Alternative to Fox's lousy Ravens' report card
Well, now my head is just starting to hurt.
Earlier this week, I passed along a link from Fox Sports in which John Czarnecki reviewed each team's draft since 2003 and handed out grades. He gave the Ravens a C-. Only two teams in the NFL received a worse score (Jacksonville and Detroit were both slapped with Ds. Yes, the Ravens were just slightly better than Detroit. The Detroit Lions.)
So armed with Czarnecki's bullet-proof synopsis, you surely spent the past couple of days stewing, wondering why Ozzie & Co. haven't investing in a Drafting for Dummies book or something. And then along comes John Clayton to confuse us all.
Even though the Fox report made it clear that the Ravens took the short bus to drafting school, Clayton files a report that anoints Ozzie Newsome as the top draft evaluator in the league -- ahead of his counterparts with the Colts and the Patriots and even the Lions.
Here's a snippet from the Clayton piece:
As a player, he was known as the Wizard of Oz, a Hall of Fame tight end who was hard to stop. As a drafter, he's a master of finding the right players. Newsome built one of the greatest defenses in NFL history, starting with middle linebacker Ray Lewis.
Normally, Newsome drafts players from major colleges, but, in typical Newsome fashion, he went against his profile to find the right quarterback for the Ravens. Last year, he took Joe Flacco out of Delaware. The Ravens won 11 games, and Flacco appears to be the quarterback who can challenge Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers.
These are two veteran writers -- both among the elite group of Pro Football Hall of Fame voters -- who somehow see the world in wildly different colors. I feel like I'm flipping back and forth between MSNBC and Fox News on Inauguration Day.
I won't tell you which report to trust. But I will point out that in our little poll to right of your screen, which asks fans what they think the Ravens should do in this weekend's draft, as of this morning, nearly one in three respondents has selected, "Whatever Ozzie Newsome wants."