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More On Ronnie Stanley And What Ozzie Newsome Might Do With The 36th and 70th Picks Tonight

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Was last night a disappointment? Big picture, no. We got a great player at a position of need. Joe Flacco had his knee ripped to shreds because we couldn’t protect his blindside, so we did something about it. But it still felt like a letdown because it wasn’t a sexy pick. The possibility of Jalen Ramsey falling to the Ravens at 6 was so tantalizing, and it didn’t help when news spilled out afterwards that the Ravens were very close to swapping with the Cowboys to get him at #4. But what’s done is done and looking back helps nothing. This was the safe, smart, calculated pick. This is the kind of pick that has helped the Ravens become such a successful franchise. This is the kind of pick that separates us from clown franchises like the Cowboys taking a RB #4.

 

So more specifically, what are the Ravens getting in Ronnie Stanley? A lot actually. He’s an intelligent guy who has shown an ability to learn fast on the job. Joey Bosa noted before the Fiesta Bowl that he was impressed with Stanley’s noticeable improvements on tape from week to week. He’s more of an athlete than he is a powerful guy. He has long arms that help him in pass protection, and has shown good footwork. I noticed later during the draft that they showed some tape on Shaq Lawson, and Stanley was pretty much pushing him around the ring. Lawson, like any good pass rusher in the NFL, is a skilled guy who has an arsenal of moves and countermoves to get to the QB. Stanley showed an ability to bottle him up and shut down nearly every time. I think that speaks as much to his intelligence as it does to his athleticism. We like that.

There are two knocks I’ve heard about him. One is that he doesn’t excel in run-blocking. He doesn’t really overpower guys, but that’s fine by me. Priority number one, especially in today’s NFL, is to keep the QB on his feet. As long as he can stay in front of his man and get that job done, he’ll be a great NFL player. The other knock was one that I was hearing early in the process, and that’s that he doesn’t seem to be all that passionate about football and can be lackadasical at times. That narrative seemed to go to the wayside pretty quickly, and everything I’ve read and heard since has dispelled that idea. On top of that, hearing that Harbaugh is close friends with Notre Dame’s OL coach and has done his homework only serves to strengthen my confidence in Stanley. He can start from day one, and I’ve even heard the Ravens are open to starting him at left guard if they feel Eugene Monroe is looking strong enough to play a good LT.

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Normally I throw a highlight video in these blogs, but OL highlights aren’t all that much fun and there’s actually not all that much out there that isn’t 10-15 minutes of individual games. So here’s a post-draft interview with Ravens reporter Ryan Mink.

 

 

 

Alright so now the Ravens have two more picks tonight at #36 and #70. One of the things I was most excited about this draft was that that 36th pick is actually closer to where the Ravens normally pick than that 6th pick. It’s more in their wheelhouse, and there’s a good crop of guys left. Some of them were more than talented enough to go first round (and even top 15), but red flags had them fall back. I’m hoping they keep the ball rolling and address some long-term needs, namely pass-rusher (Noah Spence) and cornerback (Mackensie Alexander or Kendall Fuller). But those aren’t glaring enough needs for Ozzie to be narrow-minded on this. If he’s comfortable enough with a guy like Myles Jack or feels strongly about a receiver like Michael Thomas (who would complement Perriman greatly imo), he shouldn’t hesitate to grab him or move around to make it happen.

 

That obviously goes for the 70th pick too. Even with the Perriman debacle, I wouldn’t put it past Ozzie to take a risk on Jaylon Smith just because the upside is so tremendous. Ozzie always seems to get a guy in the 3rd round who was projected higher, and Smith is just one example. Who that guy might be, who knows? But we’ll see as the process rolls along. One homer thing I want to say though, is that I’d take Yannick Ngakoue from Maryland in a heartbeat. It’s not like he’s without good measurables, but sometimes we can lose sight of how a player produces. That’s what really stands out to me about him. The guy had 13.5 sacks playing in a conference stacked with prototypical NFL O-linemen. He had a sack in every conference game until the finale, including 1.5 sacks against Jack Conklin. I’m not as bullish on him becoming a star like I was about Stefon Diggs last year, but I still think he’ll be a productive pro and worthy of a 3rd rounder.

 

Tonight we (probably) bring two more talented prospects into the fold. It should be noted that 2 DT’s (Jarran Reed and A’Shawn Robinson) and an Inside LB (Reggie Ragland) from Alabama are right there for the taking at #36. We know how Ozzie loves his Bama guys. I don’t care where they’re from as long as they can do the job. And with that, In Ozzie We Trust.