Looking Back at the Baltimore Ravens draft

Even with conflict in the war room leading up to the draft, the Ravens realized they would be staring at a good player with the tenth pick of the draft…but who would that player be?

Round

Pick

Player

Pos

School

1

10(10)

Terrell Suggs*

DE

Arizona St.

1

19(19)

Kyle Boller

QB

California

3

13(77)

Musa Smith*

HB

Georgia

4

12(109)

Jarret Johnson

DT

Alabama

4

37(134)

Ovie Mughelli

FB

Wake Forest

5

11(146)

Aubrayo Franklin

DT

Tennessee

5

38(173)

Tony Pashos

OT

Illinois

6

9(182)

Gerome Sapp

S

Notre Dame

7

9(223)

Trent Smith

TE

Oklahoma

7

36(250)

Mike Mabry

C

UCF

7

44(258)

Antwoine Sanders*

S

Utah



Apparently, the quandary in the Baltimore war room was over which quarterback to select; the coach wanted Kyle Boller, the general manager Byron Leftwich. Depending on whom you believe the franchise blew its' chance to select Leftwich after the ill-fated trade with the Vikings went astray thanks to Baltimore…they then did the next best thing and took the best player on the board.

Terrell Suggs could eventually be the steal of this draft. A defender who influences the game, pick ten was great value for his services. A few poor pre-draft workouts should not erase all the accomplishments Suggs achieved and more to the point, the absolute talent he displays on film. He could be a great fit for the Baltimore defense as his ability to stand-up over tight end or line-up in a three-point stance will drive opposing offensive coordinators nuts.

They then pulled off a trade and sent their initial pick in the 2004 draft to the Patriots for the right to choose Kyle Boller. This was a solid move. We did not rank Boller as high as others and feel he is far from being "a sure thing." Yet, he has great innate skill and coach Brian Billick knows how to develop signal callers, so the stars seemed to be aligned in the right order on this one.

Musa Smith was another solid value in round three. Not many ball carriers offer the completeness Smith displayed last season, a year in which he was fully healthy. Whether he is a back up to Jamal Lewis or eventually takes over for the much-maligned feature runner, Smith will have opportunities if he stays on the field.

Jarret Johnson could fit in nicely as a two-gap lineman. Continually displayed flashes of skill as well as the ability to dominate opponents, his tenacity will give him many opportunities as a rookie and Johnson is perfect to rotate into the line-up.

The minute they selected Ovie Mughelli he immediately became the best fullback on the roster. Mughelli is a dominant lead blocker and good short yardage runner. A high character guy with a big motor, Mughelli severely disappointed scouts after not working out at the combine, which led to his drop out of the first day.

Aubrayo Franklin was the first of a pair of picks in round five and the athletic tackle formerly of Tennessee could compete for playing time on the nose. The other choice in the frame, Tony Pashos, was a true bargain. The offense needs blockers up front and Pashos could be starting at right tackle by seasons end, as he is a dominant, no-nonsense type of guy. Gerome Sapp is not the flashiest defensive back but rather a smart and heady safety that keeps the play in front of him and does not get beat deep. He lacks the great sideline-to-sideline range and may be better in a two-deep scheme, but can play in the NFL.

Trent Smith is a pass catching tight end and poor man's Todd Heap. Mike Mabry was a surprise selection yet could be looked upon as a back up at either guard or center. Antwoine Sanders can be an imposing centerfielder when focused and packs a wallop defending the run but a poor combine workout coupled with a checkered past knocked him down at least three rounds.

Analysis: In 1996 the Ravens had the draft team's dream about after snagging Jon Ogden and Ray Lewis in the first round. This collection of players offers the same impact at the top but a whole lot more depth in the middle.


Ravens Insider Top Stories