Ravens Draft Analysis

The Baltimore Ravens selected defensive tackle Brandon Williams in round 3, and John Simon in round 4. Both of these players were added to bolster the Ravens middle.

One of the problems the Ravens had last season was stopping the run. The Ravens gave up over two hundred yards to the Dallas Cowboys alone, and the Chiefs absolutely dismantled them on the ground.

Brandon Williams is defensive tackle out of Missouri Southern State who possesses the strength to play nose tackle if the Ravens deem fit. That would help toward keeping Haloti Ngata off of the nose tackle position, and more of a defensive tackle position to ruin running plays on the edges and disrupt offensive guards and tackles.

Brandon Williams may have played for a small school, but when he showed up at the Senior Bowl, he was able to play against the best of the best. His ability to eat up blockers and still get penetration should make a huge difference for the Ravens linebackers.

John Simon was an excellent choice for the Baltimore Ravens. He was praised by Urban Meyer to the extent that Urban Meyer said he would even name his kid after him. He’s another relentless motor that can rush the passer and stop the run. John Simon is an excellent pick due to his ability to play defensive end, or outside linebacker which fits the Ravens 3-4 scheme.

He’s also being compared to former Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson for being hardnosed and consistent. Although most analysis doubts he’s going to start from day one, he should at least contribute and be a very reliable supporter for Terrell Suggs.

The Ravens first four picks are all worthy of starting and, most importantly, add a lot of youth to the defense. As long as the Ravens young stars can learn from the veterans, the defense has a very bright future ahead of them.

Ravens first two draft picks Analysis

Manti Te’o was available at number 32 for the Baltimore Ravens, yet they still passed up on him. Ozzie Newsome stated clearly that the reason he didn’t select Manti Te’o was because there was someone higher in the draft as far as ratings. 

When you check out the video highlights of Matt Elam, you will see why. Not only is Matt Elam a big hitter, he’s not afraid of contact and has excellent hands. Manti Te’o was getting ridiculed for his performance in the BCS National Championship game. He missed plenty of tackles and really struggled to get off of blocks. 

However, when it comes to Matt Elam, he not only showed up in big games, he delivered game changing plays. Slicing through the offensive line to get hits in the back field or at the line of scrimmage. He’s physical, has excellent coverage skills, and makes eye popping play after eye popping play. 

The main reason he was available at number 32 is because of his height. Elam is only 5’10 which will present major issues in the NFL, particularly on the deep ball. If he’s stuck fighting for a jump ball down the field, he has to rely on batting the ball out of the receiver’s hands which is very hard to imagine against receivers like Calvin Johnson, or TE’s like Aaron Hernandez. Both of those receivers will be facing the Ravens this year. 

However, it will be fun to see what the Ravens can do to make Elam a heck of a player. He’s outstanding as far as open field tackling which will help improve our special teams as well; with the departure of our Pro Bowler Brendon Ayanbadejo.

Ravens also selected Arthur Brown from Kansas State. Arthur Brown, the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, is supposedly being compared to Ray Lewis because of his size and speed. 

Remember, Ray Lewis fell to the Baltimore Ravens at number 26 because of his size. However, he could run from sideline to sideline and make plays. Arthur Brown stands at 6 ft 242 pounds. However, he ran a 4.58 40 which is faster than Manti Te’o’s time of 4.7 to be generous. His final two years at Kansas State allowed him to rack up 201 tackles.

Two solid beginning picks so far for the Baltimore Ravens. Although no one can replace the future Hall of Famers in Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, no one can argue that the two picked will at least contribute significantly toward the Ravens defense and speed.

Ravens have 5th Toughest Schedule

In 2011 Joe Flacco faced 10 of the top 11 defenses in the league. The one he didn’t face, his own team’s defense which he sees during practice. Then last year, Joe Flacco faced 11 Probowl Quarterbacks.

Yet, somehow the Baltimore Ravens have not only survived, they won their division for the past two years and last year they capped it off with a Superbowl victory.

This year the Ravens have the 5th toughest schedule in the league. The Ravens this time will kick things off in Denver against the Sheriff Peyton Manning for a revenge match up that will be missing the land shark Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.

The first three weeks the Ravens will have to play three solid defenses in Denver, Cleveland, and Houston. Houston, will also be the first time the Ravens play against their former teammate Ed Reed. This will not only be very weird, but sour if the Ravens drop this game when you think of the way they lost to the Texans last season.

The Ravens have to go through the AFC East in New England (on a short week), Miami who is supposed to be revamped and has Darnelle Ellerbe under contract, the New York Jets who presents a tough defensive unit, and the Buffalo Bills who has given the Ravens problems in the past no matter how their season is going.

The Ravens will also face the NFC North who presents four teams that have the ability to make the playoffs. The Chicago Bears who presents a tough defensive unit along with Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, and Jay Cutler.

The Green Bay Packers will always present problems as long as Aaron Rodgers holds the reigns. The Detroit Lions now have Reggie Bush to go along with the Matt Stafford Megatron combination which will prove difficult to stop for any defense.

Finally, the Vikings have the most explosive player in the game in Adrian Peterson who proved that he is still the best running back in the game. The Ravens will have Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving, and will be in four prime time games this season.

Once the draft is over, we’ll take a look at each game to give an accurate analysis of the games; until next week.

Argument over the Scheduling Conflict

There was barely any surprise when the schedule was announced on Thursday that the Baltimore Ravens have one of the hardest schedules in the league based on last season. The Baltimore Ravens will start off the season at Denver in the cold Rocky Mountains.

It’s very unusual for the defending Superbowl champions to start on the road. Usually, the defending Superbowl champions almost always play their home opener as their first game of the season.

However, the Baltimore Ravens had a scheduling conflict with the Baltimore Orioles. Apparently the two teams share the stadium parking lot. The Orioles play the Chicago White Sox on September 5 and refused to reschedule their game. Ravens owner Steve Biscotti even offered to pay the Orioles but they still refused which means the defending champs must open on the road.

Don’t tell that to Rex Ryan who stated that the Orioles should move their game basically to honor the tradition that has been part of the NFL for about ten years. He wasn’t happy about the refusal on the Orioles part.

Orioles Manager Buck Showalter stated in reply, “I’d think that would be a little bit more of a challenge. I try to stay out of things I don’t know about. Like I don’t know about the NFL schedule and the NFL challenges. So that would be my advice. I would stay in what is my area of supposed expertise.” In other words he told Rex Ryan to stick to what you know.

On the other hand, Skip Bayless had a different perspective on the matter (He seems to always speak against the Ravens). Skip stated that the Orioles should not have to move because they have seniority. They’ve been there longer than the Ravens and have three World Championships to the Raven’s two.

Although Jemeli Hill didn’t support his argument based on the premise that Baltimore only has 8 home games to the Orioles 81, and Football is more of a popular sport than Baseball than America.

Nevertheless, the schedule has been made and the Ravens will play a revenge game against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. The season is over 100 days away so let’s not get too excited. We still have the draft to look forward to.

Flacco Strikes Family Feud

Joe Flacco won the Superbowl this past year, went to Disney World, and lets not forget he celebrated his first born son earlier this summer. However, Flacco has another role that he has to play; Johnny Unitas.

Joe Flacco has been selected to play Johhny Unitas in an upcoming film. While Flacco said he was honored to be asked, other’s don’t quite like the idea. 

Apparently Johnny Unitas grandson hates the idea. He stated that Joe Flacco is an ’embarrassing choice’ to play the role of his father and he even hates the idea of Joe Flacco being able to make any money off of his grandfather’s movie. 

While the grandson may not be thrilled about Joe Flacco’s role, others in the family disagree. Joe Unitas stated that Flacco is a great quarterback and even offered his apology to the Flacco, his family, and his agent for the comments made by Johnny Unitas Jr. 

 

Look At the Enemies

Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer. That’s a famous quote used in just about everything that involves a battle between two opposing sides. In this case, we’re taking a look at some of the other teams in the AFC North since they’re the immediate threat to the Baltimore Ravens.

It’s no surprise that the Cincinnati Bengals are interested in James Harrison. James Harrison, after being cut by the Steelers, quickly had conversations with the Baltimore Ravens,. However, with the signing of Elvis Dumervil, who is younger by the way, Harrison was still out of a job.

What better team to go to than the Bengals when it comes to the AFC North. The Browns haven’t made any noise recently and the Steelers just let him go. However, with the Bengals Harrison can not only join a team that made the playoffs last year, he may be able to provide much more production on an already stout defensive team.

The Steelers on the other hand lost a major part of their offense in Mike Wallace, a major part of their defense in James Harrison, and then a not so consistent Rashard Mendahall.

Mike Wallace is a very good wide receiver. Last year he had 64 receptions, for 864 yards, and 8 touchdowns. However, he did not have a 1,000 yard season. The Steelers couldn’t afford to pay Wallace like he’s a top receiver if he cannot even produce a 1,000 yard season. Not that he’s not capable, but Wallace does not compare to the greats like Calvin Johnson, or Larry Fitzgerald with a decent quarterback. I expect him to make some noise on the Miami Dolphins.

James Harrison made sense in the fact that the Steelers are trying to get younger and Mendahall basically cost himself the starting job with his fumbling issues.

Finally the Browns made a little bit of noise with the signing of Paul Kruger. The Superbowl champion will make a nice addition to their already stout defensive squad. With the signing of Jason Campbell to compete with Brandon Weedon, the Browns may actually have someone to throw a decent pass.

However, until they get a big name wide receiver in their offense, they’ll have to rely on Trent Richardson to carry the load and continue to develop as he did all season. That’s just a sneak peek into what the North is doing. Stay tuned as we continue to keep the enemies closer.

Ravens getting bad reputation with former Players

The Baltimore Ravens have already made a lot of fans upset about the trade with Anquan Boldin. Now it seems like the Ravens are getting negative publicity about their former players.

First there was Ed Reed. Reports were going around that the Ravens didn’t even want Ed Reed back.  ” Ravens coach John Harbaugh wanted Reed back as much as he wants a root canal.” 

It didn’t take long for the Kareem Copland to get the story straight. The Baltimore Ravens did indeed want Ed Reed back. They just couldn’t aggressivley pursue him with his age going up and his overall production going down. 

Now there’s Brandon Ayanbadejo’s situation. The Baltimore Ravens cut Ayanbadejo recently. Although they were open to bringing him back, now there seems to be some confusion.

Apparently Ayanbadejo stated that he was cut by the Baltimore Ravens for his views on gay rights. The Baltimore Ravens were the same ones who defended Brandon when he openly spoke about gay rights earlier during the season. 

Ayanbadejo was ridiculed when he stated his views on gay rights earlier in the season and the Baltimore Ravens made sure that they stood by him 100% as far as expressing his opinion. Now it’s shocking that he would say the Ravens cut him because of his views.

He recently stated that he was not cut due to his views, but his age. However, he already opened the door for the Ravens to get ridiculed. Luckily, he didn’t do much damage and at least apologized for what he said. 

Apology Accepted.