Ken Murray of the Baltimore Sun checked in with DraftAmerica to discuss the Ravens’ 2011 Draft class.
DA: Were the Ravens’ first two selections taken more for need than best-player-available?
KM: They actually followed their system, but leaned a little more on need. They always choose the best player available AT A POSITION OF NEED, so you wind up with a reduced draft board and names of guys you specifically have targeted. That’s how they can say Torrey Smith was in their top 10 on their board.
DA: Did/does Jimmy Smith’s checkered past worry the Ravens at all?
KM: They believe they are invincible in the locker room, partly because of Ray Lewis and the leadership guys. But they missed on Sergio Kindle last year; it’s doubtful he’ll ever play for them. They feel they are very close to the Super Bowl, and that is a factor. But at 26, it’s hard to overlook a guy with Smith’s size, quickness and skill, even with a checkered resume. It’s a risk worth taking.
DA: Where is Jah Reid expected to fit in along the offensive line?
KM: They will give him a chance to start at right tackle. That would be fine in a normal year, but this isn’t a normal year and it doesn’t look like Reid will get a full training camp. So that becomes problematic. Look for a free-agent signing eventually.
DA: Which of the late-round picks could have a chance to surprise and make an impact with the team?
KM: I think the fourth-round pick, Tandon Doss, has a great chance to contribute right away. He won’t get heavy doses of the game plan, but they’ll move him around and use him in a variety of ways. It’ll be enough to affect games, I think.
DA: How upset is the club with the Chicago trade flap, and can they expect any compensation from the league?
KM: Very. The Bears were either intentional in deceiving the Ravens, or were incompetent in making a phone call. It has to be one of the two. It’s something the Ravens won’t forget for a very long time.