Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Selection: 35th overall
Notable positional comparisons over the last five years for guys who were drafted between 27-45: Nick Perry (28th overall), Akeem Ayers (39th overall), Bruce Carter (40th overall), Brooks Reed (42nd overall), Koa Misi (40th overall), James Laurinaitis (35th overall), Ray Maualuga (38th overall), Clint Sintim (45th overall), Curtis Lofton (37th overall).
Notable players the Ravens passed on in order to draft Upshaw: Derek Wolfe (DL), Mitchell Schwartz (OT), Janoris Jenkins (CB), Cordy Glenn (OL), Alshon Jeffery (WR), Bobby Wagner (MLB), Kendall Reyes (DL), Peter Konz (OL), Lavonte David (LB), Casey Hayward (CB), Rueben Randle (WR), Dwayne Allen (TE), Russell Wilson (QB),Mike Martin (DT), Mohamed Sanu (WR), TY Hilton (WR), Chris Givens (WR), Frank Alexander (DE), Nigel Bradham (LB), James-Michael Johnson (LB), Brandon Boykin (CB), Miles Burris (LB), Chris Rainey (RB), Alfred Morris (RB), Billy Winn (DL), Alfonzo Dennard (CB), Bryce Brown (RB).
The Skinny: Upshaw has been a decent rookie starter in some respects, mainly as a guy who can set and edge and make plays against the run. But the area I particularly expected much more out of Upshaw was in his pass rush, and he has only racked up two sacks in 15 games.
Listing Upshaw as a disappointment in some ways could be seen as a complement to him considering my personal perception of his potential to be a dominant force in the NFL not just as a run-stopper, but as a pass-rusher as well. According to my big board, I had Upshaw ranked ninth overall. By this standard, he has failed to meet expectations.
It's clear this kid is a decent football player and has value in this league, but if he doesn't step his game up in the pass rush department, he will forever be a disappointment in my book. But nevertheless, his worth as a second-rounder may be justified to some degree even without a dominating pass rush.
Personally, though, I can see a lot of names on the list of guys who were passed up that may have more value than a 3-4 outside linebacker who cannot generate decent pressure on the quarterback.