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A New Year: DB424's 2013 Mock Draft... We'll miss you Ray!

 
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Is this mock draft as good as the diddle-diddle?
Yo... this draft right 'che.. freaking bean pie man.. good money.
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Meh... maybe if it went up the middle.
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Chill son! Chill...
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I don't know dude... but Ray Ray FTW!
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Time out bro... what does any of this mean?
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Total Votes : 2

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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:57 pm    Post subject: A New Year: DB424's 2013 Mock Draft... We'll miss you Ray! Reply with quote

With the regular season now over, I felt as though this would be the best time for a mock draft before we start getting into the all star events, combine, and pro days that will start up very soon. It's been pretty tough coming up with a mock draft the past few months because of our extensive list of needs, determining which are the biggest that most need to be addressed, and who exactly should be available and "worthy" of our 1st round selection. With that all in mind, here is what I have come up with. Also note, this is also a mock offseason... but bare minimum (from a numbers perspective). I've seen the contracts required to resign RFA and ERFAs. I've seen the projected cap and such, but I'd rather wait until the actual season is over before I really start crunching the numbers and making more "detailed" predictions. Until then:

DB's note: Much of this draft was written before the Bengals game... then I added the final 3 rounds and revised. So... some stuff like the Ray Lewis retiring part has been confirmed... and the Flacco going for 4k passing wasn't achieved. But all in all, the same message applies.

2012 Baltimore Ravens NFL Mock Off Season
Joe Flacco situation
I think we wait until after the free agency and draft periods to resign Flacco. Obviously we'll push to get things done once the season ends, but I think after the season ends we'll have a few holes open up and the team will like to see what they need-money wise- to bring in the current class of free agents before closing on a deal with Flacco. How much money should we give him this season- how much room should we create as a buffer for FAs down the line. We'll likely need to ask these questions.

Contract: 7 years, $100.1m (14.3 per)... elite performance incentives that could push the pay to upwards of $16.5m/year. This is a figure I've been throwing out all season and the offseason before it and I'm not going to back down from it now. Flacco is on pace to top 4,000 yds passing for the first time in his career and with a big enough game could equal 25 TDs- his career high. Flacco has been the best QB this franchise has had and provides a constant to our QB position that we've simply haven't had through the course of our franchise to his arrival... he's also been very durable throughout and has the arm cannon to get things done. We need to keep him... and a smart deal for both sides is the best way to do that. Some will complain that $14m is too steep to pay... I say those people are ignorant. QBing in the NFL is expensive... it comes with a ton of responsibility and pressure and criticism. The nature of the position has led to the positional value contractually speaking to raise year by year. We're now seeing the hyper elite QBs- like Brady, Manning, Brees make in the $19-20m range, the lower elite is going to see a $16-17m value... and the fringe top 10 QBs will likely settle in the $14-15m range... where Flacco is at currently. I'm sure his agent is arguing for the $17m, but Ozzie is too smart to overpay... and Joe Linta is smart enough to realize Flacco isn't worth that much... yet. The smartest deal for both sides is to incentivize (made up word) the deal to pay Flacco what he's currently worth to the market (as projected) and create incentives that could push his value higher if what we're seeing from Flacco now, isn't exactly close to the finished product that Flacco/Linta believes he can be.

Other stuff
****Ray Lewis retires**** Crying or Very sad

Ed Reed doesn't retire, moves on to another team as he feels "disrespected" by the Ravens offer. The Patriots have McCourty playing FS half the time, but they'll likely be interested... though ultimately likely don't spend the money to get him. Rex would likely love to bring in Reed, though the front office may be looking to spend less money on free agents. The Colts have Pagano, which could be a connection... but they also have Bethea. Ultimately, I think the Jets may make the best fit for him if Rex remains HC as he'll have access to a good medical staff (being NY) and remain on the east coast to be closer to Miami. I also wouldn't rule out Tampa Bay in the Ed Reed sweepstakes.

Ellerbe is not brought back. I like him, but he can't be trusted enough to sink a similar contract in him to what we gave McClain... no one is likely going to want McClain badly enough to take him on in a trade that we could benefit from... and more importantly, I thought even before Ellerbe returned our defense made some big improvements in their play and Josh Bynes was a big part of that. He's smart, instinctive, a decent athlete... and cheap. He'll replace Ellerbe.

Cary Williams gets a upper medium sized deal elsewhere. Paul Kruger gets a big time $7-8m/year deal elsewhere.

Ravens extend Boldin's contract. Birk retires. Ravens sign veteran center to compete with GG.

Ravens keep Darth Pees one more season. Ravens hire Jim Caldwell full time as OC. Ravens lose a key front office guy to NFL.

2012 Baltimore Ravens NFL Mock Draft

Round 1
Quote:
Round 1, Pick 25:
The Baltimore Ravens select:
Margus Hunt, I.T., SMU Mustangs
6'7, 280 lbs, Game Forty: 4.67, Arm Length: n/a, Hand Size: n/a
2012 Stats: 13 GS/13 GP
31 TTs: 19 solo, 12 asst, 11.5 TFL- 79 yds, 8 scks- 56 yds; 11 QBHs; 2 PBU, 1 INTs- 9 yds; 2 FF; 3 BPs
Career Stats: -- GS/ -- GP
112 TTs: 60 solo, 52 asst, 28.5 TFL- 181 yds, 16.5 scks- 118 yds; 7 PBU, 1 INTs- 9 yds; 3 FFs
Marugs Hunt vs Pittsburgh (2011)


Strengths
- Physical freak that has the ability to dominate his man 1on1.
- Superb length allows him to cover distances quickly and attack the QB.
- Long arms makes it hard for OTs to get into his body and control him.
- Great upper body strength combine with long arms could make him nearly unblockable once his technique improves.
- His arms are a weapon that make him effective at batting down passes at the LOS.
- Young football body, has only played football for three years and shouldn't have the same wear and tear as other players.
- Has had an intriguing route to football and an interesting story. His work ethic and maturity will endear him to those within the Ravens organization and make him a solid fit to be a Raven.

Weaknesses
- Doesn't have the ideal lower body strength that you look for and needs to improve in that area to be more effective against the run and a more complete player.
- Not technically advanced at this point and it has kept him from being the dominant player that he's shown flashes of being.
- Didn't have the overall production/dominance as a senior that perhaps his athleticism would have you expect.
- Will be an old rookie, he'll be 26 at the start of his rookie season.


Grade: A- = (3.7 pts)
Margus Hunt is unpolished as a football player at this point. But the NFL is a league built around specialists. Hunt might not be an every down option at this point, but he has the potential to add an extra dominant dimension to our defense while improving our depth. We have a playoff caliber unit that can afford him the time to pickup his technique before we expect him to become the dominant player that his potential displays. In the meantime, he'll offer a big athletic frame that offensive lines will have to account for. His length/strength/athletic combination will provide a versatility to our front 7 that we are currently lacking.

Also considered: Bennie Logan, Matt Elam, Terrance Williams, Barrett Jones

Player Comparison: Calais Campbell, Arizona Cardinals
Value Range: Top 35 talent
_______________________________________________
Round 2
Quote:
Round 2, Pick 57:
The Baltimore Ravens select:
Chase Thomas, E.T., Stanford Cardinals
6'4 248 lbs, Game forty: 4.65s, 3-Cone: n/a
2012 Stats: 14 GS/14 GP
71 TTs: 44 solo, 27 asst, 15.5 TFL- 54 yds, 7.5 sck- 40 yds; 5 QBHs; 4 PBU, 1 INT- 0 yds; 1 FFs; 0 FUM ret- 0 yds
Career Stats: 22 GS/35+ GP
229 TTs: 145 solo, 84 asst, 50.5 TFL- 141 yds, 27.5 sks- 97 yds; 8 PBU, 2 INTs- 2 yds; 9 FFs; 1 FUM ret.- 7 yds, TD
Chase Thomas vs Notre Dame (2012)


Strengths
- Explosive quick twitch athlete with a suddenness to his game that- wait for it- resembles the playing style of Clay Matthews
- A straight up playmaker.. he's created a number of turnovers in key situations for the Cardinals defense over the past three seasons.
- His experience is incredible, has been taught by some very experienced and thorough coaches during his time at Stanford and has been a big part in Stanford fielding such a dominant defense over the past few seasons.
- Has the intangibles you look for in a player. Graduate of a prestigious university, impact player since his freshman season on defense, and a leader/face of the program for the last couple seasons.
- Athletic versatility.. can play both OLB and ILB.
- Has good instincts, usually being in the right place at the right time.
- Possesses an obvious connection to the Harbaugh tree and could be familiar with the coaching staff, making his transition to our team that much smoother.

Weaknesses
- Strength, he doesn't possess enough power to his game... he's a little too finesse at this point.
- Effort, the Clay Matthews comparisons stop at explosive and sudden, Thomas makes a lot of plays... but I've noticed on too much film where he seems to take some plays off or runs a little lazily when the play goes to the opposite side of the field.


Grade: A- (3.7 pts)
This just seems like a Ravens type of draft pick here with Chase Thomas. We have a highly productive player who after coming back for another season and having his buzz wear thin, he's been over-analysed and under-appreciated. A body of work like what Thomas provides isn't going to be often seen in a 2nd rounder. His athleticism also backs up his play. He takes some plays off- and that's not ideal, but he's going to be an asset to the Ravens defense and should be able to very much replace the production we had with Paul Kruger. Because of his immense experience to this point and likely familiarity with Harbaugh we should expect the learning curve to be much quicker for Thomas than it would for most draft picks. This is a guy who was an integral part of a defense that allowed the fewest rushing yards on the ground this season and has been very stingy throughout his tenure. And with the suddenness Thomas brings to his game- I think Monachino could really develop Thomas into an even more effective pass rusher than what he's shown at the collegiate level.

Also considered: Da'Rick Rogers, Shayne Skov, and TJ McDonald

Player Comparison: Clay Matthews III
Value Range: top 45 talent
_______________________________________________
Round 3
Quote:
Round 3, Pick 84:
The Baltimore Ravens select:
AJ Klein, ILB, Iowa State Cyclones
6'1 244 lbs, Forty: 4.65s, Arms: n/a, Hands: n/a
2012 Stats: 13 GS/13 GP
98 TTs: 53 solo, 45 asst, 2.5 TFL- 6 yds, 1 sks- 5 yds; ; 3 QBHs; 1 PBU, 1 INTs- 87 yds, 1 TD; 0 FUM ret.- 0 yds, 0 FF
Career Stats: -- GS/-- GP
342 TTs: 175 solo, 167 asst, 19 TFL- 40 yds, 3 sks- 14 yds; 13 PBU, 5 INTs- 265 yds, 4 TDs; 1 FUM ret.- 0 yds, 1 FF
Klein interview after winning co-DPOY for the Big 12.


Strengths
- Five interceptions for four TDs in three years as a starter, if that doesn't scream instincts I don't know what will.
- A playmaker on the defensive side of the ball, he played at a high enough level to be recognized as the co-DPOY for the Big 12.
- Elite level production as an ILB at the collegiate level.
- Has a lot of assisted tackles... I like to see that in a player because generally speaking it means you have a guy who is going to hustle to the football more often than not, as opposed to the other kind of player that only tends to worry about the plays the come to him.
- Possesses the ideal size and frame for an ILB at the next level.


Weaknesses
- Not an elite physical specimen as an athlete.
- Smaller conference player that sees a lower degree of competition.


Grade: B+ (3.3 pts)
Klein has proven a knack for making some big time plays in coverage during his collegiate career. He's also the kind of playmaking leader that we could use on our defense. We've added athletes to our defense to this point in the draft, Klein is going to offer an above average athlete as well, but more importantly he's going to be a guy that can be a future leader inside. The former DPOY for the Big 12 isn't something to be taken lightly. He's going to be a player at the next level.

Value Range: Mid Rounds
_______________________________________________
Round 4
Quote:
Round 4, Pick 112:
Shamarko Thomas, SS, Syracuse
5'10 210lbs, Forty: 4.38s
2012 Stats: 13 GS/13 GP
85 TTs: 60 solo, 25 asst, 3.5 TFL- 9 yds, 1 sks- 6 yds; 0 PBU, 2 INTs- 27 yds; 2 FF; 0 FUM ret.- 0 yds
Career Stats: ? GS/? GP
260 TTs: 175 solo, 85 asst, 16.5 TFL- 55 yds, 4 sks- 35 yds; 1 PBU, 2 INTs- 27 yds; 4 FF; 1 FUM ret.- 3 yds
Shamarko Thomas highlight video


Strengths
- Brings high level athleticism to the safety position.
- Is the best player in the Syracuse secondary.
- A quality tackler that also has the ability to deliver nice hits for his size.


Weaknesses
- Not a playmaker in terms of getting interceptions, but he has improved in this area.


Grade: B+ (3.3 pts)
Thomas has elite measurables and should come in right away to the Ravens secondary and compete for the starting safety spot opposite Pollard... likely in competition with a veteran that we'll sign. I believe Thomas is an underrated prospect at this point and believe he could end up becoming another Antoine Bethea. He has the athleticism and confident playing style that should allow him to continue to make improvements to his game and really improve going forward.

Player Comparison: Antoine Bethea
Value Range: 4th round
_______________________________________________
Round 5
Quote:
Round 5, Pick 168:
The Baltimore Ravens select:
Tanner Hawkinson, OT, Kansas Jayhawks
6'5 300lbs, Forty: 5.25s
2012 Stats: 12 GS/12 GP
N/A
Career Stats: 48 GS/48 GP
N/A


Strengths
- He's an athlete- used to play the TE position.
- Very experienced OT having started in 48 straight contests.
- Dependable in pass protection at the collegiate level.


Weaknesses
- Not enough sand in his pants.
- Has no dominant facet to his game.
- Doesn't possess exceptional length for the position.


Grade: C+ (2.3 pts)
Hawkinson is a quality player that has a lot of experience playing LT at the collegiate level. He wouldn't be the answer at LT, but if we needed him to start in a pinch he could do that. He'd offer us depth at LT and replace McKinnie's "role" with the team. Only as the backup LT/extra blocker, he could be more versatile and potentially run some routes where he actually sees the ball thrown his way in the redzone or for short yardage because of his background.

Value Range: Mid rounds

_______________________________________________
Round 6
Quote:
Round 6, Pick 168:
The Baltimore Ravens select:
Nigel Malone, CB, Kansas State Wildcats
5'10 185lbs, Forty: 4.49s
2012 Stats: 12 GS/12 GP
47 TTs: 41 solo, 6 asst, 0 TFL- 0 yds, 0 sks- 0 yds; 8 PBU, 5 INTs-
102 yds; 1 FF; 0 FUM ret.- 0 yds

Career Stats: ? GS/? GP
105 TTs: 87 solo, 18 asst, 0 TFL- 0 yds, 0 sks- 0 yds; 18 PBU, 12 INTs- 192 yds; 1 FF; 0 FUM ret.- 0 yds


Strengths
- Has terrific ball skills as a corner.
- Sticks pretty well in coverage.
- Nice quickness and acceleration.


Weaknesses
- Doesn't possess elite speed.
- Undersized frame


Grade: C+ (2.3 pts)
Nigel Malone should add to our corner core after we lose Cary to free agency. He would instantly provide us with another slot corner option. As it stands, Webb is our best slot option and we've been using Corey Graham there recently. If Webb isn't able to be fully recovered by the start of next season... or if his play lingers in 2013 like it did in 2010... then we might be in need of another slot defender. Insert Malone into that collection of talent.

Value Range: Late rounder
_______________________________________________
Round 7
Quote:
Round 7, Pick 196:
The Baltimore Ravens select:
TJ Barnes, NT, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
6'6 345lbs, Forty: 5.45s
2012 Stats: 14 GS/14 GP
28 TTs: 12 solo, 16 asst, 5 TFL- 10 yds, 1.5 sks- 4 yds; 3 PBU, 0 INTs-
0 yds; 0 FF; 0 FUM ret.- 0 yds

Career Stats: ? GS/? GP
74 TTs: 30solo, 44 asst, 8.5 TFL- 0 yds, 2.5 sks- 0 yds; 3 PBU, 0 INTs-
0 yds; 0 FF; 0 FUM ret.- 0 yds



Strengths
- Huge mountain of a man.
- Experience playing 34 NT.


Weaknesses
- Lacks the optimum conditioning.
- Hasn't made any splash plays.


Grade: C (2.0 pts)
TJ Barnes is a big man. If you're looking for in depth info on him as a specimen... I have none. And really, it's the 7th round. This pick is a practice squad player just waiting to happen. Barnes is big and should continue to keep our DL depth a strength of this team. We have nice depth already and are currently lacking a NT that can back up Terrence Cody once Kemo leaves outside of moving DeAngelo Tyson inside. Barnes probably isn't ready for the NFL at this point, but given some time on the practice squad to get his technique and conditioning down... his size as a space eater simply can't be denied... best case scenario: He makes the team and is a great asset against the run in short yardage situations.

Value Range: Late Rounder


Quote:
Personal Draft Grade: B+ (3.5 pts for first four picks... last 3 picks weigh less towards the grade)

Feedback is much appreciated!
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Last edited by diamondbull424 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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ravens_rool28


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think your rd6 pick plays for KSU, not UK... Wink
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RavensfanRD


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doesn't seem too bad. I think Boldin will be cut this off-season though. Ellerbe will be re-signed. I cannot imagine the Ravens not picking him back up. Spot on with Nightmare on Elm Street being good as gone. I don't like it, but that's the nature of the beast. Draft seemed cool.
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NJ Raven


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know its inevitable but I shiver when I see that money tied into Flacco.
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ravens_rool28 wrote:
I think your rd6 pick plays for KSU, not UK... Wink

Yeah... definitely slipped there. I tend to have a problem with related names of things... for instance, here... the "k" is what threw me off. Kansas, Kentucky get mixed in my brain all the time when talking college basketball... and now welcome Kansas State to the party I suppose.
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drd23


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TBH I couldn't give it any more than a C+.

- Flacco gets way too much money
- Ellerbe is let go
- Reed walks Sad
- Letting Reed, Williams and Kruger go is realistic tho

- Im not sure what to think with Margus Hunt. As you've pointed out, he has nowhere near the production you'd want out of someone with his athletic ability and doesn't have the excuse of scheme that some others do. Based on his athletic ability this would be a good pick, but I don't think I'd like it.
- Chase Thomas is a good pick
- I think the 3rd round is too early for AJ Klein. He's more of a 4th-5th round guy based on the number of ILBs I'd take ahead of him
- Shamarko Thomas isn't a bad pick purely from a potential standpoint but doesn't seem like a Ravens type pick
- Can't say I've seen much of the last 3 so can't really comment
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gooselovechild


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not really fond of the Hunt pick at all. He has a Mike Mamula feel about him...freakish athleticism but limited production.

I like Chase Thomas and AJ Klein alot. Both are playmakers, plain and simple. I would be very happy if these were our 2nd and 3rd rounders.

I'm meh on Thomas in the 4th. I'm not sure he's any bdifferent/etter than what we have in Christian Thompson. And if Ed leaves, knowing that Ray is retiring, does the S position need to be prioritized a little higher?

I haven't heard of the last 3, so I cant comment on them.

But I wonder, how much your offseason/draft strategies will change after all the underclassmen declare and the comp picks are announced?
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draftguru1234


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't touch Hunt in the first unless I have a defensive guru. (we don't)

Other than that, I really don't have any complaints with the draft. Really solid stuff.
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coordinator0


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only thing I really don't like about the free agency portion of the mock is letting Ellerbe walk and expecting Bynes to be a suitable replacement for him. I wouldn't have a big problem with the team not retaining Ellerbe but there's no way I would trust Bynes in any sort of expanded role. He's just not that talented in my opinion. I'm more comfortable with McClain and we all know that's saying a lot. Laughing

As for the draft... meh. I'm not a big fan of the Hunt pick in the first round. I don't mind that he's going to be somewhat raw but combined with the fact that he's going to be a 26 year old rookie it doesn't sit well with me. I think some team gambles on Hunt with a fairly high pick (late first or early second) but I hope it's not the Ravens.

Thomas and Klein in the next two rounds are pretty good. I don't have any problem with those two at the moment (I have to look into Klein more).

Thomas in the 4th round might be a reach. He could shoot up boards with what will probably be good pre-draft workouts but like gooselovechild said I don't think he would much different than Thompson and FS should be more of a priority too if Reed isn't with the team.

I don't know much about the last three picks.
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DougE14


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is our linebacker group going to look like assuming Ellerbe, Kruger, and Lewis are gone?

Suggs
Ayanbadejo
McClain
Bynes
Upshaw
McClellan

???

Seems like some depth at linebacker might be necessary.
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^^

To address the linebacker question, like I said this is a bare minimum mock offseason just addressing some of the major questions of he offseason. It does I admit create more questions. We'll likely also add a veteran safety and potentially a linebacker- as Ozzie likes to fill holes through free agency and then go best player available.

But after this draft our LB depth should look like this:
OLB- Upshaw, Thomas
ILB- Klein, McClain, Bynes, Ayanbadejo
OLB- Suggs, McClellan

I think that back end of the front 7 looks better than what we had to work with this season... As Upshaw improves- I'm high on Thomas as an impact option going forward... And Suggs should be a pass rushing option next season. Combine that with the addition of an athletic dynamo in Hunt to our front 7 and I like what we have going forward. We can now move Ngata to NT on 3rd down and have McPhee/Hunt on the edges. Or... Put Hunt in at NT/NG and have him us his height to affect passing lanes. Sort of like how the Giants will use Justin Tuck at NG. We could do the same when we go to the 43 defense having Hunt lined up over center. His size and length could be an asset. I'd love what we could do with him and his skill set. Peas did run a lot of stunts earlier in the season... So he has some sort of creativity. I'm interested in seeing how we'd use such a specimen.
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Mancunian Raven


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

diamondbull424 wrote:
^^^

To address the linebacker question, like I said this is a bare minimum mock offseason just addressing some of the major questions of he offseason. It does I admit create more questions. We'll likely also add a veteran safety and potentially a linebacker- as Ozzie likes to fill holes through free agency and then go best player available.

But after this draft our LB depth should look like this:
OLB- Upshaw, Thomas
ILB- Klein, McClain, Bynes, Ayanbadejo
OLB- Suggs, McClellan


I do think that looks a little light. I'm not confident with Ayanbadejo playing anything more than a bit part role on defense, and while Josh Bynes has shown that he's got some potential, again I think we only want to rely on him as a depth guy.

So left with McClain and a rookie as the starters? I wouldn't be completely comfortable with that. Add Ellerbe as a returning player, and I think we'd be in much better shape. Unless there is a free agent ILB that the Ravens can bring in.

There are a couple of names that might fit, but I think they'd probably cost about the same, if not more, than keeping Ellerbe.
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mancunian Raven wrote:
diamondbull424 wrote:
^^^

To address the linebacker question, like I said this is a bare minimum mock offseason just addressing some of the major questions of he offseason. It does I admit create more questions. We'll likely also add a veteran safety and potentially a linebacker- as Ozzie likes to fill holes through free agency and then go best player available.

But after this draft our LB depth should look like this:
OLB- Upshaw, Thomas
ILB- Klein, McClain, Bynes, Ayanbadejo
OLB- Suggs, McClellan


I do think that looks a little light. I'm not confident with Ayanbadejo playing anything more than a bit part role on defense, and while Josh Bynes has shown that he's got some potential, again I think we only want to rely on him as a depth guy.

So left with McClain and a rookie as the starters? I wouldn't be completely comfortable with that. Add Ellerbe as a returning player, and I think we'd be in much better shape. Unless there is a free agent ILB that the Ravens can bring in.

There are a couple of names that might fit, but I think they'd probably cost about the same, if not more, than keeping Ellerbe.

I'm not personally against Ellerbe returning, I just think it'll be a preference thing where he feels he could have a better opportunity elsewhere. And I don't view our LB situation to be that light. It's mostly what we've had this season. McClellan plays both ILB and OLB. I think we'll add another veteran somewhere in the LB core, but like I said, this offseason was bare minimum in that respect.

coordinator0 wrote:
Thomas in the 4th round might be a reach. He could shoot up boards with what will probably be good pre-draft workouts but like gooselovechild said I don't think he would much different than Thompson and FS should be more of a priority too if Reed isn't with the team.

On this point, I disagree. Thompson is a project safety option. If Thomas produces the measurables that some believe he may... to go along with his strong play for Syracuse.. I think we have a safety who could start day one. I don't think Thomas is any worse a player than Zbikowski... and I believe he's better. He's more fluid and delivers more pop on contact- similar ball skills. And while I know safety is/would be a big need... the only safety truly worth the selection IMO is Matt Elam in the 1st. And at this point, I'm just not comfortable with that move. I do love Elam... and have been on his bandwagon for some time... but generally speaking a safety isn't going to provide as great an impact as a pass rusher up front.

But indeed, I certainly wouldn't be against Elam in the 1st nor McDonald in the 2nd... I just felt at each point better value was available... though in Hunt's case that value was much more arguable. But positional value won out in the end. But you make valid points about his age/raw concerns. Obviously its something I considered, but perhaps the risks are indeed a little too and should've caused the scales to fall in another direction. I'll consider that for my alternate mock.
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