After gambling with off the field issues and drafting the highly touted and gifted cornerback Jimmy Smith from Colorado with their first-round selection, the Baltimore Ravens addressed another need in the second round.
Ozzie Newsome did not have to go far to find his man. The Ravens drafted Maryland Terrapin wide receiver Torrey Smith with their 58th pick.
At 6'1" and 205 pounds Mel Kiper said, "Torrey Smith can flat out fly.”
Smith has big-play speed and enough size to develop into a starting NFL receiver quickly. He can stretch a defense and get down the field quickly.
With a 4.41 40-yard dash, the 22-year-old junior from Colonial Beach Virginia had the seventh fastest time amongst wide receivers at the NFL combine,
Only Jonathan Baldwin, who was drafted in the first round jumped higher than Smith in the wide receiver group. Smith finished one inch behind Baldwin with a 41" vertical jump.
Smith entered the draft as a junior and left behind some very impressive numbers at the University of Maryland.
He caught 67 balls for 1055 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior and amassed 152 receptions for 2,218 yards and 19 touchdowns in his three-year career at College Park.
Smith saved his best for last at College Park. Against NC State in his final game at home, Smith hauled in 14 receptions for 224 yards and four touchdowns.
Smith is big and shows great bursts of speed off the line and he has the top-end speed to consistently get behind the secondary.
Smith will also return kicks in Baltimore. He amassed more than 2900 return yards in three years at MD and scored three touchdowns with a long of 99 yards.
According to an NFL.com strength analyzer, Smith "flashes the ability to high-point the football. Smith clearly has the second gear needed to threaten a defense vertically.”
The report continues to say, "Smith eats up cushions and can track the deep ball well. Plays with passion, exhibits great effort while run blocking, and has intangibles"
His weaknesses according to the same report are that he "Must improve his route-running and ability to consistently separate. He is still learning to identify and get to soft spots in zone coverage. Hands are adequate but will not consistently bring down the tough catch. Not overly elusive in space."
Smith told the Baltimore Sun back at the scouting combine in February that playing for the Ravens would be OK with him. ""To be able to play for the Ravens, it would definitely be a great situation for me, being that I played at Maryland,"
Smith said. "I know how demanding the fans are, what they expect, and how much they love the Ravens. I would be honored to wear the purple and black."
This has to be good news for Joe Flacco. He now has a coveted speed receiver that will allow him to use his big arm down the field.
If there is a team that is need of speed, it is the Ravens. Last season, the Ravens 40 passes of 20 yards or more were tied for 27th in the NFL.
Their two touchdown passes of more than 40 yards also ranked near the bottom of the league, and neither was to Anquan Boldin or Derrick Mason.
NFL Network analyst Mike Lombardi said the Ravens have too many possession receivers and not ones who can win one-on-one battles to stretch the field.
"I think Baltimore desperately needs an outside-of-the-numbers wide receiver," Lombardi said. "They might be one of the slowest teams in the league outside."
Torrey Smith has no character flaws and was considered a leader in the Terps offense. Coupled with Jimmy Smith, The Ravens have addressed two big needs and continue to fill in pieces needed for another Super Bowl run next year.
So far, so good, for Ozzie and company. Nothing but good marks from me and getting Torrey Smith in the second round keeps their grade at an A.
Check back later tonight for a second day draft recap.