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Old 02-16-2013, 08:23 PM    (permalink
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This is a tough class of ILBs to call. There aren't any superstars regardless of scheme like P. Willis or Kuechly, or even a solid blue chipper like Donta Hightower. I think you see most of these guys drop to the 2nd or later. Before you call me crazy, Rey Maualuga, James Laurinaitis, Poz, David Harris, and Demeco Ryans all dropped to the 2nd round in the past few years after having major hype coming into the draft season.

Minter I think is the best all around guy for our scheme, taking on and disengaging from blockers, tackling and all around making plays. I think he's solid when it comes to coverage. He's not in the Brown or Ogletree class but I think he can play a 10 yard drop zone or shade a guy out of the backfield.

I'm a big Arthur Brown fan. I just don't know how well he'll fit the 34. Same goes for Khaseem Greene and Ogletree. I don't know how the NT position will look next year, but if the gap shooting NT trend is here to stay, we need guys who can beat up guards and get past them to make the play. I'd actually prefer Nico Johnson or Kevin Reddick in that role to the aforementioned trio. I don't think they're the same quality of player overall, but I think they'll transition better into this D and we can get them at pick 64. Reddick to me is a step above Kelvin Sheppard formerly of LSU. Nico Johnson doesn't wow you that much, but he takes good angles, is a solid tackler, and doesn't waste much movement. Solid player.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:29 AM    (permalink
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This is a tough class of ILBs to call. There aren't any superstars regardless of scheme like P. Willis or Kuechly, or even a solid blue chipper like Donta Hightower. I think you see most of these guys drop to the 2nd or later. Before you call me crazy, Rey Maualuga, James Laurinaitis, Poz, David Harris, and Demeco Ryans all dropped to the 2nd round in the past few years after having major hype coming into the draft season.
I don't know, I would put Te'o and Minter at least on Hightower's level as prospects but then again I really didn't like Hightower much last year. All of those guys dropping to the second round would surprise me a bit but with the depth of the class this year and it not being a position that's highly valued it could happen.

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Minter I think is the best all around guy for our scheme, taking on and disengaging from blockers, tackling and all around making plays. I think he's solid when it comes to coverage. He's not in the Brown or Ogletree class but I think he can play a 10 yard drop zone or shade a guy out of the backfield.
Yep. I really like how Minter is able to shed blocks and not be taken out of plays. Being able to drop back in coverage is one of the keys for me though.

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I'm a big Arthur Brown fan. I just don't know how well he'll fit the 34. Same goes for Khaseem Greene and Ogletree.
With guys like Bowman, Timmons, Lee, Carter, and Washington doing very well as smaller ILBs in a 3-4 recently I'm not as concerned about guys like Brown and Greene not having a lot of size for the position. Obviously every player is different but I think that as long as they have the instincts and/or technique to sort through the middle they'll do fine. Not Ogletree though. I don't want him in the middle at all.

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I don't know how the NT position will look next year, but if the gap shooting NT trend is here to stay, we need guys who can beat up guards and get past them to make the play. I'd actually prefer Nico Johnson or Kevin Reddick in that role to the aforementioned trio. I don't think they're the same quality of player overall, but I think they'll transition better into this D and we can get them at pick 64. Reddick to me is a step above Kelvin Sheppard formerly of LSU. Nico Johnson doesn't wow you that much, but he takes good angles, is a solid tackler, and doesn't waste much movement. Solid player.
That's a really good point. I would assume that Pees is going to keep having the DL shoot the gaps instead of taking on blocks as their primary assignments so that has to be taken into consideration. Getting a NT later in the draft that fits that role to rotate with Cody would be nice. To me the Ravens still need to be focusing on getting faster and more athletic in the front seven though. The most likely position to upgrade that is at ILB so I still wouldn't want them to focus on thumper types.

I would like Reddick in that role, just not at pick 64. He would be a really nice replacement for Ellerbe's role if the latter signs elsewhere. I'm not a Johnson fan though. All I see when I watch him is Jameel McClain level of talent.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:32 PM    (permalink
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I don't know, I would put Te'o and Minter at least on Hightower's level as prospects but then again I really didn't like Hightower much last year. All of those guys dropping to the second round would surprise me a bit but with the depth of the class this year and it not being a position that's highly valued it could happen.



Yep. I really like how Minter is able to shed blocks and not be taken out of plays. Being able to drop back in coverage is one of the keys for me though.



With guys like Bowman, Timmons, Lee, Carter, and Washington doing very well as smaller ILBs in a 3-4 recently I'm not as concerned about guys like Brown and Greene not having a lot of size for the position. Obviously every player is different but I think that as long as they have the instincts and/or technique to sort through the middle they'll do fine. Not Ogletree though. I don't want him in the middle at all.



That's a really good point. I would assume that Pees is going to keep having the DL shoot the gaps instead of taking on blocks as their primary assignments so that has to be taken into consideration. Getting a NT later in the draft that fits that role to rotate with Cody would be nice. To me the Ravens still need to be focusing on getting faster and more athletic in the front seven though. The most likely position to upgrade that is at ILB so I still wouldn't want them to focus on thumper types.

I would like Reddick in that role, just not at pick 64. He would be a really nice replacement for Ellerbe's role if the latter signs elsewhere. I'm not a Johnson fan though. All I see when I watch him is Jameel McClain level of talent.
I had a very high grade on Hightower last year given his speed, range, size, power, pass rush, and instincts. So I guess my comparison there skews things a little because I was such a big fan. I think Minter could rise to that level, but I'll hold off until I see his combine numbers and watch more of him. I think Te'o is massively overhyped due to the 7 picks and I wouldn't want that guy in a locker room anyways. Too weird.

Watch this video (LSU vs. Washington with Austin Seferian-Jenkins) for Minter - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEFudV0W8P4. He covers the TE over the middle, WR out of the slot and slips into his middle zone and covers across the middle.

I agree with your point about the smaller LBs these days. I think if we could get a massive run stuffer, we could absolutely bring in a guy like Arthur Brown, who may be small, but is a physical player like the one's you listed above.

I'm just ballparking pick ranges right now because we won't know values until combine/pro day performances. So I could obviously be way off if these guys surprise everyone with 4.5s and 25 reps on the bench. By the way Ogletree just got busted for a DUI.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:07 PM    (permalink
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Whoops, I meant to say Minter's ability to also drop back is a key for him being my #1 ILB prospect. I'm surprised that post turned out at as coherent as it did.

I think that if the team brings back Ellerbe a smaller ILB like Brown or Greene would be just fine. Ellerbe is a monster at attacking the LOS.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:08 PM    (permalink
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Whoops, I meant to say Minter's ability to also drop back is a key for him being my #1 ILB prospect. I'm surprised that post turned out at as coherent as it did.

I think that if the team brings back Ellerbe a smaller ILB like Brown or Greene would be just fine. Ellerbe is a monster at attacking the LOS.
Yeah I figured that's what you meant. What do you put the odds of Ellerbe returning at? I've already written off Kruger and Cary Williams as leaving the team for big contracts, but I think we have a chance for Ellerbe.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:56 PM    (permalink
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That's a hard question to answer. A lot will depend on whether Flacco gets a new deal or is hit with the franchise tag. If he gets the tag I wouldn't be surprised to see Reed as the only worthwhile free agent brought back. Somebody on another forum put it best - teams love to overpay Baltimore's LBs.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:27 PM    (permalink
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Haha very true. Ed Hartwell, Adalius Thomas, & Bart Scott all come to mind.
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:38 PM    (permalink
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The reason I would like us to go hard after Arthur Brown is because he adds so much speed and ability to cover ground in both the running and the passing game. Minter is without a doubt a good overall linebacker with no true weakness. On the other hand he doesn't have a real treat I covet, and even I see him as just another good thumper.

The way Brown weaves through traffic and brings himself in position to make plays is just what our defense need. Imo he could also make either McClain, Ellerbe or Bynes better as they could do what they do best, clog holes in the runninggame or blow up lead blockers.

If I haven't said it yet, I would really like us to add speed to this defense this year. Right from the DE to linebacker to the safety spot.

If I should chose between bringing back Reed or Ellerbe, I would actually prefer bringing back Reed. We should still draft a successor to him, but Reeds leadership on the back end would help our defense and our secondary where we still have a lot of young guys in Smith, Jackson, Brown, Brown and Thompson which all can benefit from Reeds experience.

Only Graham, Webb, Williams and Chris Johnson has some real experience, and two of them could be gone by the end of FA.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:58 PM    (permalink
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The reason I would like us to go hard after Arthur Brown is because he adds so much speed and ability to cover ground in both the running and the passing game. Minter is without a doubt a good overall linebacker with no true weakness. On the other hand he doesn't have a real treat I covet, and even I see him as just another good thumper.

The way Brown weaves through traffic and brings himself in position to make plays is just what our defense need. Imo he could also make either McClain, Ellerbe or Bynes better as they could do what they do best, clog holes in the runninggame or blow up lead blockers.
That's a big reason I like Brown a lot too. Greene fits that mold as well. I think you're selling Minter short though. He doesn't have the range of those other two guys but he's definitely not just a thumper type of ILB either. He would easily be the most athletic/rangy LB on the team if Baltimore took him. That might not be saying much though.

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If I haven't said it yet, I would really like us to add speed to this defense this year. Right from the DE to linebacker to the safety spot.
I agree with this but at the same time I'm not sure how big of a speed upgrade we can expect the Ravens to get. For a team that runs a base 3-4 they're fine in terms of speed along the DL. I'm really starting to think they won't view DT/DE as much of a need at all. Ngata isn't going to be upgraded or put in a rotation and the duo of Jones and McPhee really stepped up later in the season when both guys were finally healthy. Tyson and Hall are good enough for third string depth. NT is a different story for some but they aren't going to get a "fast" guy at that position anyways.

I see more of a shot at upgrading the speed at LB but not a whole lot. Suggs isn't going to be seeing the field less any time soon and Upshaw will be in line for a more consistent amount of snaps. If Ellerbe is brought back that leaves only one spot open on and even if he isn't they're going to need another more physical type of ILB (or Jameel McClain) to take his role. Bringing in some depth guys with speed would be nice but I question how much of an impact it would really have given how little they usually see the field.

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If I should chose between bringing back Reed or Ellerbe, I would actually prefer bringing back Reed. We should still draft a successor to him, but Reeds leadership on the back end would help our defense and our secondary where we still have a lot of young guys in Smith, Jackson, Brown, Brown and Thompson which all can benefit from Reeds experience.

Only Graham, Webb, Williams and Chris Johnson has some real experience, and two of them could be gone by the end of FA.
That's a good point. I've said before that I wouldn't be surprised if Reed was the only worthwhile free agent brought back but that has more to do with the money aspect of it than anything else. Losing the leadership of Lewis and Reed in one offseason might be too much to bear. I did read that Webb was stepping up a lot as a leader last offseason though so I'm not as worried about that for the future pf the secondary.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:43 PM    (permalink
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Both Webb and Pollard should be here for years, and while Webb is one of the typical guys leading with example, Bernard Pollard is the guy who is not afraid to open his mouth and say what is necessary. In that regard, I'm not afraid that no "new" leaders will step up, but there is a difference between a guy naturally stepping into a leadership role and a guy who is forced into it because of older leaders leaving the team.

I think I mentioned it earlier, but I think we need a real quality player on the dline and not another rotational guy. I haven't given up on Art Jones, McPhee or Cody for that instance, but I want another elite end who can contribute like we saw a JJ Watt do this year. At linebacker I think we need a speed rusher as a compliment to Upshaw, a speedy inside linebacker and another "coverage linebacker" in the later rounds.

Last year I looked especially at a guy like Danny Trevathan, who was deemed to small for the NFL, but had a really good season as that 3. down linebacker who could cover both tight ends and zone in Broncos defense. I think we need a similar player as age has taken its toll on Ayanbadejo, who used to fill that role.

I might sell Minter short, but I am just not that impressed with his game tape. I see he has burst to plug the holes up the middle, but I don't see it when he is chasing sideline to sideline. I would not be uncomfortable with taking him, but he is just not the player I prefer in the end of the 1. round/early 2. round.

Looking at tapes the last couple of days, my first real real fat guy man crush this year goes to Werner. At first I thought of him as a high effort guy, who lived and died buy his motor, but looking at his games, damn, that guy dips, rips, bullrushes and can play the contain with the best of them out there. I don't see any flaws in his game, and I almost wouldn't mind trading up for him, if he fell past the 10th pick.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:29 PM    (permalink
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I've heard that Baltimore really likes Minter.

I've had those two matched up for well over a month now.
Don't know if yall saw this. Could Ozzie get aggressive this draft?
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:08 PM    (permalink
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Don't know if yall saw this. Could Ozzie get aggressive this draft?
Scott doesn't actually have sources like that so disregard that.

Although I'm not opposed to being aggressive with a full slew of draft picks and generally solid young depth across the board, I'm not sure I'd want that aggressiveness be for an ILB. It's just a really underrated LB class so there should be a talented ILB available at 32 and if not, there are several starting caliber talents in rounds 2-4 and we historically been very good at getting ILB's later on. I just don't see the need to press at that position. If we we're to move up, I think it'd have to be for either a talented pass rusher or LT who slipped through the cracks.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:42 PM    (permalink
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Both Webb and Pollard should be here for years, and while Webb is one of the typical guys leading with example, Bernard Pollard is the guy who is not afraid to open his mouth and say what is necessary. In that regard, I'm not afraid that no "new" leaders will step up, but there is a difference between a guy naturally stepping into a leadership role and a guy who is forced into it because of older leaders leaving the team.
Right, but from what I read lat offseason Webb was well on his way to becoming a natural leader and not just a guy that is forced into the role. Obviously none of us know how their leadership skills are unless it's widely reported or very obvious but I'm not worried about the leadership in the secondary moving forward. It's the overall leadership on defense that I'd be worried about if both Lewis and Reed are gone.

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I think I mentioned it earlier, but I think we need a real quality player on the dline and not another rotational guy. I haven't given up on Art Jones, McPhee or Cody for that instance, but I want another elite end who can contribute like we saw a JJ Watt do this year. At linebacker I think we need a speed rusher as a compliment to Upshaw, a speedy inside linebacker and another "coverage linebacker" in the later rounds.

Last year I looked especially at a guy like Danny Trevathan, who was deemed to small for the NFL, but had a really good season as that 3. down linebacker who could cover both tight ends and zone in Broncos defense. I think we need a similar player as age has taken its toll on Ayanbadejo, who used to fill that role.
I would also prefer a guy that's more in the mold of a quality starter instead of a rotation with two guys but given how that rotation played at the end of the season it seems like it would be hard for the team to justify that one of the guys projected to be available at Baltimore's pick would be a real upgrade over Jones and McPhee. Obviously every would like Watt-like talent at DE but it's not too realistic to expect (or hope for) that where Baltimore is picking every year. Watt himself went 11th overall. A guy could fall but they usually fall for a reason.

I'm in full agreement about what the Ravens need at LB. An athletic pass-rusher (to replace Kruger, probably wouldn't be much of a speed upgrade over him though) and an ILB or two with range would be a big help to the front seven. Moving Ellerbe to Lewis' role and bringing in a LB that can actually play in space next to him would be a much better look athletically than what we've seen the past few seasons.

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I might sell Minter short, but I am just not that impressed with his game tape. I see he has burst to plug the holes up the middle, but I don't see it when he is chasing sideline to sideline. I would not be uncomfortable with taking him, but he is just not the player I prefer in the end of the 1. round/early 2. round.
We'll have to agree to disagree then. From what I've seen of him he's good going both forward and backward. Guys like Brown and Ogletree are better going side-to-side but that's to be expected. I think they're both elite in that aspect. Minter is at least good enough though.

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Looking at tapes the last couple of days, my first real real fat guy man crush this year goes to Werner. At first I thought of him as a high effort guy, who lived and died buy his motor, but looking at his games, damn, that guy dips, rips, bullrushes and can play the contain with the best of them out there. I don't see any flaws in his game, and I almost wouldn't mind trading up for him, if he fell past the 10th pick.
Like TACKLE said I think the only position Baltimore would trade up for are a pass-rusher or a LT (pretty much just Joeckel or Fisher though, I'm not a big fan of giving up extra picks for Johnson with all the projection there is with him at the moment) and Werner is definitely be a guy I wouldn't mind them giving up extra assets for.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:30 PM    (permalink
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What range do you project Tavon Austin to go in? WR isn't a pressing need now but we've always gone BPA so Ozzie could trade back into the early 2nd again and nab him there. Boldin has 1 year left on his deal and Jacoby has 2(not 100% on this). Austin could be the return guy and play the slot. Maybe we could use him like Randall Cobb or Percy Harvin.

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Old 02-22-2013, 08:15 PM    (permalink
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Arthur who?

I want this guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4W_beAStxqA
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:03 PM    (permalink
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I endorse any player from #ClutchCity.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:56 PM    (permalink
coordinator0
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What range do you project Tavon Austin to go in? WR isn't a pressing need now but we've always gone BPA so Ozzie could trade back into the early 2nd again and nab him there. Boldin has 1 year left on his deal and Jacoby has 2(not 100% on this). Austin could be the return guy and play the slot. Maybe we could use him like Randall Cobb or Percy Harvin.
I think Austin goes somewhere in the 2nd round. It's not a position I'd like to see them go after that early though if Boldin and Jones are back. Barring a really good value at WR falling to them there seems to be some really good talent at bigger positions of need that should be available in the first couple of rounds.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:47 AM    (permalink
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Arthur who?

I want this guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4W_beAStxqA
There was a decent breakdown on some of his coverage skills on Football Outsiders a little while ago
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:49 AM    (permalink
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I think Austin goes somewhere in the 2nd round. It's not a position I'd like to see them go after that early though if Boldin and Jones are back. Barring a really good value at WR falling to them there seems to be some really good talent at bigger positions of need that should be available in the first couple of rounds.
While I wouldn't be entirely thrilled to see us address WR early, I can't envision any scenario where adding Austin in the second round is a bad thing. Any way you slice it, that's adding a remarkable talent to our offense.
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:17 PM    (permalink
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The biggest thing I'm worried about with a guy like Austin (or Sanders) is Baltimore being able to utilize a player like that. With Cameron gone it's not as big of a concern but who knows what kind of offense Caldwell wants to implement.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:57 PM    (permalink
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http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images...gif?1361819510

I don't think we're getting Teo
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:06 AM    (permalink
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Meh, that was only the 40 yard dash. It's funny though.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:57 PM    (permalink
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Alright guys, convince me that Matt Elam would be a good replacement for Reed if he retires or signs elsewhere. I like him as a prospect but I'm not sure he fits the center fielding role. Pees could change the defense a but there's only so much he can do to hide Pollard's limited range. I'm a fan of Pollard but he is what he is. Elam's name has been coming up a lot as a first round pick for the Ravens in mock drafts and I'm wondering what everybody else thinks of him.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:41 PM    (permalink
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Alright guys, convince me that Matt Elam would be a good replacement for Reed if he retires or signs elsewhere. I like him as a prospect but I'm not sure he fits the center fielding role. Pees could change the defense a but there's only so much he can do to hide Pollard's limited range. I'm a fan of Pollard but he is what he is. Elam's name has been coming up a lot as a first round pick for the Ravens in mock drafts and I'm wondering what everybody else thinks of him.
I'm not a huge Elam fan if we're talking pick #32 or based on our scheme. I think he could be a solid player in the Tampa 2 with more interchangeable safeties but I don't know about replacing Reed.

What do yall think about Terron Armstead in Round 2? We will need to address the LT position but that selection with a 2 year deal for McKinney could work out well. Armstead is apparently being tried out as a TE. If he could come in on jumbo sets and get some 2 TE experience (provided he shows ability as a receiver), he could develop into a LT by year 3.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:41 PM    (permalink
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I'm always a bit leery about offensive linemen that boost their stock that much due to postseason activities. It's different with Armstead because he's coming from a small school so he didn't have any recognition whatsoever but I'm not sure if I would gamble on him in the second round. I don't think this is a very good LT class outside of the top 3 guys though so if Baltimore wants one they're going to have to take a risk at some point. Even Johnson is a guy that you're rolling the dice on.
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