Courtney Upshaw: Ravens Nab Alabama Star with No. 35 Overall Pick

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterApril 27, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Linebacker Courtney Upshaw of Alabama takes part in a drill during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens defense just got younger and a great deal scarier on Friday when the Baltimore Ravens took Alabama's Courtney Upshaw

Pro Football Talk reports via Twitter that the Ravens used their No. 35 overall pick on an underrated beast in Upshaw.

Matt Stover announces that the Ravens take with pick 35, LB Courtney Upshaw.

— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 27, 2012

Night one came and went, and so did Upshaw. The defensive end standout failed to be selected among the other elite athletes in this star-studded class. 

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 06:  Courtney Upshaw #41 of the Alabama Crimson Tide talks to the media at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 6, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  LSU and Alabama will play in the BCS National Championship on January 9th.  (Ph
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

That left him as one of the few marquee names that abound on Day 2. After the Rams got their receiver, and the Colts gave Andrew Luck his buddy in Coby Fleener, the Ravens decided to go big. 

This is a great pick, putting the perfect player on the perfect team. 

If you want the downside on Upshaw, it may be his size and speed around the edge, but I beg to differ. While some pay call him a shade slow around the edges, I see him as fast enough to disengage the block. 

The thing is, he is a powerful athlete who uses his hands and upper body to shove through at the point of contact. 

He welcomes the challenge, and I love that about him. More than that, he will get time and tutelage to mature alongside Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs. 

The scary part for Ravens opposition is that Upshaw already plays with a chip on his shoulder. He is renowned for his tenacity and passion for the game. 

Falling to the second round will only exacerbate that style of play, making him a guarantee beast out of the gate.