Ravens

Bernard Pierce makes debut for Ravens

When the Baltimore Ravens selected Bernard Pierce in the 3rd round many assumed he would enter the season as Ray Rice’s backup. But after missing the Ravens first preseason game and a sub-par showing in his debut on Friday, suddenly the job is up for grabs.

Pierce carried the ball four times for just one yard, however he did a lot more running than his stats indicate. Piece initially ripped of runs of six and seven yards, but later managed to lose 14 yards when he tried to turn the corner and ended up deep in the backfield in an effort to escape the collapsing defense.

Fellow rookie Bobby Rainey and second-year back Anthony Allen are Pierce’s closest competition. John Harbaugh acknowledged that he has yet to decide on a backup for Rice.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Ravens, Rookie Notes Leave a comment

Osemele, Gradkowski compete for starting job with Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens lost veteran left guard Ben Grubbs this offseason and immediately turned to the draft to fill his shoes.

The Ravens drafted Kelechi Osemele, a collegiate left tackle, in the 2nd round and then picked up Gino Gradkowski two rounds later. Both rookies will be given an opportunity to compete with Jah Reid for Grubbs’ old job.

Gradkowski also played center in college, and could be Matt Birk’s eventual replacement. He saw snaps at both center and guard in rookie camp. Osemele received a handful of snaps at left tackle, but it appears as though the Ravens are set on leaving him at guard.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Ravens 1 Comment

Draft Grades: Baltimore Ravens

Sometimes it feels like the Baltimore Ravens can do no wrong on draft day. Everything Ozzie Newsome touches turns to gold this time of year. How often does a team trade out of the 1st round and still end up with one of the players they were targeting?

The Ravens would have been happy to make Courtney Upshaw a 1st-rounder, but instead they move back and still snag him in the early 2nd round. The recent injury to Terrell Suggs now makes this one of the most important picks in the entire draft.

Kelechi Osemele played left tackle at Iowa State, but he’ll likely be given an opportunity to compete for the starting left guard position vacated by Ben Grubbs. He was a slight reach in the 2nd, but I can’t fault them too much for filling an immediate need.

Bernard Pierce is a great fit as a compliment to Ray Rice. He’ll probably never develop into a starter, but he can play the role of the short-yardage back in Baltimore.

Gino Gradkowski was a reach in the early 4th round. He rose up draft boards this offseason, but 98th overall was early for a developmental guard/center. That said, the Ravens are probably hoping to develop him behind Matt Birk.

I like the selection of Christian Thompson. He’s an intriguing¬†developmental prospect and he landed in an ideal place to learn the game behind Ed Reed. He’ll play special teams early in his career, with the hope that he can grow into a starting role down the line.

Asa Jackson adds some depth to the secondary and could compete with Corey Graham and Cary Williams for some playing time.

I was not as high on Tommy Streeter as some, but was still surprised to see him on the board in the 6th round. He has all the measurables necessary to be a matchup nightmare, but never really put it all together at Miami. He’s a nice developmental prospect to have around.

DeAngelo Tyson is a nose tackle who will compete for playing time behind Terrence Cody. If he wins the backup job, he’ll see a fair amount of playing time due to Cody’s lack of stamina and inability to remain effective deep into games.

This was another strong draft for Ozzie Newsome, who consistently puts together some of the best draft classes. They may have landed two immediate starters (Upshaw and Osemele) and at least one other (Pierce) who will contribute immediately.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2012, Ravens Leave a comment