The draft is over and the report cards have been turned in. So how did the Ravens do?
Personally, I view NFL Draft grades much the same way I view recruiting class rankings: Well know in about four years how the Ravens did in this draft. Still, it makes for great water cooler conversation the Monday after the draft. And theres no doubt that decisions made this weekend will have a major impact on the 2012 NFL season.
Here is how the Ravens NFL Draft report card looked according to some national media members:
Chris Burke, SI.com: Grade: B
The Ravens traded down and still landed DEOLB Courtney Upshaw (35), who may develop into the next feared defender in Baltimore. Guard Kelechi Osemele (60) and running back Bernard Pierce (84) filled needs well, making the Ravens reaches in Round 5 (Gino Gradkowski and Christian Thompson) more tolerable.
John Czarnecki, Fox Sports.com: Grade: B
There is no doubt Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome and his PR-conscious sidekick Eric DeCosta know how to draft. Their first three selections, none in the first round, reflected quality. Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw had tremendous value, but he's not a replacement for Ray Lewis. Upshaw, who is excited about joining this defense, will be given a chance to replace Jarret Johnson, who jumped to the Chargers. ... Iowa State guard Kelechi Osemele and Delaware guard Gino Gradkowski prove that Newsome wants to fix his offensive line. ... Temple running back Bernard Pierce has the slashing style of Ray Rice, but he needs to work on his receiving skills.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: Grade: Incomplete
As usual, we give every team the same grade: Incomplete. Its too early to know how any of these teams have done, because no one has any idea how any of these players will perform until they step onto an NFL field and face competition significantly greater than anything they ever have faced before.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Grade: A-minus
Upshaw has a chance to fill the big void of fellow former Alabama star Jarret Johnson, while Osemele was the powerful guard they needed.
Mel Kiper, ESPN: Grade: B (subscription required)
The Ravens had a great weekend. Any time you move out of the first round, still get a guy with first-round talent, and he happens to fill your biggest need, you're happy. Courtney Upshaw isn't a gifted pass-rusher, but he does exactly what Jarret Johnson did, sealing the edge against the run. He plays with relentless energy and has the experience to start immediately. Kelechi Osemele isn't a future starter at tackle, but moved inside you might have a player at guard. Again, that's a big need. Bernard Pierce provides insurance in the run game, and Asa Jackson has a chance to stick in what's already a good secondary. No stars, but really good value at the top, and needs were hit.
Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com. Grade: B
Best pick: They traded out of the first and still ended up with a player they really liked in Courtney Upshaw. That's great value for him in the second round.
Questionable move: They took Iowa State tackle Kelechi Osemele in the second round and he will likely project to guard. I think they needed to get a guy who they know could play tackle.
Third-day gem: Sixth-round pick Tommy Streeter is a long wide receiver from Miami who has the speed to get vertical. He didn't always produce as expected at Miami, but he has the tools.
Analysis: One thing about the Ravens is when they are done drafting you know that Ozzie Newsome will find good football players. They always seem to do so. Moving out of the first and landing Upshaw was a nice move. They added some nice third-day pieces as well.
Rob Rang, The Sports XchangeCBSSports.com: Grade: B-
The Ravens deftly moved out of the first round after realizing one of the players they were targeting was going to slip into the second. Upshaw will erase any doubts about his ability to transition from Alabama to the NFL when he makes an immediate impact for Baltimore. . Of the Ravens' later picks, watch out for Temple running back Bernard Pierce and Cal-Poly cornerback Asa Jackson to emerge as strong contributors in backup roles.