Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta and friends have added a couple of pieces to the Ravens toolbox. Using a formula that may be more closely guarded than the ingredients of Coca-Cola the NFL has awarded the Ravens a pair of compensatory picks for this years draft. And why is that you ask? Here’s where it gets a little muddy.
Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. The formula was developed by the NFL Management Council. Not every free agent lost or signed by a club is covered by this formula. This year the NFL awarded 32 picks to 15 teams in rounds 3 through 7.
The Raiders were the only team to get a 3rd round pick they also got a 4th and 5th round choice. Green Bay got two 4th round pick and two more in the 7th round. The Ravens got the best of it in the AFC North, Pittsburgh gets three 7th round picks, Cleveland 4 picks, two in both the 6th and 7th rounds and Cincinnati was shutout.
For losing the likes of Chris Chester, Dontae Stallworth, Josh Wilson and Dwan Landry the Ravens get a 4th and 5th round pick. It may not sound like much but Ozzie Newsome has turned those middle round picks into some pretty good football players. Just look at last years draft, 5th round pick Pernell McPhee had a terrific rookie season. Tandon Doss and Chykie Brown taken in the 4th and 5th rounds respectively made the team but got limited playing time.
Here are my top 10 Ravens drafted in the 4th and 5th rounds.
- Jarrett Johnson 4th, 2003. When they say “play like a Raven” this guy defined it. For 9 years “Double J” gave the Ravens everything he had and he was Ripken-like with all those consecutive games.
- Jermaine Lewis 5th, 1996. Somewhat forgotten in the same draft that brought Hall of Famers Jon Ogden and Ray Lewis. Jermaine Lewis, a 2-time Pro Bowl pick, is the greatest kick returner in Ravens history with the greatest play in Ravens history. He was a pretty good target with nearly 800 receiving yards and over 19 yards a catch in 1998.
- Edwin Mulitalo 4th, 1999. He started for 8 years at left guard including the Super XXXV win over the Giants. He and Ogden made the Ravens left side one of the best in the NFL and paved the way for Jamal Lewis’s 2,066 yard 2003 season.
- Jeff Mitchell 4th, 1997. The Ravens stating center in their Super Bowl season. Also a 5-year starter with Carolina and part of their Super Bowl run.
- Ed Hartwell 4th, 2001. Spent 4 years in Baltimore, 3 as a starting linebacker. Lead the Ravens in tackles with 144 in 2002.
- Brandon Stokley 4th, 1999. Still playing after all these years. He has two of the most famous catches in Ravens history. He ended the 2000 Ravens 5 game TD drought in Cincinnati and got the party started in Tampa with the first TD of Super Bowl XXXV.
- Jason Brown 4th, 2005. Three year starter for the Ravens at left guard and center before heading to the Rams for a big pile of money. He’s only missed 2 starts in the last 5 years.
- Aubrayo Franklin 5th, 2003. Just a role player in his 4 years with the Ravens but his career took off when Mike Nolan brought him to San Francisco.
- Ovie Mughelli 4th, 2003. This draft had Jarrett Johnson, Mughelli, Aubrayo Franklin and Tony Pashos all going in the 4th and 5th rounds, nice haul! Ovie a solid fullback in Baltimore and Atlanta.
- Dennis Pitta, 4th, 2010. Liked what we saw of the young tight end in ’11. Good red zone target, career just getting started.
Other solid picks in the 4th and 5th rounds include Arthur Jones, fullback LeRon McClain, starting safety Dwan Landry and punter Dave Zastudil. With all due respect to the Ravens excellent front office not all their picks in these rounds were breathtaking. A moment of silence please for Richard Mercier, Ryan Sutter, Chris Barnes, Ron Johnson, Rodrick Green, Troy Smith, Marcus Smith, and Davon Drew.
The Ravens will have eight picks in this years seven rounds. They traded a 4th round pick to Buffalo for Lee Evans, ouch! The Ravens will pick in every round including two in the 5th, history tells us they’ll bring some good football players to Baltimore.
The first round will be held on Thursday, April 26 and begin at 8 p.m. ET. The second and third rounds are set for Friday, April 27 at 7 p.m. ET followed by rounds 4-7 on Saturday, April 28 at noon ET.