From GM mla2131: Difficult choice (“Get a wide receiver!” shout the Bmore faithful) … but not really. All things equal, wide receiver is a greater need for the Ravens with the signing of starting (presumably) CB Dominick Foxworth, nickleback Chris Carr, and Samari Rolle (released and resigned). But with the remaining talent on the board, all’s not equal.
First, Vontae Davis is a terrific combination of speed and size at the position. While some scouts consider him a boom/bust selection, Baltimore may be relatively well-positioned to develop Vontae Davis with Ed Reed at safety and veteran defensive backs at corner. His size and aggressiveness are also well-suited for the style Baltimore’s defense plays.
Second, the overall quality (Fabian Washington and Foxworth) and durability (Rolle’s age and Fabian Washington’s injury history) at the position remain areas of concern. Corner was arguably the Raven’s greatest weakness in the match up with the Steelers last January. At the very least, Davis gives Baltimore greater versatility and depth at the position, allowing Ed Reed to freelance and continue to be the best center fielder in the NFL. At best, Davis fills the role Chris McAllister once held with the team.
Third, Percy Harvin (not the right fit) and Hakeem Nicks (would have been the selection, if available) are off the board. Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin were never expected to be available, so nothing to cover there. It is the local fan-favorite Darrius Heyward-Bey (DHB) who makes this such a tough decision. Conventional wisdom says the Ravens need a speedy receiver to stretch the field with the strong-armed QB Joe Flacco and power running game. While true, a deeper look reveals concerns about whether DHB’s hands and route running are first round material. Also, his (over-?) reliance on pure speed may not translate as well to the NFL. With a few solid options remaining at the second and third round level, and a short-term solution through free agency still possible (I’m looking at you, Mr. Holt), wide receiver can wait for now.
Commish's Thoughts: One of the most gifted physical DBs in the draft, I felt like he was a risk primarily because his head might not be able to catch up to his boyd. Which is why I love the thought of him playing in Baltimore with Ed Reed. Reed is a known film-junkie and mentor, and by taking Davis under his wing, the young DB should learn to soar on his talent. The name of the game in B-more is defense, even as the offense is finding its A game. Spending a first on D is a good way to keep it that way.
ON THE CLOCK
Indianapolis Colts are up next. The first round is starting to wind down, and the GMs are doing an awesome job getting the picks to me early. I'll do my best to try to keep up with you maniacs....
The deadline for this pick is NOON MST, April 9th.. As long as I receive the pick by that time it will be valid. To send me the pick, just email me at the address shown in my profile.
Round 1, Pick #27 Overall