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

Luke WillsonOct 24 10:44p

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson (groin) will play in the team's Week 8 game, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Crockett GillmoreOct 24 10:32p

Baltimore Ravens rookie TE Crockett Gillmore will receive the start at tight end in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Ravens appear to have plenty of confidence [ More ]

Golden TateOct 24 10:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate will be facing the league's 29th ranked pass defense in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Steve JohnsonOct 24 10:08p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson has played only 20 percent of the snaps in the last month, but he's been the team's most effective receiver in that time. [ More ]

Reggie BushOct 24 10:02p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is expected to be inactive for the Week 9 game against the Atlanta Falcons in London, according to a source Friday, Oct. 24.

Calvin JohnsonOct 24 10:02p

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) is unlikely to play in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons in London, according to a source. The team has a bye in [ More ]

Ryan MathewsOct 24 09:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) missed his sixth consecutive game in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos, but he could return to practice as [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 24 09:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) missed his third straight game in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos, but he might be able to return to practice Monday, Oct. 27.

Alan BallOct 24 07:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars are extremely thin at cornerback heading into the team's Week 8 game, with CBs Alan Ball (biceps) out, and Dwayne Gratz (hip flexor) questionable. There is [ More ]

Kevin WilliamsOct 24 06:32p

Seattle Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman (foot), DT Jordan Hill (ankle), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), TE Zach Miller (ankle), C Max Unger (foot), LB Bobby Wagner (toe) and WR Bryan [ More ]

Khalif BarnesOct 24 06:32p

Oakland Raiders OT Khalif Barnes (quadriceps) is expected to start at right tackle in Week 8, but head coach Tony Sparano would not say if Barnes or OT Menelik [ More ]

LaMarr WoodleyOct 24 06:22p

Oakland Raiders DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) are expected to be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Dion SimsOct 24 06:02p

Miami Dolphins SS Jimmy Wilson (hamstring) is listed as doubtful for Week 8. LB Koa Misi (ankle) is listed as questionable, while OT Branden Albert (elbow), LS John Denney [ More ]

Billy WinnOct 24 05:52p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DT Phil Taylor (knee) have been ruled out for Week 8. DE Billy Winn (quadriceps) and SS Jim Leonhard (ankle) are listed [ More ]

Justin TuckOct 24 05:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, [ More ]

Derrick ColemanOct 24 05:32p

Updating a previous report, Seattle Seahawks RB Derrick Coleman (foot) had surgery to repair a foot injury this week. He is expected to miss at least six weeks.

Brandon BrownerOct 24 05:32p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8. OG Dan Connolly (concussion), DE Dominique [ More ]

Johnathan JosephOct 24 05:32p

Houston Texans CB Darryl Morris (ankle) and LB Jeff Tarpinian (knee) have been ruled out for Week 8 against the Tennessee Titans. LBs Jadeveon Clowney (knee), Brian Cushing (knee), [ More ]

Frostee RuckerOct 24 05:22p

Arizona Cardinals TE Troy Niklas (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles. DE Calais Campbell (knee) is questionable, while S Rashad Johnson (knee) and [ More ]

Morgan BurnettOct 24 05:12p

Green Bay Packers DE Datone Jones (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the New Orleans Saints. S Morgan Burnett (calf) is questionable, while CB Sam Shields [ More ]

James StarksOct 24 05:12p

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks (ankle) was limited in practice for the second straight day Friday, Oct. 24, but is probable for Week 8 against the New Orleans [ More ]

Lance BriggsOct 24 05:02p

Chicago Bears LB Jonathan Bostic (back) and LB Lance Briggs (ribs) were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and are doubtful for Week 8. S Danny McCray (knee) did [ More ]

Ryan ClarkOct 24 05:02p

Washington Redskins CB Tracy Porter (hamstring) and FS Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) were limited during practice Friday, Oct. 24. DE Chris Baker (thigh), OT Tyler Polumbus (knee), LB Perry [ More ]

Jack CrawfordOct 24 04:52p

Dallas Cowboys OT Doug Free (foot) and DE Jack Crawford (calf) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24. Anthony Spencer (knee) was limited during practice, while LB Bruce [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 24 04:52p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman continues to run with confidence in the absence of RB Montee Ball (groin), and Ball will likely find it hard to win his starting [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinOct 24 04:32p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (ankle, knee) and LB Kyle Knox (ankle) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and have been ruled out. DT Brodrick Bunkley [ More ]

Nick MangoldOct 24 04:32p

New York Jets LB Trevor Reilly (knee) and WR Greg Salas (wrist, ankle) both were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and are questionable for Week 8. OT Oday [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 24 04:32p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Christopher Owens (knee) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the St. Louis Rams. WR Junior Hemingway (hamstring) and S Eric Berry (ankle) are [ More ]

Khiry RobinsonOct 24 04:22p

New Orleans Saints RB Khiry Robinson (forearm) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8.

Jo-Lonn DunbarOct 24 04:22p

St. Louis Rams C Tim Barnes (shoulder) and CB Brandon McGee (foot) are both out for Week 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs. CBs Janoris Jenkins (knee) and Trumaine [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 24 04:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) said he won't rush back to play until his ankle is fully healed. 'It's our job to help this team win, and [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 24 04:12p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group