The NFL Draft is finally behind us and pundits from NFL.com and other various outlets have given the Baltimore Ravens front office an overall “A” rating on their picks. It is easy to believe they got it right. However, many have jested Ozzie Newsome in the past for being biased and selecting Alabama players because he graduated from there. Is the joke on the Ravens, or was Newsome a genius who just happened to stumble upon the best player available, that just happened to be a fellow Alumna in C.J. Mosley at the 17th overall pick?
Ozzie Newsome has selected six Alabama players in the Draft since he took over as GM in 2002. Some may say that is a huge number, but they need to look at the big picture. That was out of 110 players selected. Newsome took Mosley this year because you simply cannot overlook the eighth best player in the draft, especially when they slide down to the 17th overall pick. Newsome, in the team’s post round one presser, said, “C.J. was the clear cut at that pick.”
Fans are fully aware of the contract that was given to Daryl Smith for his recent performance last season after being pulled away from Jacksonville, but they need to also be aware that Newsome felt the need to secure the future at the middle-linebacker position. Arthur Brown is a good player who has potential, but has issues getting off blocks against the run. Newsome and the front office see Mosley as a Day 1 starter who can contribute immediately against the run.
Don’t get me wrong, folks. Initially, I was throwing things at the television because I saw another Alabama player get drafted by the Ravens. I was furious, having seen Calvin Pryor still on the board and the Ravens passed on him and let him go to the Jets one pick later.
It took a while to collect my thoughts and realize that it was the right decision. If we take a look into the past, we will see that there were other picks that Newsome made, that were questionable considering what was in house already. Take TE Todd Heap for example. The Ravens had now Hall of Famer, Shannon Sharpe already on the roster and they still went after Heap in the first round. We all know the results of those decisions were fruitful.
As a fan of the Ravens, it is very hard to see the method to the madness. There are times when I get easily frustrated with moves being made because I cannot see the big picture. I now see why other fans simply sit back and say “In Ozzie, We Trust.” In the midst of the chaos, he has a plan.