Ray Lewis recently started up some controvery when he stated that crime will increase if there is no football this season. Many viewed the statement as ridiculous but is it really? I mean sports has always been a diversion for young males who may otherwise join gangs or run the streets. Imagine if there were no recreation centers or positive sports activites that the youth could be involved in. Where would many of the NFL stars be today if there was never any football?
If you missed the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race course in Baltimore on Saturday, it was a beautiful day for horse racing. Many people were there to see if the Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom could win the second leg of the Triple Crown. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was on hand to give the “riders up” order before the race. The Preakness Stakes was won by Shackleford with Animal Kingdom coming in a close second place.
Even though Jimmy Smith has gotten most of the press coverage, he isn’t the only new cornerback that will be coming to town to play for the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens drafted Chykie Brown to help out at the cornerback position as well. At 5 ‘ 11” and 191 pounds, Chykie Brown will be the second largest cornerback on the Ravens staff besides Jimmy Smith.
Big physical cornerbacks that can press are hard to find and Chykie Brown has experience pressing while at Texas. Getting both Jimmy Smith and Chykie Brown will add a new dimension to the Ravens defense.
Rex Ryan was with the Baltimore Ravens organization for 10 years but did not get offered the head coaching job when it became available. It is rumored that he is still bitter about getting passed over for the position. He is also quoted as saying that he uses that experience as motivation. Despite being one of the most outspoken coaches in the NFL, Rex Ryan has done an amazing job turning around the New York Jets organization as their head coach. Rex Ryan has been recently promoting his new book which is available on Amazon.
It is pretty much obvious that the cornerback position was the highest priority for the Baltimore Ravens going into the 2011 NFL draft. Many NFL draft analysts had the Ravens picking Jimmy Smith in the first round in their mock drafts. Ozzie Newsome, the General Manager of the Ravens, confirmed in a press conference this week that if Smith was not availble he would have drafted another cornerback.
Some of the other cornerbacks that Ravens were eyeballing if Jimmy smith was not availble were Aaron Williams and Ras-I Dowling. Therse two cornerbacks ended up getting drafted in the early 2nd round.
Jimmy Smith, the outstanding cornerback from Colorado, was considered by many NFL draft analysts to be a top ten talent in the 2011 NFL draft. He fell to later rounds due to questions about his character off the field. The Baltimore Ravens who were very interested in drafting Jimmy Smith were able to select him with 27th pick in the draft.
Drafting Jimmy Smith could prove to be the biggest steal in the 2011 NFL draft if Smith lives up to his potential. Based on the interviews I’ve seen, Smith looks like he is sincere in being a role model player for the Ravens. The Ravens have been craving a shutdown corner for the last few years. Now that Ravens have Jimmy Smith covering along with Ed Reed, the Ravens secondary could be a serious force to reckon with.
Most people will agree that the Baltimore Ravens had a pretty good 2011 NFL draft. The Ravens received good 2011 draft grades from most analysts. When analyzing the draft, you also need to pay attention to what the competition is doing. All Ravens fans know that the Pittsburgh Steelers are our biggest competition in the AFC North. So let’s take a look at the Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 NFL draft picks:
Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 NFL Draft Picks
Round 1 – DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State
Round 2 – OT Marcus Gilbert, Florida
Round 3 – CB Curtis Brown, Texas
Round 4 – CB Cortez Allen, Citadel
Round 5 – DE/OLB Chris Carter, Fresno State
Round 6 – OG Keith Williams, Nebraska
Round 7 – RB Baron Batch, Texas Tech
My Analysis: There are several similarities between the Ravens draft picks and the Steelers draft picks. The Steelers fixed some of the same problems that the Ravens attempted to fix in the draft. They picked 2 cornerbacks and so did the Ravens. The Steelers picked a running back in the 7th round of the draft and the Ravens did also. The main difference is that the Ravens picked up 2 wide receivers and a QB while the Steelers chose to focus more on their offensive line and the defensive end position. This makes alot of since for the Steelers since they already have young speedy receivers and a starting quarterback that can still play well even with a bad foot and a broken nose:) Cameron Heyward would have probably been picked by the Ravens if Jimmy Smith was not available in the first round. Most of the 2011 NFL draft analysts gave both the Steelers and the Ravens high grades on their draft picks this year and I agree.