Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia.
Playing the role of Baltimore Ravens general manager is Larry Soprano. Here is his rationale for selection of Houston:
With head coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco at the helm, the Ravens have enjoyed winning and playoff runs the past three seasons. I believe Baltimore has the pieces to continue that success and make a Super Bowl run. That being said, they do have some holes and need areas to shore up in their lineup in order to maintain their position as perennial contender in the AFC North.
They have potential free agent losses at the cornerback position as well as age concerns for their wide receiver corps and their front seven. Even an upgrade on the offensive line could be warranted with center Matt Birk entering his twilight years, the uncertainty of Michael Oher's ability to anchor the LT position, and tackles Jared Gaither and Marshall Yanda being unrestricted FAs.
For the second year in a row I get to play GM Ozzie Newsome, a man looked upon in the same light by the Baltimore faithful as we look upon our GM Jerry Reese. Their slogan is "in Ozzie we trust." Ozzie typically doesn't draft just for need. I personally feel that CB Brandon Harris, OT Derek Sherod, LB Martez Wilson, and WR Jonathan Baldwin would all be adequate selections to help fill those needs, but they are not the best player remaining on the board at this time. That would be OLB Justin Houston.
Justin Houston provides Baltimore with the prototypical size, speed, and athleticism to make an immediate impact on their defensive front. Houston enjoyed solid production in college posting 10 sacks and 18.5 TFL in Georgia's 3-4 defense in 2010. His draft stock has risen after tearing up the combine and his pro day. Paired across the line from OLB Terrell Suggs, Houston has the potential to help solidify an already intimidating defense for the Ravens for years to come.
My take: Luv ya, Larry, but I am going to have to disagree with you here. Justin Houston is a good player and not a bad pick for the Ravens, but if your logic is simply that he is the best player available I think you are open to a huge argument there. Harris, Sherrod, Baldwin, Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget, Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph, Temple defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, maybe even Penn State center Stefen Wisniewski are in that conversation. Given this choice I believe the Ravens look for the best marriage of need and value and wind up taking whichever offensive lineman or defensive back is highest on their board.
NOTE: My son is going to bow out of the remaining part of the draft, meaning the three selections for New England are now up for grabs. What I would like to do is have a different person make each of those selection to give some of you who got shut out of a pick a chance to participate. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want in.
-- 'pataroons' is now on the clock with Atlanta's selection at 27.
|19||N.Y. Giants||Akeem Ayers
||The Blood Of Eli
|29||Chicago||You're my boy, Blue|
New York Jets
|48||Oakland||G Fan In England
|52||N.Y. Giants||Ed Valentine|
||The Blood Of Eli|
||You're my boy, Blue|