Ravens make up for late start with Kindle & Cody
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — After waiting a day to make a pick in the NFL draft, the Baltimore Ravens went on the defensive Friday night.
Baltimore took Texas linebacker Sergio Kindle with the 43rd overall selection, one of three picks obtained from Denver during the first round Thursday. Kindle is a 6-foot-3, 250-pounder whom the Ravens will be counting on to improve a pass rush that was inconsistent last season.
"I get to the quarterback, man. That's my deal," Kindle said.
Later in the second round, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome snared Alabama defensive tackle Terrence Cody with the 57th overall pick. The 6-5, 350-pound Cody will serve in a rotation with Haloti Ngata and Kelly Gregg in the middle of Baltimore's sizable defensive line.
"Getting younger on defense is something we wanted to do," Newsome said. "To be able to rush the passer is what Sergio can do for us. To be able to stop the run, that's Cody can do."
In the third round, the Ravens selected tight end Ed Dickson of Oregon with the 70th overall pick — which also came from Denver.
"Right now we only have two tight ends on the roster," Newsome noted. "To be able to get Ed Dickson to add to that stable of guys was another need. So, not only did we target some guys, but we were able to meet some needs."
Baltimore didn't make a pick in the first round Thursday after trading the 25th overall selection to the Broncos for the 43rd, 70th and 114th picks. Newsome said he made the trade because the Ravens entered the draft with only five picks after trading two to Arizona for wide receiver Anquan Boldin and a fifth-rounder.
Having seven picks instead of five was a plus. Unfortunately, it made for a boring first round.
"It feels a little empty," Newsome said of the experience.
The Ravens shuffled their board Friday and attacked the draft anew.
"We treated today as the first day of the draft," said Eric DeCosta, the Ravens director of player personnel.
Newsome said the team wasn't interested in moving up the board "because we felt like we were going to get a good player."
That pick turned out to be Kindle, who played defensive end for the Longhorns in 2009 and should provide the Ravens with a pass rusher to help Terrell Suggs and Trevor Pryce. He will begin his pro career as an outside linebacker behind Jarret Johnson, who had six of Baltimore's 32 sacks last year.
In a conference call, Kindle said, "I'm getting rookie of the year." He couldn't contain his excitement about working on a defense with Suggs and middle linebacker Ray Lewis, who announced Baltimore's first pick of the 2010 NFL draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
"You've got Suggs coming out the edge, me on the other side, Ray in the middle and Ed Reed in back," Kindle said. "Ain't no getting past the first three levels. We're going to shut it down."
Newsome dismissed rumors that Kindle dropped in the draft because of a knee injury. Kindle said he didn't expect the knee to be an issue, and insisted that two traffic mishaps — a 2007 DWI arrest and a 2009 crash while he was texting — should be of no concern.
"The Lord put me through those situations to learn and to make me the man I am today," Kindle said.
Cody was projected by many to be a first-rounder, but his massive size (he once weighed 400 pounds) might have scared away some potential suitors. Newsome, however, pointed out that Cody has dropped significant pounds since the Senior Bowl.
"He understands that in order for him to have longevity in the league, controlling his weight is as important to him as it is to us," Newsome said.
Dickson is a 6-4, 249-pounder who caught 120 passes for 1,512 yards and 12 touchdowns over the past three seasons for the Ducks. He's expected to provide Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco another target to go with Boldin, Derrick Mason, Donte' Stallworth, Mark Clayton and veteran tight end Todd Heap.
"He's very athletic. He can stretch the field, he's got very good hands and is a big target," DeCosta said of Dickson. "We think he's got loads of promise as a receiving tight end. He's got a great guy to learn from in Todd Heap, and hopefully he and Joe will develop a very strong chemistry."
After waiting a day to get in on the action, DeCosta was delighted with his work Friday night.
"We got guys that we wouldn't want to play against," he said. "The guys all have a dominant trait in some respect. They do different things very well."