The Ravens gambled a bit by trading back into the second round, but they still got their man.
In fact, they were able to go after and try and fill a few of their needs with their first few picks in the second and third rounds of the NFL Draft on Friday. Their first pick was Courtney Upshaw from Alabama, a player theyd had their eyes on and one whod been linked to them for awhile.
Many pegged Upshaw as a first-round pick, but the Ravens got a break when he slipped through the first round. That appears to be why the team felt comfortable trading their late first-round pick to the Vikings. The Ravens got the third pick of the second round, and appeared to feel good that Upshaw would still be there.
In shoppers terms, they got what they wanted at a cheaper price.
Upshaw should be a big help for the Ravens at linebacker, probably going against Paul Kruger while they battle to fill Jarret Johnsons shoes. He's good at setting the edge, something Johnson was great at, which will help the Ravens in a number of ways.
They also picked Kelechi Osemele of Iowa State in the second round, a player who can go at both guard and tackle. The Ravens talked after the pick about how they can put him at guard or tackle and move people to different spots in different ways. It creates competition, something that coach John Harbaugh and the team love to have.
In the third round, the Ravens traded up and then picked Temple running Bernard Pierce. Hell likely battle Anthony Allen for the back-up spot behind Ray Rice the role Ricky Williams had last year.
The Ravens traded their picks in the third and fifth rounds to Atlanta to move up in that third round. Going up from 91 to 84 let them get Pierce and get more competition in the backfield.
Now, it will be interesting to see if they swing a few more deals like that in Saturdays final four rounds. They'll be looking for that depth they love and to fill holes. They did a little of both on Friday.