With the 2011 NFL Draft in the books, inevitably the immediate grades have come out. While they are a lot of fun to pick over, deep down we all know that it takes at least three years for a draft to develop. So with three years of game time experience lets look at the 2008 class. We'll take a look at each team's class individually, as a whole, and take a look at what they were saying immediately after the 2008 draft.
Hopefully, you've already gone over the Cardinals and Falcons 2008 drafts, now we head over to Maryland for the Ravens!
Round 1: 18(18) Joe Flacco QB Delaware Grade: A+
- Just like Atlanta, when you find your QB of the future, it makes your whole draft that much better.
Round 2: 24(55) Ray Rice RB Rutgers Grade: A
- People were worried about his size, now they are just worried he'll produce all over their defense.
Round 3: 8(71) Tavares Gooden LB Miami(FL) Grade: B+
- A good linebacker who works in rotation along the Ravens 3-4 front.
Round 3: 23(86) Tom Zbikowski S Notre Dame Grade: B+
- He gets more pub for his recent boxing success, but he has been a good role player for the defense as well.
Round 3: 36(99) Oniel Cousins OG UTEP Grade: C+
- Played in all 16 games last season, but with only 1 start and 4 career starts. A much needed backup, but not a starter and should be better based on draft round.
Round 4: 7(106) Marcus Smith WR New Mexico Grade: D
- A special teamer who hasn't caught his first NFL pass yet.
Round 4: 34(133) David Hale OT Weber State Grade: F
- No longer in NFL
Round 6: 40(206) Haruki Nakamura S Cincinnati Grade: B+
- A non-starter who doesn't get his hands on a lot of passes, but makes an impact on special teams and is second in line to see the field.
Round 7: 8(215) Justin Harper WR Virginia Tech Grade: D-
- Another WR who has yet to catch his first NFL pass, but doesn't play special teams.
Round 7: 33(240) Allen Patrick RB Oklahoma Grade: F
- No Longer in NFL
1 Pro Bowler, 4 Starters, and 2 Back-ups - Acquiring Flacco and Rice makes this a really strong draft, but they missed on as many picks as they connected on.
Overall Draft Grade: A-
Here is what Mel Kiper had to say after the 2008 Draft:
Baltimore Ravens: GRADE: B
The Ravens wanted Matt Ryan, but Joe Flacco was the next-best quarterback in this draft. The Ravens made a great deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars that got them three additional picks. They also traded down and still were able to get running back Ray Rice in the second round. The Ravens need to start bringing in young linebackers and Miami's Tavares Gooden had a very good 2007 season. Tom Zbikowski is a good third-round choice, but only if his play resembles what he did in 2006 as opposed to 2007. Oniel Cousins is a versatile offensive lineman and WR Marcus Smith will help on special teams in kick coverage and as a returner. Safety Haruki Nakamura and RB Allen Patrick might have to make this roster by performing on special teams.
Here is what Pete Prisco had to say:
Best pick: Third-round pick Tavares Gooden was the best defender on a Miami defense that included two players picked higher than him. Ray Lewis has a fellow from The U. he can take under his wing.
Questionable move: Trading up to get quarterback Joe Flacco. They probably could have stayed at 26 and still landed him. Plus, Brian Brohm and Chad Henne were better options.
Second-day gem: Safety Tom Zbikowski, a third-round pick, is one of those players who will find his way onto the field. He will be a special-teams star -- bare minimum.
Overall grade: C. They reached for Flacco and I didn't really like the pick of Ray Rice in the second round.