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STrid


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To Coordinator first:

Of course, to some extend, the way you draft depends on the way your team is made up. With that said, however, you also have to look at the fact, that at some point a player will want to get paid or a player will get injured. In a world where you can keep all of your players and they never get hurt, yes, you would draft the best player there is on the board, not the most valuable position. That is not the case however, with the only difference possibly being the QB. There have been a history of good players on continuously good teams wanting to cash in and go to the higher bidder, simply because their original team cannot afford to pay their top players at every position. This is almost always the case. Now again, in a perfect world you always hit on your draftpicks, but in reality you really don't. The fact is that teams loose some of their most valuable players all the time and don't have the players ready to replace them. The Patriots had a great D for years, but eventually lost most of their stars, and have had a hard time replacing them with equal talent.

My logic is that given the above facts you would want to reinforce the positions that arguably matter the most on the pitch. I would argue that those positions are Edge Threat, DL (mostly 3-4 ends, but also 4-3 DT), CB, QB, TE and OL. These are a good number of positions and therefore a good number of players that one would have to cover in order to, in my opinion, have a great team. Sure a team can still be good while not having a great OL or whatnot, but I think those positions are the building blocks that form the foundation of a successful team. By often drafting players high in the draft in said position (granted that you like them as players) you have a chance to be one step ahead of injuries and FA, where you often will loose some of your best players, like the case with Suggs. Granted, the Ravens have tried to draft that next OLB and have been unlucky, but at least they have tried. I think we would be in an even worse state if the thinking had been that we would just roll with the players we had until something happened, which eventually did.

I think the giants are a prime example of drafting players in highly valued positions despite having good players there in the first place. That allows them the hardball Usi when he wants his big money and it allows them to not loose a beat when one of them goes down injured. Lets look at a team like GB on the other hand. While they have not entirely neglected the OLB position with the pick of Nick Perry, not much have been done about it since mathews was drafted. What if Mathews was to go down? My point is that I would rather sacrifice having a potentially really good player at a less important position than having none at a premier one. If you have a great DL you don't need your LB's to cover sideline to sideline, because the DL will most of the time beat their men and keep the contain. Similarly you don't need to have a whole secondary of superstars if you generate pressure like the Giants did in the SB against the Patriots. Of course you will need adequate players in those positions, but with a superstar DL you can get bye with MLBs like Ellerbe and McClain. What I'm trying to say is that the players you draft high are the players you build your team around and that you keep around and not just until their next contract. I realize that this is possibly an entirely different discussion, but in my mind the draft relates in a large way to the way you build your team. With a cap in place you have to continually think about where you put your money.

To reply to DB:

I very much think the MLB is being phased more and more out of the game today. In todays game the arguably most important thing for a defense to accomplish is to limit what the opposing QB can do. In that way it's true that the game is won in the trenches (I count the OLB's in a 3-4 as part of the DL in this case). If you can dictate what the other team can do by dominating at the LOS you are in a really good position. You will limit the time a QB has to make a throw and thereby you will limit what routes can be run and how slow plays can develop. Similarly you will keep your LB's clean in the run game and allow them to make the tackles without first having to fight through heavy traffic. In a perfect world the DL fights through their blocks whilst the OLB's (again in the 3-4) keeps the outside contain, what is then left for the MLB to do is pick the right gap and make the tackle, you don't need a superstar MLB for that. Similarly you don't need to be a superstar MLB to cover a TE for a couple of seconds, but even if you can't, a safety can always be subbed in to take care of it. That might be simplifying it a bit, but that is essentially the case.

As it is hardly any MLB, let alone the ones you draft in the bottom half of the first, can cover modern TE's like Gronk og Graham alone, they are simply not big or fast enough. What we've seen for some time now is that defenses choose to bracket those guys with both a safety and a MLB. This essentially leaves the MLB as a glorified garbage man (no offence, Ray) whose job it is to make a tackle when he is called upon or to cover a guy for a short period of time. No matter how much you like a guy like Mychal Kendricks you would not leave him alone on a guy like Percy Harvin and expect him to be shut down. Maybe you would leave him on a guy like Tandon Doss, but not a great slot receiver like Harvin, which is why Webb is getting paid what he's getting paid. I'm not denying that a guy like Kendricks have a certain value, but paying the price that he is going to demand is not to my liking, I'd rather spend it on keeping my good DL player and have Darnell Ellerbe do the tackling instead.
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^^^

But again, the point ISN'T elite ILB vs elite edge threat. At pick (say...) #26 in the draft, the Ravens aren't going to be in position to find an elite edge threat or DL. They are going to be in position to find a Courtney Upshaw caliber player. Whereas they will also likely be in position to grad the #2 ILB on the board, who generally speaking is still going to be very good, if not elite.

And in terms money, those elite pass rushers are making out with giant deals. They're getting paid more and more and the ILBs are also being paid less and less (in relation to the cap). While pressure is obviously important, it is also equally important that you don't have sieves that are just going to be quickly exposed in the middle and prevent your pressure from having any kind of impact. The Eagles are a good example. Sure they are good at bringing pressure, but they also have the best pair of cover ILBs in the league. It makes them incredibly difficult to complete passes against simply because those quick routes you want to run to beat pressure are no longer there.

If we were arguing something as simple as positional value, sure the ETs (you're the first person I've ever seen use my term Very Happy) win out every time, but we're arguing something more complex. We're arguing best player at a position of need. We're arguing potentially the 7th-8th best pass rusher vs the #2 ILB. In our particular case, I honestly believe this is Ray's last season... while we don't NEED to go ILB in the first round if their is a special talent available (I could potentially be interested in ET- Dion Jordan late in round 1- I think he might be a special talent), I do think coverage ILBs have a usefulness. Mychal Kendricks may not be able to cover Percy Harvin, sure... but exactly how many CORNERs are going to be able to handle the same feat? If you've got an ILB that you can put on a WR, a TE, or a RB... plus shutdown running plays, plus can get to the QB... that's a LOT of value in one position. In fact, it's so much value that it just might become an underrated commodity.

You're basically arguing classic ILBs vs edge threats. In that situation, I'd definitely take a Courtney Upshaw over a James Michael-Johnson... and everyone would agree with that, but if we're talking about a Dual Threat ILB... the talent level he possesses has to be considered in the equation. A Manti Te'O or a CJ Mosley would be better selections if those those were the talents on the board we're most likely to go after.
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alfalcone


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alfalcone wrote:


Your correct on the Honey Badger, assuming he's true to his word. There's a lot of Lardarius Webb in his game, though he's a little softer in coverage but with more play making ability. Simon plays DE & DT at Ohio State, he's undersized 6'2 260 but strong as an ox with a great understanding of leverage. His biggest downside is that Matt Millen loves him. I think he could be a great fit in the Jarrett Johnson role should he be available in round 3 or 4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNAxf60wBas&feature=related Toilolo is a tight end at Stanford, he's a big physical tight end who can block, but also catch, a perfect complement to Pitta and Dickson. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNw8L9-45Co Hamilton is a receiver at Arkansas, explosive but was the 3 or 4 receiver the past two years, probably a round two guy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFCFdJ6BR-Y Warmack is a guard at Alabama, the best lineman on the team. The "10 year" player every talks about once a draft. Richardson is a DT at Missouri, raw, it took him some time to qualify academically, a JUCO guy, but he's explosive and makes plays. 6'4 295 and very possible a 4.7 40. He could be a stud 5 technique. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShSiAvIX1Jc Tate's at Maryland, played strong safety until Edsall came in, and he was moved to a hybrid role in the 4-2-5. He's about 6'4 225, but his skill set fits an evolving NFL. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHglU3nYRqQ Brown is an undersized linebacker at Kansas State, if he can get up to 235 240 he's a first round pick no doubt. He tackles everything but he's probably the worst fit schematically of anyone on my list. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWuJVBbeZQU Finally Jefferson is an undersized safety at Oklahoma, a play maker, again in the Webb sort of mold, he may have to move to corner, but he's got great cover skills. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsF2ClPg1SQ



Beyond this list, I think it could behoove the Ravens to draft some elite athletes whose football skills could use some polishing. Speed kills, especially on 3rd downs and special teams. A luxury pick might be an explosive running back, a Kenjon Barner in the later rounds for instance. Maybe a Margus Hunt. Basically anyone off of the freaks list. http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/18992316/the-freak-list-the-10-craziest-athletes-in-college-football
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alfalcone wrote:

Beyond this list, I think it could behoove the Ravens to draft some elite athletes whose football skills could use some polishing. Speed kills, especially on 3rd downs and special teams. A luxury pick might be an explosive running back, a Kenjon Barner in the later rounds for instance. Maybe a Margus Hunt. Basically anyone off of the freaks list. http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/18992316/the-freak-list-the-10-craziest-athletes-in-college-football

I might take a flyer on a guy like Devin Taylor in the mid-rounds, but more than that... if he hasn't figured out how to become a special DL with Spurrier as his coach, I don't think the NFL is suddenly teach him to become a dominant player.

Margus Hunt, like I said before, is an interesting player. Still learning the game and if/when he figures it out he could become a special player at the next level. He's a guy that could really improve with the right technique. The only problem is, I can't see his potential not getting him into the top of the 2nd or the bottom of the 1st... if not higher. The Ravens aren't usually the type of team that go after those kind of projects, but Hunt could be an exception given his unique position (as in both on the field and circumstance).

The other guys are either not special players, we don't need their position, or are injury prone... or both. If we're going after an athletic freak, I want it to usually be a guy who has had some productivity. That being said, this was a nice read.
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coordinator0


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

STrid wrote:
To Coordinator first:

Of course, to some extend, the way you draft depends on the way your team is made up. With that said, however, you also have to look at the fact, that at some point a player will want to get paid or a player will get injured. In a world where you can keep all of your players and they never get hurt, yes, you would draft the best player there is on the board, not the most valuable position. That is not the case however, with the only difference possibly being the QB. There have been a history of good players on continuously good teams wanting to cash in and go to the higher bidder, simply because their original team cannot afford to pay their top players at every position. This is almost always the case. Now again, in a perfect world you always hit on your draftpicks, but in reality you really don't. The fact is that teams loose some of their most valuable players all the time and don't have the players ready to replace them. The Patriots had a great D for years, but eventually lost most of their stars, and have had a hard time replacing them with equal talent.

My logic is that given the above facts you would want to reinforce the positions that arguably matter the most on the pitch. I would argue that those positions are Edge Threat, DL (mostly 3-4 ends, but also 4-3 DT), CB, QB, TE and OL. These are a good number of positions and therefore a good number of players that one would have to cover in order to, in my opinion, have a great team. Sure a team can still be good while not having a great OL or whatnot, but I think those positions are the building blocks that form the foundation of a successful team. By often drafting players high in the draft in said position (granted that you like them as players) you have a chance to be one step ahead of injuries and FA, where you often will loose some of your best players, like the case with Suggs. Granted, the Ravens have tried to draft that next OLB and have been unlucky, but at least they have tried. I think we would be in an even worse state if the thinking had been that we would just roll with the players we had until something happened, which eventually did.

I think the giants are a prime example of drafting players in highly valued positions despite having good players there in the first place. That allows them the hardball Usi when he wants his big money and it allows them to not loose a beat when one of them goes down injured. Lets look at a team like GB on the other hand. While they have not entirely neglected the OLB position with the pick of Nick Perry, not much have been done about it since mathews was drafted. What if Mathews was to go down? My point is that I would rather sacrifice having a potentially really good player at a less important position than having none at a premier one. If you have a great DL you don't need your LB's to cover sideline to sideline, because the DL will most of the time beat their men and keep the contain. Similarly you don't need to have a whole secondary of superstars if you generate pressure like the Giants did in the SB against the Patriots. Of course you will need adequate players in those positions, but with a superstar DL you can get bye with MLBs like Ellerbe and McClain. What I'm trying to say is that the players you draft high are the players you build your team around and that you keep around and not just until their next contract. I realize that this is possibly an entirely different discussion, but in my mind the draft relates in a large way to the way you build your team. With a cap in place you have to continually think about where you put your money.


So what I'm guessing that the gist of this is that you would only want the team to spend a high round pick on the QB, OL, TE, DL, pass-rusher, and CB in case one of the guys you already have on the team gets hurt or leaves? I don't know I don't buy that type of team-building strategy. Obviously players get hurt or leave in free agency but I don't think you address those moves potentially years before it happens. Now if there was a guy on the team that was an upcoming free agent or is old/injury prone then that's different. The Giants like to stockpile pass-rushers but their defense wasn't really that good last season. They were effective in the Superbowl but aside from the pass-rush the rest of the defense was bad and that's not what I would try to replicate. I don't think the Perry example applies (if I'm understanding you're argument correctly) since he wasn't drafted really as insurance for Matthews but to start alongside of him.

I agree that the OL and DL are the building-blocks of a team (aside from QB which is obvious to anyone I think) and I would certainly try and get those units to be the best that they can be but it all depends on the talent available. I wouldn't want the Ravens to draft a pass-rusher just for the sake of drafting a pass-rusher when superior talent at another position is available. If a player plays well enough after you draft him to deserve a nice contract then that's a good thing isn't it? Regardless of position that means he played very well and sometimes you don't always get to keep the players you draft but that's the nature of the game. I'd argue that the positions you listed are those more likely to leave/the team unable to retain them but I wouldn't avoid drafting them either.

We're probably never going to see eye-to-eye on this issue and neither of us will likely ever have the chance to prove our arguments are correct but that's one of the great things about FF. Cool
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jesse Williams- from Australia- I saw him pegged in one of the mock drafts to the Ravens, but as a 5-tech DE... Alabama had so many playmakers on their defense last year that I didn't really pay much attention to this guy. I didn't notice that he played DE for them last year before his current play as NT this season.

I'm not a fan of his as going to us in the 1st and I'd rather us look elsewhere with that pick (if we go with an Alabama player in the 1st, I'd rather it be Mosley), but Williams is stout at the POA. And Ozzie does love Alabama guys because of their toughness. Williams is also pretty athletic and is known for his strength. I just wish he was more of a pass rusher. If he's able to improve on that skill as the season progresses, he might offer a potential solution to upgrading our DE slot opposite Ngata... and announcers could play video of both guys being dominant rugby players before playing football. Smile

Looked at more tape of William Gholston... I just don't know what's wrong with the guy. coordinator0 how is the coaching there at MSU? Is Gholston more slow learned or is it just that the coaching staff on the defensive side of the ball leaves something to be desired. I mean talk about looks like Tarzan... the guy should truly be a force. Yet he doesn't keep his arms extended.. like ever... he tends to play too high (granted he is incredibly tall), when he gets through the line, he doesn't work his way down the LOS with good technique (he simply runs to the back as opposed to staying parallel with the LOS and once the back moves N/S he's left adjusting as opposed to making the play behind the line), and then his instincts are highly questionable.

On one hand, playing inside at 5-tech could do wonders for the impact he could make, on the other hand though... he probably will be easily fooled by run/pass fakes and he can be abused by single blockers every now and again because of his poor body lean. He just looks like such a frustrating prospect.

Bjoern Werner. A lot of Werner's sacks this season have come against inferior competition to this point. He had 4 sacks in three quarters against Murray St... then another one came against Savannah St. Another 1.5 came against Wake Forest (who isn't a good football team as of late). These teams all had to pass a lot after being in huge holes in the game. So I can see why Scott Wright doesn't have Werner going in the first round of his mock draft. That said, I was more a fan of how Werner looked in 2011. He was bigger at about 271 lbs. He cut fat this year to lower his BF%, trading some strength for speed/agility. If Werner is available late in the draft, I'd love the Ravens to select him and have him bulk back up. Everyone is looking for the next JJ Watt type of prospect at 34 DE, Werner may not be that, but in 2011, he looked like he could be a poor man's version. The Ravens need help at DE and Werner while not a senior, seems like he could be the type of player that the Ravens would go after considering his work ethic.
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coordinator0


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

diamondbull424 wrote:


Looked at more tape of William Gholston... I just don't know what's wrong with the guy. coordinator0 how is the coaching there at MSU? Is Gholston more slow learned or is it just that the coaching staff on the defensive side of the ball leaves something to be desired. I mean talk about looks like Tarzan... the guy should truly be a force. Yet he doesn't keep his arms extended.. like ever... he tends to play too high (granted he is incredibly tall), when he gets through the line, he doesn't work his way down the LOS with good technique (he simply runs to the back as opposed to staying parallel with the LOS and once the back moves N/S he's left adjusting as opposed to making the play behind the line), and then his instincts are highly questionable.

On one hand, playing inside at 5-tech could do wonders for the impact he could make, on the other hand though... he probably will be easily fooled by run/pass fakes and he can be abused by single blockers every now and again because of his poor body lean. He just looks like such a frustrating prospect.




I'm not a fan of Gholston. He has an awesome frame but at this point that's about it. I don't think he's even that great of an athlete on the field. His poor and inconsistent technique might be a part of that (like the mistake I made with Osemele) but he doesn't make plays where his athleticism really stands out. Gholston would definitely be a 5-technique in the Ravens system although it's hard to say if he would be better off there. The coaching at MSU is adequate (not great and not terrible), I think Gholston is just hyped up because he's tall. I wouldn't touch him in the first couple of rounds.

I'm more interested in their MLB Max Bullough. He's a true junior and I doubt he comes out this year but I like what I've seen thus far.
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STrid


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

diamondbull424 wrote:
^^^^

But again, the point ISN'T elite ILB vs elite edge threat. At pick (say...) #26 in the draft, the Ravens aren't going to be in position to find an elite edge threat or DL. They are going to be in position to find a Courtney Upshaw caliber player. Whereas they will also likely be in position to grad the #2 ILB on the board, who generally speaking is still going to be very good, if not elite.

And in terms money, those elite pass rushers are making out with giant deals. They're getting paid more and more and the ILBs are also being paid less and less (in relation to the cap). While pressure is obviously important, it is also equally important that you don't have sieves that are just going to be quickly exposed in the middle and prevent your pressure from having any kind of impact. The Eagles are a good example. Sure they are good at bringing pressure, but they also have the best pair of cover ILBs in the league. It makes them incredibly difficult to complete passes against simply because those quick routes you want to run to beat pressure are no longer there.

If we were arguing something as simple as positional value, sure the ETs (you're the first person I've ever seen use my term Very Happy) win out every time, but we're arguing something more complex. We're arguing best player at a position of need. We're arguing potentially the 7th-8th best pass rusher vs the #2 ILB. In our particular case, I honestly believe this is Ray's last season... while we don't NEED to go ILB in the first round if their is a special talent available (I could potentially be interested in ET- Dion Jordan late in round 1- I think he might be a special talent), I do think coverage ILBs have a usefulness. Mychal Kendricks may not be able to cover Percy Harvin, sure... but exactly how many CORNERs are going to be able to handle the same feat? If you've got an ILB that you can put on a WR, a TE, or a RB... plus shutdown running plays, plus can get to the QB... that's a LOT of value in one position. In fact, it's so much value that it just might become an underrated commodity.

You're basically arguing classic ILBs vs edge threats. In that situation, I'd definitely take a Courtney Upshaw over a James Michael-Johnson... and everyone would agree with that, but if we're talking about a Dual Threat ILB... the talent level he possesses has to be considered in the equation. A Manti Te'O or a CJ Mosley would be better selections if those those were the talents on the board we're most likely to go after.


The argument is not so much that it isn't nice to have a good ILB, but rather that having a good edge threat is way more important. Without a proper edge threat you won't have any passrush, which is probably the single most important ability to possess on defense today. But it goes beyond just the single ET. You will need to have maybe three or four players who can get to the QB in order for a team to be successful, as well as players who can rotate in when they need a breather.
Having a plethora of talented linemen can go a long way in establishing a great defense, just like the Seahawks, Texans and Eagles have shown.

However getting that passrusher often proves really tricky for teams, and just like the Ravens experience now, getting that guy who can get to the QB is really difficult and can cripple an otherwise great defense. This is why I believe in getting that ET/Lineman when he's there rather than getting a somewhat better ILB who, while he might be good, won't be nearly as effective if nobody keeps the blockers off him or rushes the passer. The core of the problem is that although you can have top notch corners or linebackers almost any play is won at the LOS. If you're not winning the battles at the LOS it doesn't matter how good your ILB is because he will have a hard time fighting off guards all game or covering TE's for extended periods of time, just like your secondary can only cover for so long no matter how good they are.

What I'm trying to argue is that because of how early any DL/ET with any sort of talent comes off the board there is nearly always going to be a "Better" player available. My argument is that you should sometimes forego the "better player" in order to maximize your chances of getting an impact DL/ET with the risk of possibly missing out on some better players. In this regard I like that the Ravens have shown a willingness to address the position multiple times over recent years, even though they have been unfortunate. I think that is a testimony to how much worse it is not to have a proper passrusher than not having a proper ILB, or at least how much worse it's perceived to be by the team. Perhaps the absence of Ray vs. the absence of Suggs shows it the best. The times Ray have gone down the defense have not missed much, but it's obvious that without Suggs the team is lacking quite a lot compared to last year.

Of course if a player is rated much higher than some other guy you're going to take him regardless of position (perhaps in some cases with the exception of QB), but I doubt anyone that good is going to be available when we draft. The league has shown a willingness to draft ILB's high when they are good enough, and so the talent that usually falls to the bottom of the 1st are guys like Hightower and Lauranitis. If Mosley or Te'O are as good as you say they are i reckon they won't last to where we pick anyway.
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

STrid wrote:

The argument is not so much that it isn't nice to have a good ILB, but rather that having a good edge threat is way more important. Without a proper edge threat you won't have any passrush, which is probably the single most important ability to possess on defense today. But it goes beyond just the single ET. You will need to have maybe three or four players who can get to the QB in order for a team to be successful, as well as players who can rotate in when they need a breather.
Having a plethora of talented linemen can go a long way in establishing a great defense, just like the Seahawks, Texans and Eagles have shown.

However getting that passrusher often proves really tricky for teams, and just like the Ravens experience now, getting that guy who can get to the QB is really difficult and can cripple an otherwise great defense. This is why I believe in getting that ET/Lineman when he's there rather than getting a somewhat better ILB who, while he might be good, won't be nearly as effective if nobody keeps the blockers off him or rushes the passer. The core of the problem is that although you can have top notch corners or linebackers almost any play is won at the LOS. If you're not winning the battles at the LOS it doesn't matter how good your ILB is because he will have a hard time fighting off guards all game or covering TE's for extended periods of time, just like your secondary can only cover for so long no matter how good they are.

What I'm trying to argue is that because of how early any DL/ET with any sort of talent comes off the board there is nearly always going to be a "Better" player available. My argument is that you should sometimes forego the "better player" in order to maximize your chances of getting an impact DL/ET with the risk of possibly missing out on some better players. In this regard I like that the Ravens have shown a willingness to address the position multiple times over recent years, even though they have been unfortunate. I think that is a testimony to how much worse it is not to have a proper passrusher than not having a proper ILB, or at least how much worse it's perceived to be by the team. Perhaps the absence of Ray vs. the absence of Suggs shows it the best. The times Ray have gone down the defense have not missed much, but it's obvious that without Suggs the team is lacking quite a lot compared to last year.

Of course if a player is rated much higher than some other guy you're going to take him regardless of position (perhaps in some cases with the exception of QB), but I doubt anyone that good is going to be available when we draft. The league has shown a willingness to draft ILB's high when they are good enough, and so the talent that usually falls to the bottom of the 1st are guys like Hightower and Lauranitis. If Mosley or Te'O are as good as you say they are i reckon they won't last to where we pick anyway.

But the point is at the bottom of the first round, the pass rushers there aren't going to be guys that are going to be able to get to the quarterback at a high level FTMP. The usual suspects at that point in the draft are your Courtney Upshaw/Paul Kruger types. Neither of which are trail-blazing the team to high sack outputs. Our best pass rusher... we got with a top 15 pick... same with our 2nd best pass rusher. Same with the vast majority of the teams around the league.

So really, who cares about the theoretical aspect of how a pass rusher can help the team when in the vast majority of cases, the guys who can truly inspire a pass rush aren't going to be in our range.

In terms of Suggs vs. Lewis... that's literally a HORRIBLE comparison. You're talking about losing Suggs in his prime coming off a DPOY performance... vs a Ray Lewis that, while still playing well... isn't anywhere NEAR his prime ability. How about you compare Suggs missing now to when we lost Lewis in his prime. In 2001, the Ravens defense allowed 16.6 pts/game (4th)... they lost Lewis in 2002 after 5 weeks (IIRC) and finished the year averaging 22.1 pts/game (19th) more per game. That's a difference of 5.5 pts. In 2011 the Ravens defense also allowed 16.6 pts/game (3rd) and so far in 2012 the Ravens are giving up 20.8 yds/game (T-11th).

Now obviously, that's Ray Lewis- the GOAT ILB vs a "possible" future HOF player... not completely fair, but it illustrates the point the an ILB can be incredibly important to a defense. Sure the time period was different. The passing game has only become more and more key, but a prime Ray could do it all and missing him would've been a huge blow. If we had the ability to choose between Prime Suggs and Prime Ray on this defense, Ray gets the nod a billion times over.

But back on track. James Lauranitis/Donta Hightower aren't bad players though. They were actually really good players. Hightower would've been a great fit for our defense if we didn't already have a plethora of thumper LBers and if both positions are needed and I have to choose between Paul Kruger and Donta Hightower, I choose Hightower. At least Hightower has an elite skillset in a particular facet of the game. I'm not going to just keep taking pass rushers in the first round and hope someone blossoms.

Manti Te'O probably will go top 15 because of how proven he is defensively and as a senior season. CJ Mosley, I like on tape a lot, but he may not come out. If he does, he could potentially be in range for our selection.

But anyways, you say that the argument is that it's more important to have an edge threat... that's true. Nobody here has ever argued differently. So that's not the argument at hand. The REAL argument at hand is value. In most cases the 2nd ILBer off the board is going to be not only a superior player to the 7th ranked OLB, but rather because of his increased skill, lower contract cost, and more versatility (usually)... he's going to come at a much better value for your team.

EDIT: Or just to simplify some. While the Edge Threat clearly has more positional value, there are cases where other positions can allow you to get more bang for your buck.

In an ideal world, an elite pass rushing talent and an elite ILB talent falls to us and we can go with the elite pass rusher, but we aren't in that position. The best we can normally hope for is that a "good" pass rusher falls to us while a great ILB falls to us. That's probably as close as the talent levels will probably get in this situation.

Like I said, there are edge threats that I would take over Manti Te'O and CJ Mosley... namely Dion Jordan. The guy at this early stage is my favorite prospect in this draft class and is currently slated to be a 2nd round prospect by many of the boards out there. He's also not a stat stuffer, so there's a possibility that he could be there on draft day. If he's there, I'd pass up on an ILB talent (and mostly any other player for that matter).

But I don't think we can be so limited to subscribe to ONLY selecting players that fit into the square box of most valued positions. For instance, I don't like the idea of taking a RB in the first round, but if an Adrian Peterson-like prospect were to fall to us in the 20s... well you better believe, I'm going RB.
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gooselovechild


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I've watched a few Iowa St games this year, and AJ Klein is starting to grow on me as a sleeper in the high-middle part of the draft.

Not the biggest, not the fastest (although he probably has a better 40 than Moseley, Teo, or Skov), so if you just look at measurables, nothing really jumps out. But he always seems to be around the ball, is a very solid tackler, and isn't lost in coverage.

I think he's a solid option in the 2nd-3rd round area as an ILB, especially if we use our 1st to bolster the OL or S positions.

I officially have a man crush.
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Mancunian Raven


Joined: 09 Oct 2012
Posts: 1887
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it too early to say that all the picks in this year's draft need to be on defense?

1st round - Safety (would Reid, Elam or Tony Jefferson fall this far?)
2nd - ILB
3rd - Defensive Lineman
4th - Cornerback
5th - Defensive Lineman
6th - OLB/DE
7th - Safety/CB
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NJ Raven


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mancunian Raven wrote:
Is it too early to say that all the picks in this year's draft need to be on defense?

1st round - Safety (would Reid, Elam or Tony Jefferson fall this far?)
2nd - ILB
3rd - Defensive Lineman
4th - Cornerback
5th - Defensive Lineman
6th - OLB/DE
7th - Safety/CB


I'd be fine just selecting offensive lineman and edgerushers.
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coordinator0


Joined: 18 Jan 2008
Posts: 7008
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gooselovechild wrote:
So I've watched a few Iowa St games this year, and AJ Klein is starting to grow on me as a sleeper in the high-middle part of the draft.

Not the biggest, not the fastest (although he probably has a better 40 than Moseley, Teo, or Skov), so if you just look at measurables, nothing really jumps out. But he always seems to be around the ball, is a very solid tackler, and isn't lost in coverage.

I think he's a solid option in the 2nd-3rd round area as an ILB, especially if we use our 1st to bolster the OL or S positions.

I officially have a man crush.


How does one come across a few Iowa State games? I don't think I could find one if I wanted to. Thus I don't know much about Klein at all, but he's a guy I'll be looking into now.

Mancunian Raven wrote:
Is it too early to say that all the picks in this year's draft need to be on defense?


I could see the team looking at OL and WR. The offense still needs a bit of work and it's hard to say how they feel about Oher. In my opinion they should at least consider LT but the actual chances of that are probably pretty low. CB is a position I don't think they address with a quality pick at all but everywhere else on defense is fair game. I'm hoping for help in the front 7.
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Mancunian Raven


Joined: 09 Oct 2012
Posts: 1887
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NJ Raven wrote:
Mancunian Raven wrote:
Is it too early to say that all the picks in this year's draft need to be on defense?

1st round - Safety (would Reid, Elam or Tony Jefferson fall this far?)
2nd - ILB
3rd - Defensive Lineman
4th - Cornerback
5th - Defensive Lineman
6th - OLB/DE
7th - Safety/CB


I'd be fine just selecting offensive lineman and edgerushers.


I think the young guys on the O-line will develop quite well, based on early signs.

Osemele looks like he'll be a good RT, if he just improves on his pass blocking. And I think Harewood will as well. Who knows whether Gradkowski will be able to replace Birk, and whether Michael Oher will ever stop false starting, though.

I really want them to go for a Safety in the first. This is a strong class, and it would be great to lock one of them up before the need is quite so glaring.
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DontTazeMeBro


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only positions I wouldn't be for taking in the 1st round are QB and RB. Even TE if we see a Gronkowski, Graham, Gates type.
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