The Ravens Crushed The 2015 Draft

Sports and Bets — May 4, 2015 at 6:01 pm by

from the mouth of Babes…..

It’s not often that you can check off every team need after a draft.  We all know the Ravens take the best player available regardless of need, but the board must have really swung in their favor over the weekend, because every player they chose filled an immediate need.  This offseason has seen the Ravens part with big names like Torrey Smith, Pernell McPhee, Owen Daniels, Haloti Ngata, Jacoby Jones, and Bernard Pierce.  This weekend they brought in nine young hungry football players that my money says will make us forget those older players in short time.

I’ve said it all offseason, the Ravens needed to replace Torrey Smith’s big play ability.  First round pick  Breshad Perriman answers that concern, as the UCF product clocked a blazing 4.25 forty time at his pro day.  Standing over 6’2, his size/speed combination is rare, and his big play ability will make people forget about old number 82.

I really think this could be a home run for the Ravens.  Perriman has all the tools to be a bonafide number one receiver in this league.  His skill set is just what the Ravens needed to add to the mix of what they already had in the receiver room.  Steve Smith will play “Z” and mentor all the young players while still competing at a high level.  Perriman  will play”X” and be the threatening force that opposing defenses will always have to account for.  Marlon Brown will be that red zone threat and a solid possession receiver.  Michael Campanaro will be that slippery chain mover who works the middle of the field.  Kamar Aiken will continue to develop, and possibly be the heir apparent to 36 year old Steve Smith, all while adding production in the present.  The Ravens’ four wide receiver set may not look like Indy’s, but it will be formidable because they can do everything.

I was on pins and needles watching the second round, praying that tight end Maxx Williams would fall to us.  Never in a million years did I think it would happen.  I thought for sure Atlanta would snag him, then maybe the Saints in the middle of the round.  But when he was just a few short picks away from us, Ozzie pulled the trigger at the small expense of a fifth round pick to secure the best tight end in the draft.  I screamed at the T.V. when I saw Duane Starks mouth the words “Maxx Williams!”  I’m telling you this monster is a mini-Gronk.  At barely 21 years old, he is just going to improve on his already impressive skill set.  Our two tight end set will now feature two players that can both, block effectively, and get open and make plays down the field.  Maxx Williams will prove to be a constant mismatch for whoever tries to cover him.  How do you think Joe Flacco feels about these first two selections?  For the first time in his career, the Ravens are making it a priority to surround Joe with talented young pass catchers, Young being the key word.

In the third round, Ozzie did what Ozzie does.  He grabs interior defensive lineman Carl Davis out of Iowa.  There was talk of Davis going late one, early two at the latest.  Apparently he didn’t interview well at the combine, and that was what made him slip in the draft.  I’m pretty sure we don’t need him to sell stock, we just need his girth to plug up gaps on first and second downs.  And for that purpose, Davis will be a stud.  Playing in a rotation with Jernigan, Brandon Williams, Canty, Urban, KLM, and Deanglo Tyson, he will just be another 300-plus pound boulder that teams will have to unearth if they want to run on us.  It would have been nice to get a good corner in the third, but that next tier of corners had run dry.  Davis was by far the best player on the board, therefore the pick makes perfect sense.  I’m not saying he’s gonna be Ngata, but he’ll be one of two, or three, players that will make up for Ngata.

It was a busy fourth round, as the Ravens had three picks.  First they chose pass rusher Za’Darius Smith out of Kentucky.  At 6’4″ and 274 pounds, with dreads, the guy even looks like Pernell McPhee.  Smith is the type of player, that with good coaching, will be molded into an effective NFL player.  His physical tools are there- which is most important.  A year playing on special teams and watching Suggs, Dumervil, and Upshaw, and in 2016 he may be able to step into an outside linebacker role.

The second pick of the fourth round for the Ravens was Trojan running back, Buck Allen.  At 6’1″ 220, he should be able to provide the same, if not better, punch than Bernard Pierce.   A workhorse back at USC, Allen can play on all three downs and does everything well.  He can catch out of the backfield, is an above average pass protector, and can carry a full load if needed.  The only knock on Allen is his lack of breakaway speed, and the fact that at 6’1″he runs a tad high, giving defenders a bigger strike zone than one would like.  However, Allen should provide services on special teams, and he’ll help Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliafero shouldering the running load.

The final fourth round pick was Texas State corner, Tray Walker, a small school product who definitely looks the part of an NFL corner.  Standing at 6’2″ Walker reminds me of another long corner the Ravens developed by the name of Cary Williams.  Walker will get his chance to show what he can do, although I don’t see him pushing for nickel corner reps yet.  Hopefully he can sit and learn for a few years, and help out on special teams as a gunner.

In the fifth round, the Ravens selected two players.  Tight end Nick Boyle out of Delaware will be used as a blocking tight end, and on special teams.  If he can contribute on special teams, then he should be able to keep himself active every week for games.  A heavy package with Crockett Gilmore, Maxx Williams, and Boyle all in together would be a tough package to stop the run on.

Robert Myers out of Tennessee State was a great pickup for interior depth on the offensive line.  Another small school product, he will sit and watch for a few years before he will ever be ready to start.  Some time working with NFL strength coaches should have this raw country strong lineman ready to maul people in the trenches.  He seems like a candidate to come up with some “freak toe injury” at the end of training camp so the Ravens can sneak him on the injured reserve.  That way, they don’t have to carry him as one their 53 this year.

Closing out their draft in the sixth round, the Ravens selected Darren Waller out of Georgia Tech.  Standing at 6’6″ and 238, Waller is like a power forward out there.  Waller is another project, as everyone knows the Yellow Jackets don’t throw the ball much these days.  However, some pretty damn good receivers have still come out of that program.  Guys by the name of Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas come to mind.  Hopefully Waller can follow in their footsteps, but at the very least he’s not a bad guy to throw a fade pass to in the end zone.

The Ravens needed a pass rusher, a speed wide receiver, another running back, a tight end, a corner, and some depth on the defensive line.  To me, the only need they didn’t satisfy was a starting caliber corner to add to the mix in the secondary.  Ozzie still has the next wave of free agency to bolster the cornerback position if he feels the need.  As long as the Ravens don’t get snake bitten with injuries the way they did last year,  they should be ok back there with Smith, Webb, Asa Jackson, and Rashaan Melvin.  Also players like Tramain Jacobs will be returning from injury, and could push for nickel reps.  Hopefully Ozzie and the boys pull in some promising rookie free agents to add competition to camp.  I couldn’t be more pleased overall with this draft, as it has me totally excited for football to start again.


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