Published April 30, 2012
| Sports Network
2 - Courtney Upshaw, DE, Alabama (6-2, 272); 2 - Kelechi Osemele, OG, Iowa State (6-6, 333); 3 - Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple (6-0, 218); 4 - Gino Gradkowski, C, Delaware (6-3, 299); 4 - Christian Thompson, S, South Carolina State (6-0, 211); 5 - Asa Jackson, CB, Cal Poly (5-10, 191); 6 - Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami-Florida (6-5, 219); 7 - DeAngelo Tyson, DT, Georgia (6-2, 315)
Top Picks Analysis: The Ravens were able to trade out of the first round and still manage to land the player they might have had their sights set on with their original pick at No. 29. Upshaw was one of this draft's biggest sliders after struggling mightily in agility drills at the combine, but the Defensive MVP of this past season's BCS National Championship Game is a powerful pass rusher with an advanced array of moves who can be utilized as either a down lineman or standing up as a 3-4 linebacker. Baltimore then obtained a potential replacement for departing left guard Ben Grubbs in Osemele, an oversized college tackle with great length and natural strength who needs some technical refinement and carries some questions about his work ethic. Baltimore moved up in the third round for Pierce, a balanced big back with cutback ability who'll take over for the retired Ricky Williams as Ray Rice's main caddy.
Best Value Pick: Streeter is a junior eligible who probably should have stayed in school after starting just one season in college, but the Miami native has the tools to develop into a starting-caliber receiver who can stretch the field with outstanding straight-line speed over time.
Questionable Calls: Though Streeter has a lot of upside, a more experienced receiver capable of contributing immediately would have served the Ravens better in next season's quest for a Super Bowl, and a five-technique end that can help offset the free-agent loss of Cory Redding is still on the wish list following this draft.
Summary: Another strong assemblage of young talent by general manager Ozzie Newsome and player personnel director Eric DeCosta. Upshaw suits what the Ravens like to do defensively, Osemele has starter's skills and Pierce fills a big hole as a backup running back. Plus Baltimore got a receiver with talent and brought in possible heirs apparent to aging stars Matt Birk and Ed Reed with the fourth-round selections of small-school prospects Gradkowski and Thompson.
FINAL GRADE: B