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Thoughts & Recap of Ravens 2011 Draft Picks

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Round-By-Round Analysis:

Round 1- CB Jimmy Smith (Colorado)

Excellent value here. Late in the 1st round, the Baltimore Ravens somehow landed a cornerback that was ranked as a top 10 -15 player. Character issues seem like they are behind him now, so let’s give him a chance first before passing judgement. Think of how many games the Ravens secondary gave up  leads (e.g. against New England, Houston, and the dreaded playoff game agaisnt Pittsburgh). The Ravens needed a shutdown corner for a years. The great thing is that Smith should be able to start come game 1 of the 2011 NFL season. Further, better man-to-man coverage will improve opportunities for blitzing schemes.

Round 2- WR Torrey Smith (Maryland)

Again, excellent value. Up until a few months ago, many mock drafts had Smith going to Baltimore in the first round, so for the Ravens to take him late in the 2nd was a steal. This move fulfills a need in the offense in regards to having a deep threat.  He’s a smart player and should do well with the Ravens. Smith should be able to start contributing immediately and find his way into the line-up this season.

Round 3- OT Jah Reid (Central Florida)

Head Coach John Harbaugh said Reid will compete for a starting position at right tackle. He’s a huge man, standing at nearly 6-8 and 321 lbs., and is quite durable. The Ravens had a definate need since it’s unlikely the team will re-sign free agent Jared Gaither.

Round 4- WR Tandon Doss (Indiana)

QB Joe Flacco helped scout for this player, pointing out how he liked the way Doss adjusted to throws. Doss is a strong slot-type receiver. He’s tough and, in some respects, reminds me of last year’s rookie receiver David Reed. Doss is a go-to-type receiver, a great route runner and is very versatile. He adds a dimension to the return game as well.

Round 5- CB Chykie Brown (Texas) & DE Pernell McPhee (Mississippi State)

Great depth players. Chykie Brown has some height and is good in press coverage. Pernell McPhee was expected to be a late third round /early fourth round pick  on many mock draft boards. He might not be the answer to the pass rush, but he is a stout defensive player.

Round 6- QB Tyrod Taylor (Virgin Tech)

Taylor has drawn comparisons to Michael Vick in terms of being elusive and making plays on the run. He’s a prospect who will be asked to learn under Flacco. He’ll have to study the playbook and continue to improve on his pocket presence.

Round 7- RB Anthony Allen (Georgia Tech)

At 6 feet tall and weighing 229 lbs., Allen is a downhill, straight ahead power runner. He worked in the “triple-option offense” in college, so he will have to do some adjusting to a pro-style offense. With Le’Ron McClain being a free agent, Allen should be versatile enough to contribute as a fullback as well.

Where the Team Fell Short:

First of all, let’s consider how hard it is to fulfill every need in the draft. With that said, I’m sure fans would still have preferred to see an outside linebacker/pass rusher be chosen.  In addition, it may have been more prudent to bolster the offensive line with an additional pick, such as in round 4.

But overall, the Baltimore Ravens came away shoring up the secondary and giving Flacco a legitimate deep threat player to work with. Both Jimmy and Torrey Smith should be able to contribute, if not start, in their rookie seasons. Ideally, Jah Reid would start at right tackle, allowing Marshal Yanda to go back to his natural position at guard— this should improve run blocking.