of two tight end formations then you’re going to get a lot out of him. Able to operate on every down he makes his quarterback better.
Pernell McPhee, DL (165th overall pick in 2011): How much of this is down to the rookie season of McPhee? In truth he hasn’t wowed us since that amazing introduction where he was a sub-package terror. Unfortunately, attempts to make him more of an every down player as part of both the defensive line and linebacker groupings hasn’t worked.
0.0: It could have been worse
Paul Kruger, DE (57th overall pick in 2009): Kruger parlayed one good year into a big deal, but he was about what you’d expect (and little more) from a pass rusher selected in the second round. Not able to handle the load when he was asked to be the top dog, his above average play represents an okay return.
Jason Phillips, LB (137th overall pick in 2009): Just one snap on defense, his two years with the team are most remembered for his five special teams tackles in 2010.
David Reed, WR (157th overall pick in 2010): Would play 123 snaps on offense and make some plays on special teams, but the plays weren’t always good ones which limits this grade.
Ramon Harewood, OL (195th overall pick in 2010): Would last three years with the team, failing to develop into a starter but managing 352 snaps.
Jimmy Smith, CB (27th overall pick in 2011): Has slowly developed into a starting caliber NFL cornerback but it’s not been without either trials or tribulations. On an upward trajectory but will be looking to improve his career numbers of a +0.3 grade on 1,933 snaps.
Chykie Brown, CB (164th overall pick in 2011): This fifth-rounder has looked a little out of his depth at times but hung onto the roster to make 500 snaps so far. Year four will determine whether he is anything more than this.
Tyrod Taylor, QB (180th overall pick in 2011): I have no problems taking a backup quarterback in round six and developing him.
Anthony Allen, RB (226th overall pick in 2011): Over two years would play 64 snaps on offense. Such is life.
-0.5: That pick was not put to good use
Davon Drew, TE (149th overall pick in 2009): Initially flunked his physical as a rookie before being released. Would eventually end up on the practice squad but never amounted to an offensive contributor.
Cedric Peerman, RB (185th overall pick in 2009): Cut before the start of his rookie regular season, Peerman would be claimed off waivers but the team had moved on when chances to sign him to the practice squad presented themselves.
Ed Dickson, TE (71st overall pick in 2010): I don’t expect studs in round three, but then Dickson became a poor starter. Questionable hands and ill suited to the task of in-line blocking out of 12 and 21 personnel, a career -54.2 grade is nothing to be proud of.
Jah Reid, OT (85th overall pick in 2010): Was expected to be a contributor but has watched as others have bypassed him time and time again. His 651 snaps are not enough here.
Tandon Doss, WR (123rd overall pick in 2011): Found himself cut before the start of his third year, and while he would end up back with the team it’s telling that he just hasn’t panned out. His total of 570 career snaps are not a great return here.
-1.0: What a waste!
Michael Oher, OT (23rd overall pick in 2009): After that rookie year you’d be thinking this was heading a different direction. But a meddling switch from right to left tackle seemed to knock him off course, and while he would switch back to the right side he hasn’t been the same player since. In some respects he’s useful (his pass blocking has its moments) but that’s not enough for a first-round tackle.
Terrence Cody, DT (57th overall pick in 2010): Was expected to be a big part of the rotation. Instead he’s failed to command regular playing time, averaging fewer than 350 snaps per year. I could live with that if he hadn’t been so easily moved at the point of attack along the way.
-1.5: The scouts/ coaches failed, big time!
Not here but …
-2.0: You just drafted the love child of JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf!
Sergio Kindle, DE (43rd overall pick in 2010): What can you say about Kindle? A second round pick who would play just 27 snaps before being waived in his third year. A rare blunder by the front office.
Here are the teams we’ve covered so far:
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