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Super Bowl 2013 rosters shaped by the NFL Draft

A look inside the rosters of this year's Super Bowl teams, the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, shows the importance of successful drafting. While both teams feature free agent acquisitions, the heart of both teams were built through the NFL Draft.


The Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl rosters have a fairly even distribution of players picked from the first round to undrafted free agents. The Ravens' roster is proof of the excellent drafting ability of general manager Ozzie Newsome. A member of the Baltimore front office since 1996, the Baltimore roster was built fully by the Hall of Famer.

As former Ravens scout Daniel Jeremiah points out, everything around Newsome – the owner, head coach, players and facility – has changed. Newsome has been the constant, and Jeremiah noted the drafting philosophy he employs:

I learned that it's important to build a team rather than just collect talent. I also learned the importance of adding tough-minded players. Ozzie always made a point to ask the important questions during NFL draft meetings. These were the two that he repeated most often:

1) "How will he fit in our locker room?"

2) "Does he help us beat the Pittsburgh Steelers?"

The 53-man Baltimore roster consists of 39 players added by Newsome. It features eight first-round picks, with all but one (Matt Birk) being a Newsome choice. Of Baltimore's nine second rounders on the roster, Newsome picked six of them.

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The 2008 draft for Baltimore sticks out. Although only two of the 10 picks Newsome made that year are still on the roster, Joe Flacco and Ray Rice more than make up for the missed choices. That year the Ravens made a push to trade up and select Matt Ryan. Had they been successful, Baltimore likely would have needed to give up the pick used on Rice.

In addition to Rice, Newsome has also made the most of several of his second-round picks. He added starters in Kelechi Osemele this year, Torrey Smith in 2011 and Paul Kruger in 2009.

Although players like Ray Lewis (1996) and Haloti Ngata (2006) were first-round steals for Newsome, he's also hit on undrafted free agents. The team has 13 undrafted players, with linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and kicker Justin Tucker tops among them.

By comparison, San Francisco's Super Bowl roster is much heavier at the top of the draft. The roster is loaded with 15 first rounders, nine of whom were picked by the 49ers. Of the 53 players on the roster, 35 are original 49ers.

The success of the San Francisco 49ers can largely be attributed the talent that was added in 2010 and 2011. General manager Trent Baalke drafted playmakers on both sides of the ball with Aldon Smith, Colin Kaepernick and Chris Culliver in the first three rounds of 2011.

San Francisco's draft in 2010 was nearly as important when the team added starting offensive linemen Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati in the first round and middle linebacker Navorro Bowman in the third. The 49ers were had an extra first-round pick that year after giving up a second- and fourth-round pick the previous year so the Carolina Panthers could take Everette Brown and Mike Goodson.

But the 2007 class is the backbone of the San Francisco roster. Of the past five years of drafts, none may be more impressive than what the 49ers did in 2007. That class features five Super Bowl starters in Patrick Willis (1st), Joe Staley (1st), Ray McDonald (3rd), Dashon Goldson (4th) and Tarell Brown (5th). Willis, Staley and Goldson have all made it to the Pro Bowl, McDonald is a solid piece on the line and Brown is a starter at cornerback.

More: Baltimore Beatdown | Niners Nation

The 2008 draft is a forgettable one for the 49ers. The team has two players on its roster from that year in seventh-round pick Larry Grant and third-round pick Tavares Gooden. Grant is a backup who spent some time in St. Louis before returning to the 49ers. Gooden was actually drafted by Newsome. The 2008 free agent class was much more important for San Francisco when defensive end Justin Smith and linebacker Ahmad Brooks were brought on.

The 49ers' roster also features 12 undrafted players. While most of them are depth players, Alex Boone has turned into a solid starting guard and David Akers is having a down year after a long, solid career.

Baltimore Ravens roster breakdown:

1st rounders - 8
2nd rounders - 9
3rd rounders - 4
4th rounders - 4
5th rounders - 6
6th rounders - 4
7th rounders - 5
Undrafted free agents - 13

San Francisco 49ers roster breakdown:

1st rounders - 15
2nd rounders - 3
3rd rounders - 6
4th rounders - 3
5th rounders - 5
6th rounders - 4
7th rounders - 5
Undrafted free agents - 12


Name Pos Exp College
Anthony Allen RB 2 7th round, 2011, Balt. Georgia Tech
Brendon Ayanbadejo LB 10 UDFA, 2000, Atl. UCLA
Billy Bajema TE 8 7th round, 2005, SF Oklahoma State
Matt Birk C 15 6th round, 1998, Minn. Harvard
Anquan Boldin WR 10 2nd round, 2003, Ariz. Florida State
Chykie Brown CB 2 5th round, 2011, Balt. Texas
Omar Brown S R UDFA, 2012, Balt. Marshall
Josh Bynes LB 1 UDFA, 2011, Balt. Auburn
Terrence Cody NT 3 2nd round, 2011, Balt. Alabama
Sean Considine S 8 4th round, 2005, Phil. Iowa
Morgan Cox C 3 UDFA, 2010, Balt. Tennessee
Ed Dickson TE 3 3rd round, 2010, Balt. Oregon
Tandon Doss WR 2 4th round, 2011, Balt. Indiana
Dannell Ellerbe LB 4 UDFA, 2009, Balt. Georgia
Joe Flacco QB 5 1st round, 2008, Balt. Delaware
Gino Gradkowski G R 4th round, 2012, Balt. Delaware
Corey Graham CB 6 5th round, 2007, Chic. New Hampshire
Bryan Hall DT 1 UDFA, 2011, Balt. Arkansas State
Adrian Hamilton LB R UDFA, 2012, Balt. Prairie View A&M
Ramon Harewood G 3 6th round, 2010, Balt. Morehouse
James Ihedigbo S 6 UDFA, 2007, NYJ Massachusetts
Asa Jackson CB R 5th round, 2012, Balt. Cal Poly
Chris Johnson CB 9 7th round, 2003, GB Louisville
Arthur Jones DE 3 5th round, 2010, Balt. Syracuse
Jacoby Jones WR 6 3rd round, 2007, Hou. Lane
Ma'ake Kemoeatu NT 10 UDFA, 2002, Balt. Utah
Sam Koch P 7 6th round, 2006, Balt. Nebraska
Paul Kruger LB 4 2nd round, 2009, Balt. Utah
Vonta Leach RB 9 UDFA, 2004, GB East Carolina
Ray Lewis LB 17 1st round, 1996, Balt. Miami (FL)
Albert McClellan LB 2 UDFA, 2010, Balt. Marshall
Bryant McKinnie T 11 1st round, 2002, Minn. Miami (FL)
Pernell McPhee DE 2 5th round, 2011, Balt. Mississippi State
Haloti Ngata DT 7 1st round, 2006, Balt. Oregon
Michael Oher T 4 1st round, 2009, Balt. Mississippi
Kelechi Osemele G R 2nd round, 2012, Balt. Iowa State
Bernard Pierce RB R 3rd round, 2012, Balt. Temple
Dennis Pitta TE 3 4th round, 2010, Balt. Brigham Young
Bernard Pollard S 7 2nd round, 2006, KC Purdue
David Reed WR 3 5th round, 2010, Balt. Utah
Ed Reed S 11 1st round, 2002, Balt. Miami (FL)
Ray Rice RB 5 2nd round, 2008, Balt. Rutgers
Jimmy Smith CB 2 1st round, 2011, Balt. Colorado
Torrey Smith WR 2 2nd round, 2011, Balt. Maryland
Terrell Suggs LB 10 1st round, 2003, Balt. Arizona State
Tyrod Taylor QB 2 6th round, 2011, Balt. Virginia Tech
Deonte Thompson WR R UDFA, 2012, Balt. Florida
Justin Tucker K R UDFA, 2012, Balt. Texas
DeAngelo Tyson DE R 7th round, 2012, Balt. Georgia
Courtney Upshaw LB R 2nd round, 2012, Balt. Alabama
Bobbie Williams G 13 2nd round, 2000, Phil. Arkansas
Cary Williams CB 5 7th round, 2010, Tenn. Washburn
Marshal Yanda G 6 3rd round, 2007, Balt. Iowa


Name Pos Exp College
David Akers K 14 UDFA, 1997, Atl. Louisville
Alex Boone G 3 UDFA, 2009, SF Ohio State
NaVorro Bowman LB 3 3rd round, 2010, SF Penn State
Tramaine Brock CB 3 UDFA, 2010, SF Belhaven College
Ahmad Brooks LB 7 3rd round, 2006, Cin. Virginia
Tarell Brown CB 6 5th round, 2007, SF Texas
Garrett Celek TE R UDFA, 2012, SF Michigan State
Perrish Cox CB 2 5th round, 2010, Den. Oklahoma State
Michael Crabtree WR 4 1st round, 2009, SF Texas Tech
Chris Culliver CB 2 3rd round, 2011, SF South Carolina
Anthony Davis T 3 1st round, 2010, SF Rutgers
Leonard Davis G 11 1st round, 2001, Ariz. Texas
Vernon Davis TE 7 1st round, 2006, SF Maryland
Anthony Dixon RB 3 6th round, 2010, SF Mississippi State
Ted Ginn Jr. WR 6 1st round, 2007, Miami Ohio State
Dashon Goldson S 6 4th round, 2007, SF Washington
Tavares Gooden LB 5 3rd round, 2008, Balt. Miami (FL)
Jonathan Goodwin C 11 5th round, 2002, NYJ Michigan
Frank Gore RB 8 3rd round, 2005, SF Miami (FL)
Larry Grant LB 4 7th round, 2008, SF Ohio State
Clark Haggans LB 13 5th round, 2000, Pitt. Colorado State
Chad Hall WR 3 UDFA, 2010, Phil. Air Force
Jewel Hampton RB R UDFA, 2012, SF Southern Illinois
Mike Iupati G 3 1st round 2010, SF Idaho
LaMichael James RB R 2nd round, 2012, SF Oregon
Ricky Jean Francois DT 4 7th round, 2009, SF LSU
A.J. Jenkins WR R 1st round, 2012, SF Illinois
Brian Jennings TE 13 7th round, 2000, SF Arizona State
Tony Jerod-Eddie DT R UDFA, 2012, SF Texas A&M
Cam Johnson LB R 7th round, 2012, SF Virginia
Colin Kaepernick QB 2 2nd round, 2011, SF Nevada
Daniel Kilgore G 2 5th round, 2007, SF Appalachian State
Andy Lee P 9 6th round, 2004, SF Pittsburgh
Joe Looney G R 4th round, 2012, SF Wake Forest
Darcel McBath S 4 2nd round, 2009, Den. Texas Tech
Ray McDonald DT 6 3rd round, 2007, SF Florida
Bruce Miller RB 2 7th round, 2011, SF UCF
Randy Moss WR 14 1st round, 1998, Minn. Marshall
Trenton Robinson S R 6th round, 2012, SF Michigan State
Carlos Rogers CB 8 1st round, 2005, Wash. Auburn
Aldon Smith LB 2 1st round, 2011, SF Missouri
Alex Smith QB 8 1st round, 2005, SF Utah
Justin Smith DT 12 1st round, 2001, Cin. Missouri
Isaac Sopoaga NT 9 4th round, 2004, SF Hawaii
C.J. Spillman S 4 UDFA, 2009, SD Marshall
Joe Staley T 6 1st round, 2007, SF Central Michigan
Scott Tolzien QB 2 UDFA, 2011, SD Wisconsin
Will Tukuafu DT 2 UDFA, 2010, Seattle Oregon
Delanie Walker TE 7 6th round, 2006, SF Central Missouri
Donte Whitner S 7 1st round, 2006, Buff. Ohio State
Michael Wilhoite LB 1 UDFA, 2011, SF Washburn
Ian Williams NT 2 UDFA, 2011, SF Notre Dame
Patrick Willis LB 6 1st round, 2007, SF Mississippi

I urge you to read Jeremiah's full story on how the Ravens' roster was constructed. It offers a lot of insight on how Newsome runs his draft and front office.