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Ravens lock up three more draft picks

Kelechi Osemele

Iowa State offensive linesman Kelechi Osemele reacts with fans after his team’s 37-31 in double overtime win over Oklahoma State in an NCAA college football game, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)


The Ravens look like a good bet to have their entire draft class signed before they start their rookie minicamp this weekend.

Baltimore started the parade of draft pick signings with cornerback Asa Jackson and they’ve now added three more signatures on dotted lines. Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times reports that guard Kelechi Osemele, safety Christian Thompson and center Gino Gradkowski have all agreed to four-year contracts with the team.

Osemele, a second-round pick, played tackle at Iowa State, but will likely be part of the fight to replace Ben Grubbs at left guard in the starting lineup. He could wind up getting a look at tackle eventually, though. Gradkowski, a fourth-round pick, will back up Matt Birk now with hopes of replacing him in the near future. If that happens, Gradkowski, whose older brother Bruce is a quarterback with the Bengals, would be snapping the ball to a fellow Delaware alum in Joe Flacco.

Thompson, another fourth-round pick, should help the Ravens make up for the depth they lost when Haruki Nakamura and Tom Zbikowski to free agency this offseason. He also returned kicks and stood out on coverage teams while at South Carolina State, two spots where he could also wind up helping out the Ravens.