Reviewing the Draft: Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens started their 2004 draft twelve months ago when they traded a first round selection in this years process for the rights to move up and select quarterback Kyle Boller. This was an important draft for the Ravens after being spurned by Terrell Owens and missing out on several other free agents.

Baltimore's initial selection came in the second round and they used it to choose Dwan Edwards.  Edwards is a big run stuffing tackle that projects well in the Ravens defensive scheme.  While he offers little in the form of pass rushing, Edwards is a force against the run and will help keep Ray Lewis free from blockers.  He was excellent value in the second frame. With their second choice, which came in the third round, the Ravens again got excellent value at a position of need with wide receiver Devard Darling.  

Darling is both big and fast and was rated by most scouts as a second round talent.  While he needs to refine the mental aspects of his game he should contribute while he learns on the job as a rookie. 

Roderick Green, a college defensive end, is a player with high character and solid pass rush skills.  He must learn to play in space in order to make an impact in the NFL but the problem for Green may be an inability to learn and retain, something that could really hinder him as he moves to outside linebacker. 

Josh Harris gives the Ravens  a young developmental quarterback that could grow into a long term backup for Kyle Boller.  

Late in the draft Baltimore resumed its' focus on the receiver position selecting Clarence Moore and Derek Abney, two players that could not be any more different physically.  Abney is a short ,quick player who may find a home as a return specialist while Moore  is a tall possession receiver that must improve his strength.  Both players could be on the practice squad come September while they develop and find their way onto the active roster late next year.  

 Baltimore finished it's draft selecting offensive lineman Brian Rimpf, another value pick.  Rimpf is an intelligent prospect who consistently gives maximum effort.  And while he may not be athletic enough to play left tackle, Rimpf could develop nicely as either a right tackle or a guard.

Baltimore came into this draft needing to add talent to the roster at only a few positions.  The team emphasized receiver but also did a nice job of getting value for most of it's picks.  While this draft class may not have a huge impact immediately there are as many as three players that could produce this season and several others who could be mainstays for a long time.


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