2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Ravens taking OL with 29th pick not unprecedented

By DAVID GINSBURG - AP Sports Writer
    2012-04-23 11:06

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - History could repeat itself for the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL draft.

The last time the Ravens had the 29th overall pick, they selected guard Ben Grubbs in 2007.

Grubbs became a starter as a rookie and helped the Ravens make the playoffs in each of the last four years. General manager Ozzie Newsome desperately tried to re-sign Grubbs during the recent offseason, but the two-time Pro Bowl alternate accepted a $36 million deal with the New Orleans Saints.

So now there's a good chance the Ravens will use the 29th pick Thursday to snare another offensive lineman, someone who can open holes for running back Ray Rice and protect quarterback Joe Flacco.

The player just has to be worth it.

Newsome insists he won't draft to fill a need if there's a more talented player available.

But the Ravens offensive line is thin. This could be the final season for center Matt Birk, who turns 36 in July, and there is no depth at guard beyond Marshal Yanda. The best linemen in the draft will likely be gone by the time the Ravens are on the clock, but their options could include David DeCastro of Stanford and Wisconsin big men Kevin Zeitler and Peter Konz.

``All those guys, you figure they get picked in the latter half of the first round, the early part of the second round,'' said Eric DeCosta, the Ravens director of player personnel.

Baltimore's success over the last four years has forced Newsome and DeCosta to make the best of drafting in the back end of each round. Yet they still managed to secure starters Michael Oher, Lardarius Webb, Terrence Cody, Jimmy Smith, Torrey Smith and the tight end tandem of Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta.

The Ravens enter the draft with eight selections, none more valuable than the first, although each pick will be given the same amount of thought and consideration.

And then, while Baltimore is on the clock, it might be traded away. For the Ravens, it's not so much their draft number but the number of draft picks. After all, Webb, Dickson, Pitta and up-and-coming defensive end Pernell McPhee were all taken in the third round or later.

``We want as many picks as we can get because I think the draft is all about luck,'' DeCosta said. ``The more picks you have, the better chance you have to get lucky. We need players at every position across the board. The more picks we have, the better chance we have to hit on a few guys. That's really where we are with that.''

Newsome has pulled off a trade in each of the last 10 drafts, more often than not to get extra selections. Two years ago, for instance, he dealt his first-rounder to Denver for three picks.

``There's nobody that covets picks more than the Baltimore Ravens,'' Newsome said. ``And so, the notion of giving up a pick is pretty distasteful for us unless the player is pretty darn good.''

if Konz or some other notable offensive lineman is available, the Ravens might select someone rated higher on their board.

``We have said this for 16 years: We will not take need over a real good player at another position,'' Newsome said.

Baltimore could use a linebacker to replace departed free agent Jarret Johnson or someone to groom as a down-the-road replacement Ray Lewis, who turns 37 next month. They might seek a wide receiver to go with Smith, or a safety to provide stability in the back end of the defense with Ed Reed, who turns 34 in September.

``I try to come up with a theme every year before the draft. My theme this year is deep depth,'' DeCosta said. ``It sort of goes back to Branch Rickey, quality out of quantity, a lot of picks just to get as many players as you can. I think we need a lot of good young players. Last year, we thought we needed playmakers and we brought in Torrey Smith, we brought in Jimmy Smith. We got some guys like that.''

Newsome and DeCosta must be doing something right, because the Ravens are the only team in the NFL to win a playoff game in each of the last four years. But despite reaching the AFC title game twice during,. that span, Baltimore hasn't been to the Super Bowl since winning it all during the 2000 season.

The hope is that this will be the year.

``I'm proud of what we've accomplished,'' DeCosta said. ``We're just trying to get better. We look at the team as clinically as we can and try to address what we think are the most important issues. That's what the draft is about, that's what free agency is about. We're just trying to improve so that next year when we're in that same position, we'll win the game.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Matt JonesMay 20 02:15p

Washington Redskins RB Matt Jones said that he loves the offense and has a chip on his shoulder after not being used properly while in college. 'My college career [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 20 08:53a

Updating a previous report, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) is experiencing numbness in his right ring finger. He hopes to avoid surgery through rest and rehab, and no [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 19 06:13p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) has a right ring finger injury that could be surgically repaired. A return for training camp is still achievable, however, according to a source.

L. WashingtonMay 19 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR L'Damian Washington (undisclosed) was waived/injured Tuesday, May 19.

Shayne GrahamMay 19 03:03p

New Orleans Saints PK Shayne Graham was released Tuesday, May 19. Subsequently, free-agent WR Lance Lewis (49ers) was signed.

Joseph BarksdaleMay 19 02:23p

Free-agent OT Joseph Barksdale (Rams) will sign a one-year deal worth $350,000 with the San Diego Chargers, according to a source. The deal also comes with more than $1 million in incentives available.

Tom BradyMay 19 01:43p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will continue to appeal his four-game suspension, despite owner Robert Kraft saying the team will not appeal the discipline levied against them.

Jed CollinsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Tyler CluttsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Lache SeastrunkMay 18 02:42p

Tennessee Titans RB Lache Seastrunk was released Monday, May 18.

Jimmy GaroppoloMay 17 08:42p

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo's quick decision making and accuracy fit well with New England's playbook that includes quick-rhythm passes as part of the foundation, and Bucky Brooks [ More ]

Zach HockerMay 17 04:42p

The New Orleans Saints have signed free-agent PK Zach Hocker (Dolphins).

Joseph RandleMay 16 07:32p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle has the skills to lead the team's backfield in 2015 but he'll need to work on his off-field issues, according to Jon Machota of [ More ]

Matt CasselMay 15 07:52p

Buffalo Bills QB Matt Cassel is likely to enter Week 1 of the season as the team's backup quarterback, in the opinion of The Buffalo News' Vic Carucci. He [ More ]

Santana MossMay 15 07:12p

Free-agent WR Santana Moss (Redskins) is not ready to hang up his cleats and retire this offseason. 'I'm a free agent right now, you know how they do [ More ]

Robert TurbinMay 14 05:32p

Seattle Seahawks RB Robert Turbin (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason, according to sources. No timetable was disclosed for his recovery.

Tom BradyMay 14 03:52p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has officially appealed his four-game suspension.

Greg SalasMay 13 02:23p

Free-agent WR Greg Salas (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions Wednesday, May 13. Financial terms were not disclosed.

John ConnerMay 13 12:03p

Free-agent FB John Conner (Jets) signed with the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, May 13. FB Corey Knox was waived to make room for him.

Tom BradyMay 13 10:03a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's four-game suspension could be reduced significantly, and possibly overturned, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Brady has put together a renowned legal team to appeal his suspension.

D.J. SwearingerMay 12 05:22p

Free-agent SS D.J. Swearinger was officially claimed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday, May 12.

Fred JacksonMay 12 03:13p

Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson may not make the final roster if the Bills end up keeping only three running backs, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. RB LeSean [ More ]

Lance MooreMay 12 01:23p

Free-agent WR Lance Moore (Steelers) signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions.

Justin BlackmonMay 12 11:02a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was denied reinstatement by the NFL this offseason, according to The Associated Press' Mark Long. It's unclear whether Blackmon failed a drug test or [ More ]

Joseph RandleMay 12 10:42a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle could see the bulk of the carries as the season weighs on, in the opinion of beat writer Todd Archer. Archer pegged Randle for [ More ]

Jimmy GaroppoloMay 11 09:42p

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to start while QB Tom Brady serves his suspension for 'DeflateGate'. Brady was suspended four games by the National Football League [ More ]

Tom BradyMay 11 07:12p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will appeal his four-game suspension, according to his agent.

Tom BradyMay 11 05:52p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has been suspended four games for his involvement in the deflated-football incident in the AFC Championship. In addition, the Patriots will lose their [ More ]

D.J. SwearingerMay 11 04:12p

Houston Texans SS D.J. Swearinger was officially released Monday, May 11.

Carey SpearMay 11 01:22p

Cleveland Browns PKs Travis Coons and Carey Spear will compete for the kicker job this offseason, and the competition is wide open at this point, according to special teams coordinator Chris Tabor.

Garrett HartleyMay 11 01:12p

Cleveland Browns PK Garrett Hartley was released Monday, May 11.

Kyle ArringtonMay 11 10:32a

New England Patriots CB Kyle Arrington was released Monday, May 11, according to a source. The team left the door open for him to return.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group