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Ravens Draft Preview

Postby The Lung » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:25 am

From Fanball: http://www.fanball.com/fb/article.cfm/ID.9724/Football

By John Tuvey, Executive Editor

Ravens Draft Preview

Wants and Needs: The Ravens can immediately identify the success of their 2007 draft just by looking in their backfield, where quarterback Steve McNair (fourth rounder) and running back Willis McGahee (third and seventh rounders) constitute almost half of their original picks. Baltimore also boasts as many compensatory picks as they do remaining original picks, so they'll be able to load up on depth; however, given that compensatory picks don't come into play until round three (and this year for the Ravens, round four), it looks like Ozzie Newsome will be playing the "quantity over quality" card. Not that Baltimore has gigantic holes to fill, unless Pro Bowl tackle Jonathan Ogden opts to hang up his cleats in the next few days. Expect the Ravens to use their two Day One picks to address depth along the offensive line and bring in an athletic potential replacement for departed linebacker Adalius Thomas—maybe even someone to groom under Ray Lewis. The secondary could use some help as well, though if the Ravens are as successful in mining Day Two as they were last year—when they snagged starting safety Dawan Landry in the fifth round—that need can wait a bit. The class of 2007 seems to have plenty of pass-rushers to offer, and an aggressive, attacking defense like Baltimore's always likes to add a few more of those kinds of players as well.

Potential Selections: Even if Ogden sticks around the Ravens may address their offensive line in round one, though quick-footed tackle Joe Staley of Central Michigan seems less of a good fit than a versatile bruiser like Tennessee's Arron Sears, Auburn's Ben Grubbs, or Texas's Justin Blalock; after all, the Ravens need to fill the void left by Edwin Mulitalo's departure as well. Center Mike Flynn is also nearing retirement age, so if USC's Ryan Kalil falls the Ravens will be more than happy to scoop him up. Waiting on a lineman brings the likes of Notre Dame's Ryan Harris, Northern Illinois' Doug Free, and Iowa's Marshall Yanda into play, freeing up Ozzie to use that first-round pick on an end/linebacker hybrid type to replace Thomas. Candidates include Michigan's LaMarr Woodley and Purdue's Anthony Spencer, or a "pure" linebacker is also an option if Florida State's Lawrence Timmons is still on the board. Attempting to find a jewel for their secondary on Day Two could have the Ravens considering Georgia Tech's Kenny Scott, Alabama State's Michael Coe, or Auburn's David Irons.

Baltimore's Picks:
Round One: 29th overall
Round Two: 61st overall
Round Three: No pick (traded to Bills)
Round Four: 134th overall (compensatory pick), 137th overall (compensatory pick)
Round Five: 166th overall, 174th overall (compensatory pick)
Round Six: 203rd overall, 207th overall (compensatory pick)
Round Seven: No pick (traded to Bills)
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