Baltimore Ravens 2011 NFL Draft: A Look Back at All 7 Rounds
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
However, the draft as a whole and as usual was a success for Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta and the entire scouting department.
Of course only time will truly give this years Ravens rookies a true grade but I thought we would look back on each pick and grade the choice individually.
The Ravens addressed needs and filled holes in all seven rounds and even managed to draft a wide receiver Ravens QB Joe Flacco scouted.
The Ravens made eight picks in seven rounds and drafted five offensive players in the process. The had some drama from a botched trade with the Chicago Bears but managed to still get their man in the first round.
So sit back back and get acquainted with the newest Baltimore Ravens. As always please leave your comments and please be classy when doing so.
Round 7 Pick No.225- RB Anthony Allen Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
A year after proudly sending two first-round picks to the NFL, Georgia Tech finally had a player chosen in this year’s NFL draft.
The Ravens saved the day for the Yellow Jackets who narrowly avoided the school’s first draft shutout since 2005 by drafting running back Anthony Allen.
The 6'1" 228-pound back rushed for 1,843 yards in two years in Georgia Tech's triple-option offense, starting all 26 games he played. He transferred to Tech after two years in Louisville, where he ran for 1,102 yards in 25 games.
The Tampa Florida native was a first team all ACC selection in 2010 rushing for seven touchdowns. He ranked second in rushing in the conference and 18th nationally. He finished his career between the two schools with 546 attempts, 3036 yards and 333 touchdowns.
Allen is a thick downhill runner who ran a 4.56 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.
Allen was the Ravens’ only drafted running back. While starter Ray Rice’s position is established, backup Willis McGahee reportedly may be released because of his salary and LeRon McClain does not believe he will be back in Baltimore.
What NFL.com scouting combine report said:
Allen has a combination of burst, power and toughness that should be able to gain yardage on the ground in the NFL. Future role could depend on how smoothly he can transition from a triple-option offense to a pro-style attack. Was productive at Louisville before transferring. Gets through the hole quickly, battles for extra yards and protects the football. Not going to break too many big ones, but a guy who can move the chains. Lacks experiencing catching the football and pass blocking but has the makeup and skills to succeed in both areas.
Ravens Draft Grade: B,
The Ravens got value with Allen at this spot and he could contribute right away. He will have something to prove as a seventh round pick.
This could be a steal for the Ravens. Allen was close to not being drafted. According to ESPN, 23 players that played in last year’s Pro Bowl were not drafted.
Recent notable seventh round running backs include Jamal Anderson and back in 2007 Ahmad Bradshaw was selected by the NY Giants.
Round 6 Pick No. 180- QB Tyrod Taylor, VA Tech Hokies
The Arizona Cardinals are expected to come calling for Marc Bulger so the Ravens in need of a back up QB selected VA Tech Hokies standout, Tyrod Taylor in the sixth round.
The 2010 ACC player of the year is blazingly quick and had a 40-yard dash time of 4.47 seconds. He can make plays outside of the pocket and can throw the ball well. So well in fact, Taylor left Blacksburg as the career leader in passing yards and total offense.
He called himself, "the most dynamic QB in the draft.” He plays the position as former Ravens QB and Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith did. Many of his plays come after the protection breaks down.
Many NFL draft scouts said that Taylor could wind up playing a slot receiver or being a return man in the NFL.
Taylor said the Ravens spoke to him only about playing quarterback on Saturday when they drafted him.
In 50 career games at VA Tech, Taylor passed for 44 touchdowns and rushed for 23 more for the Hokies. He completed 57.2 percent of his throws for 7,017 yards and 20 interceptions. He ran for 2,196 yards, averaging 4.38. He averaged 184.3 yards a game in total offense.
What NFL.com combine report said about Taylor:
Taylor is a hard working kid that has improved every year, but it is unclear if he can play quarterback at the next level. He has a quick release and a strong arm, but he is somewhat erratic as a passer.
He also does not show the consistent sound decision making to be an efficient quarterback. His greatest asset is his athleticism and he should be able to contribute immediately as a running back, receiver or return man.
A terrific senior season, where he completed nearly 60% of his passes, has helped his draft stock and he could sneak into the third round.
Ravens Draft Grade: D
A wasted pick by the Ravens. While Bulger will not return, the Ravens have options once the lockout ends to land a decent backup QB. If the Ravens find a backup via free agency, Taylor may not even make the squad.
Like Troy Smith did, Taylor can do some wildcat work for Cam Cameron but even the Ravens grew tired of that and they may of Taylor as well, a lot sooner than later.
The Ravens should have looked for another O lineman with this pick, preferably the guard the Steelers took from Nebraska, Keith Williams.
Round 5 Pick No.165-DE Pernell McPhee Mississippi State
Pernell McPhee was one of four Mississippi State Bulldogs selected in the three-day NFL draft.
McPhee has good quickness off the ball and a great football IQ. He has decent speed but not great. His lateral agility is exceptional for a player his size.
Technique is an area where he needs to improve but that will come with experience.
McPhee played only one year of football in high school in Pahokee, Fla. He committed to Southern Mississippi but failed to qualify and played two seasons of JUCO before he committed to Mississippi State over offers from LSU and Georgia.
What the NFL.com scouting combine report said:
He got by on mostly natural ability and instincts in his two years of play as a Bulldog. His long arms help him keep defenders away from his body and at times, he can display a dominant bull rush. For McPhee the talent to be great in the NFL is there, but he needs to go to a team where he can develop over a period of time.
At 6'3" and 280 pounds, McPhee looks the part. He is very active in the run game is a very nasty, physical player who will fit in with the rest of the Ravens defense. He is strong and holds up the point of attack well.
The two-time All SEC player has weaknesses. He is not a top-level pass rusher and will never lead the league in sacks. He had just seven sacks the past two years.
According to one scouting report, he stood up a lot at Mississippi State and does not possess the athleticism to take that to the next level.
Ravens Grade: C+
This pick does not do a lot for me. Pass rushing not run stuffing is what the Ravens needed. This guy is a project and it is probably my lack of patience that kills the pick. If only the Ravens would have shown patience and stuck with a project named James Harrison when they had him.
Round 5 Pick No.164-DB Chykie Brown Texas Longhorns
With the first of their back-to-back compensatory picks in the fifth round, the Ravens took cornerback Chykie Brown of Texas.
The Texas corner was not the top corner of the Longhorns with Curtis Brown and Aaron Williams getting most of the attention.
Injuries hampered his career at Texas. He missed the final four games of his senior season with a broken arm that required surgery and he missed several games as a sophomore with ankle issues, which slowed his progress.
However, Brown showed promise when healthy. Before his arm injury, Brown started nine games, made 19 tackles (14 solo), and recorded one sack. He has seven pass break up which was tied for the team lead.
As a Junior In 2009, he started 12 games and helped lead a Texas defense that ranked third in the nation.
Brown had a very good workout on pro day at Texas after an average combine workout.
"Scouts said I had a great workout and that I looked different in their eyes after today," said Brown, who posted a 4.35 40 and a 39-inch vertical jump. "My film spoke better than my combine workout and today I brought everything together."
The New England Patriots had a very keen interest in Brown who held a personnel workout with him.
According to NFL.com, combine report:
Brown is a well-built cornerback with great speed, but he is a liability in run support. He can run with anybody on vertical routes and quickly closes when the ball is in the air. However, he lacks the hip fluidity to mirror shiftier wide receivers and he will not be a lock down corner at the next level.
He misses a lot of tackles by diving at ball carriers and is pushed around by wide receivers and loses contain too often in run support. Brown's top end speed is alluring, but his limitations as a tackler make him a later round pick.
Ravens Draft Grade: C+
I am not in love with the pick but who the hell am I. Brown is obviously a project and will no doubt be a nickel player in the Ravens defense.
Round 4 Pick No.123-WR Tandon Doss Indiana Hoosiers
Tandon Doss will forever be known as the Joe Flacco pick.
According to published reports, Eric DeCosta, the Ravens' director of player personnel, gave quarterback Joe Flacco a pre-draft assignment before the lockout.
DeCosta wanted Flacco to scout a selected group of six receivers expected to be taken in the middle rounds and report back. Flacco liked Doss and the Ravens chose him.
Finally something Flacco can be happy about.
When asked what Flacco liked about Doss, DeCosta replied, “What he liked about him is that he caught the ball away from his body, he was tough and very physical. He made the comment that he looked like the kind of guy that was easy to throw the ball to. That kind of stuck with me."
Ironically, many have made comparisons of Doss's play to that of Ravens wide out TJ Houshmandzadeh. Doss's selection was probably made to fill the vacancy that Houshmandzadeh is likely to leave behind.
Doss declared for the NFL draft after his junior season at Indiana where he snagged 63 balls for 706 yards and seven touchdowns. In three seasons with the Hoosiers, Doss finished with 154 receptions, 1854 yards, and 13 touchdowns.
He also has return skills. At Indiana, he returned 34 kicks in two seasons with 1549 return yards. Doss led the Big Ten in all-purpose yards for the second consecutive season, ranking fifth nationally at 175.8 yards per game.
Doss may be the perfect compliment to the Ravens second round pick of MD receiver, Torrey Smith.
While Smith is a burner who can blow by defenders, Doss is the prototypical sure-handed receiver who gets open underneath when defenses are worried about being burned deep by other receivers.
What the NFL.com combine report said:
Doss has the size and speed measurables, hands, savvy, and mentality to develop into a starting NFL wide receiver and potentially a go-to guy. Gets open underneath with polished route-running and good quickness. Eats up cushions in a hurry with elite burst off the line, has the straight-lined speed to get vertical, and the ball skills to track the football.
Can make some plays in space. Very willing and productive over the middle and can catch the ball in a crowd. Hard-working, mature player who lets his play on the field do his talking. Doss is an early second round prospect.
Ravens Grade: A
Doss was a nice pick by the Ravens. He will succeed, Doss must succeed. He entered the draft because he wanted to make enough money to support his mother and his brother. His mother is single and has struggled in her life, while his brother Anthony suffers from medical issues.
Anthony currently living at home has been diagnosed as a schizophrenic and has been in jail as well as various mental institutions.
Doss is focused and ready and had this to say, "I've been through stuff throughout my life, it made me a lot tougher, and I had to grow up a lot quicker coming from that with my family. I feel like football has always been an escape for me. Every time I'm on the field, I always give 100 percent — my best. I clear my mind and focus on what I need to get done."
Round 3 Pick No.85 Offensive Linemen Jah Reid University of Central Florida
The Ravens traded their third-round pick (90th overall) and a sixth-round one (191st) to the Philadelphia Eagles to select at No. 85.
They took a player John Harbaugh says will compete for the starting right tackle job immediately.
“He’ll be competing for the right tackle spot right out of the gate and we’ll see where it goes,” Coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s young, he’s a little bit developmental, but I think he’s going to develop fast.”
According to the NFL.com's scouting combine report the 6'7 327 pound offensive tackle is a physically gifted prospect who needs some technical refinement and to improve his recognition skills but has a chance to become a starter down the line.
He is a good pass blocker who uses his size well, forcing rushers wide past the pocket. Has good feet and flashes the ability to slide back inside and get to the second level to pick off linebackers.
Reid started 41 games at right tackle, including 33 in a row dating back to 2008. With Reid anchoring the Knights offensive line, the Knights quarterback and two tailbacks all rushed for at least 10 touchdowns this past season.
Only the University of Wisconsin equaled that feat.
Ravens Draft Grade: A
Reid made all the sense in the world, as the offensive line is as needy as was the cornerback and a pass rushing D linemen positions were. The Ravens offensive line never came together as many predicted it would last season.
Ravens QB Joe Flacco was sacked 40 times last season and was victimized by an additional 79 QB hits.
The Ravens rushing attack went from fourth in the NFL in 2008 averaging 148.5 yards per game to 14th last season averaging 114.4 yards per contest.
The Jared Gaither saga does not seem like it will end anytime soon and when it does end, Gaither will probably not be a Raven.
Michael Oher struggled more than expected. His eight false starts and untimely holding penalties cost the Ravens at crucial times. The Ravens version of musical offensive lineman became offensive at times last season.
Round 2 Pick No.58-WR Torrey Smith University of Maryland Terrapins
Ozzie Newsome did not have to go far to find his man in round three. 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.
What the NFL.com combine report said:
Smith has big-play speed and enough size to develop into a starting NFL receiver who can stretch a defense. Shows great burst off the line and the top-end speed to consistently get behind the secondary but is susceptible to press coverage and is still improving his ability to make over-the-shoulder grabs and come down with jump balls.
Not a refined underneath route-runner. Loses speed in transition and doesn't have a real natural feel for finding creases in zones. Has leadership qualities, is a hard-worker, and is a physical run blocker. Smith's speed, upside and mentality make him an early second round prospect.
Ravens Draft Grade: A-
The ravens got real value with this pick. For the second straight round, a Smith, fell right into the lap of Coach John Harbaugh and he could not be happier.
You saw the celebration with Torrey on TV. I want you to know there was a bigger celebration in our draft room," Harbaugh said. "This is a guy from the beginning that we saw on tape ... he fits us. He's our kind of guy. He's our kind of personality. But he's also a type of player that we really want and we really need."
Smith is a great guy and will be a leader on this team one day. He is tough and growing up in Colonial Beach, Va., Smith helped raise his six younger siblings and served as the man of the house while his mother worked multiple jobs and went to school at night.
Life experiences like that build character and heart and Smith will make an impact in Baltimore much the same way another MD draft pick, Jermaine Lewis, did during the infancy stages of this franchise.
I was choked up reading it," Harbaugh said. "I was so proud of this young man just reading the article. My thought was: We have to find a way to make Torrey Smith a Raven. This guy is what this organization is all about."
Round 1 Pick No.27- CB Jimmy Smith Colorado
The Ravens have taken a huge gamble in selecting Smith. Many touted the Colorado cornerback as a top 10 pick but off the field, issues dropped him significantly in the first round.
According to published reports, Smith failed numerous drug tests at Colorado, and he informed one team that one was for misusing codeine. He also told teams about two alcohol-related arrests for underage drinking and had an arrest for third-degree assault in a restaurant.
In my opinion, this high-risk pick, will be worth the reward.
The Ravens filled a major need in drafting Smith and if a locker room that is notorious for handling misfits can calm Smith down, then Baltimore hit a home run.
The Ravens are in need of cornerbacks as Chris Carr, Josh Wilson, Fabian Washington and safety Dwan Landry are all free agents of some sort, either restricted or unrestricted.
The Ravens defense allowed eight leads to evaporate in the fourth quarter last season the most in the NFL. Their lack of talent in the secondary and injury issues may have been a major factor in the team finishing with a franchise-low of 27 sacks in 2010.
Smith is considered an immediate upgrade for the Ravens at the cornerback position.
An All-Big 12 selection and an honorable mention All-American, Smith was only thrown at roughly 20 times in man coverage last season. He allowed one touchdown, had no interceptions and five pass deflections.
He was rarely thrown on, a classic shutdown corner. He finished his career in Colorado with 183 career tackles and 16 pass deflections with three career interceptions.
Even more impressive than any other stat was that Smith only allowed 11 completions in man coverage as a junior and senior.
Smith is fast and strong. He will not be handled at the line of scrimmage and he will not get out-run either.
Smith ran the 40-yard dash between 4.37 and 4.42 seconds at the NFL scouting combine where he bench pressed 225 pounds 24 times and registered a 36-inch vertical leap
Ravens Draft Grade: A
"Every pick, there is some bit of a gamble in it," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "But we trust our process. We trust the people that got the opportunity to spend time with him. We trust the people that are in this building that are going to be interacting with him on a day-to-day basis, and we also got to know Jimmy — what his aspirations [are] and what he wants to do and what he wants to be."
In Ozzie we trust, right Ravens fans? Newsome has give the Ravens some quality drafts over the years and from all accounts, this pick is all Ozzie Newsome. While the room was unanimous with the selection it was Newsome that wanted Smith the most.
Newsome has earned the right to make this make this pick with his drafting history.
It's like extending curfew for a teenager, they deserve the chance to screw up. When they do come in after midnight, you just have to look at their history and hope it's a one time thing.
Hopefully they won't but every once in a while, everyone, including your teenage kids, has a moment like drafting a Sergio Kindle.
The 2010 second round selection of the Ravens and linebacker from Texas, may still pan out. Wouldn't that be great if he did it this season with Jimmy Smith on the corner behind him.
While it is a gamble, it's a gamble Baltimore must take considering the situation in the Ravens secondary.
With Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and the pick of Torrey Smith, who comes from a similar background of Jimmy Smith, this kid and the Ravens will be fine and a better team with his arrival.
Final Draft Analysis and Grade: A-
Ozzie Newsome and the rest of the Baltimore Ravens brass can hang their hat on another successful draft. The draft would have been an overall A but I thought the purple birds slipped a bit on the third day.
I was not impressed with a few of the late round selections but the drafting of the two Smith's, Reid, and Doss solidified a solid A- draft for Baltimore.
I would have liked to see the Ravens select another offensive or defensive lineman instead of Tyrod Taylor and I thought they had better options available other than Chykie Brown from Texas.
"It was our fault, they did everything according to the rules...We had a disconnect. Whatever you hear, Baltimore did everything right.” This is the statement issued by Bears general manager Jerry Angelo after the Bears botched a trade with Ravens in the first round.
The Ravens tried to trade the 26th overall pick to the Bears for their 29th pick and a fourth rounder this year but the Bears claim they had a disconnect, causing the trade not to go through.
Once the trade failed, the Ravens missed their pick as time ran out and the Kansas City Chiefs selected at No. 26. The Ravens asked the NFL to investigate and award them the fourth round pick anyway.
The conclusion from the commissioner, no dice Ozzie.
According to ESPN, Roger Goodell would not order the Bears to compensate the Ravens for Thursday night's first-round trade mishap, but the NFL commissioner encouraged Chicago to do so.
Maybe Ozzie could also appeal the ruling to the eighth Circuit Court in hopes of reversing the decision.
The draft always makes the end of season withdrawal symptoms reappear for a few days and as a Ravens fan, the loss to close out the season in Pittsburgh has started to sting again.
Speaking of the Steelers, they also hit some home runs this year. Many experts graded Pittsburgh's draft in the A-category.
Five of their eight selections in this year’s draft were on the defensive side of the football. This was the polar opposite of the Ravens, who chose five offensive players with eight picks.
Buckle up for the next few years, this could be a whole lot of fun.
The Steelers chose defensive tackle Corey Liuget from Illinois with their first round pick and highly touted defensive back Marcus Gilchrist from Clemson in round two.
Just to get the ball rolling, MD wide out Torrey Smith has faced a Clemson secondary with Gilchrist playing in it three times.
In this year’s meeting Smith caught just four balls for 55 yards in the Terps 31-7 loss. In 2009, the Terps beat the Tigers as Smith caught three balls for 64 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown. Back in 08, Smith hauled in just one pass but it was for a six-yard touchdown.
The Terps came from behind to win in Death Valley beating the then #20 ranked Clemson Tigers 20-17.
The Ravens have received draft grades ranging from B- to an A-. NFL network Jimmy Dukes gave the Ravens an A- while his counterpart Trent Green gave them an A.
Make no mistake about it Ravens fans, the purple and black have had another successful April.