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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." 

Photo: Getty



Considering Czar only has us as having drafted 5 starter since 2003, I think I'm going to side with Clayton's opinion.

Apart from 2004 draft, I'd say Ozzie has done pretty good since 2003. But 2004 was bad top to bottom. Czar obviously has some sort of grudge against the Ravens, because 3rd worst is just flat wrong. It questions his integrity as a journalist.

National Beat writers always view from a distance. I fail to see where you can reasonably give out a grade to the draft classes of 2006, 2007, or 2008. Pro Bowls are a product of fan hype. I think Ben Grubbs and Haloti Ngata would be prize steals to 31 other teams if they went to free agency. Mark Clayton is not a bust either. When you draft a WR in the top ten, they should be elite. Late first, he has been okay. You would like to see a bit more production, but his numbers are at least within the "okay" ballpark.

2003 and 2004 were all tied to Kyle Boller. He had a few moment to make you think he could stick in the league. BB was more responsible for grabbing him over Ozzie. Ozzie should have stuck to his guns and said "No". They gave up the next first round pick (Patriots select Vince Wilfolk) and the second round pick (WR who no longer plays in the NFL).

It is the reason why I say you always keep your draft picks if you a good drafting team. They could have stayed in the second round that season and drafted Anquan Boldin amoung other selections.

Czar has laways had it out for the Ravens...We all now what came of the world's last Czar....

2003 - Suggs, J Johnson, Ovie, Pashos

2004 - sucked

2005 - Clayton, Terry, J Brown

2006 - Ngata, Chester, Sypniewski

2007 - Grubbs, Yanda, McClain

2008 - Flacco, Rice, Nakamura, Zbikowski

Granted these aren't superstars, but they have contributed or lost in FA

correction, "these ALL aren't superstars"

It is also important to take into account that a number of players were starters before being offered large contracts by other teams. That does not mean that they are bad picks.

The 2004 draft was a huge clunker.

That fox article was LOUSY, it only mentioned Terrell Suggs as being one of our hits because he was the only one to make a Pro Bowl, he actually got that wrong too as McClain made it last year. He failed to mention Jason Brown, who got a huge contract with the Rams cause he played solidly here, or Haloti Ngata who has been a beast. There's also Sam Koch, Gaither, and Grubbs, not mention last years draft. I wouldn't classify Mark Clayton as a bust either, he hasn't been consistent but he has contributed.

The 04 draft was lousy though and Boller was a big miss no argument there but Ozzie has been remarkably solid since 2003.

Czar writes for fox. Fox is the right-wing news. Bush is right wing. And apparently "Bush hates black people." There are lots of black people in Baltimore.

This means fox dislikes black people because leaders of their fanbase also dislike black people, which means they hate baltimore, which means that Czar, who works for fox, also hates baltimore (and also black people - Ozzie, the awesome African American GM anyone?)

Or he's just a complete dip$#!t.

Whether you moderate this out or not, I still had fun writing it. Though rereading it I'm actually a little disturbed to think that my line of reasoning may be correct, and that Czar may actually be a racist @##hole.

Don forgets his Ravens history. Billick was not responsible for drafting Boller. He may have liked him but Ozzie did as well. Ozzie had Leftwich as his first choice and Boller as his second choice. When Ozzie failed to complete the deal with the Vikings to move up and get Leftwich, he went after his second choice. The team had no other viable option at quarterback

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