As I mentioned in a previous post, Ravens director of player personnel Eric DeCosta was on "Norris & Davis" this morning to discuss the NFL draft. He was also asked about Sergio Kindle and Terrence Cody -- the team's top two draft picks last April -- and starting quarterback Joe Flacco.
DeCosta made some interesting comments about Flacco in his interview with 105.7 The Fan's Ed Norris and Steve Davis. But I was curious to see what he had to say about Kindle and Cody, two players drafted by DeCosta and GM Ozzie Newsome who were labeled as busts last summer before the season had even started.
Kindle is a player many are wondering about because he didn't play at all last season after he tumbled down a flight of stairs the week before training camp. Then, in December, he was charged with a DUI, an arrest that put his career in jeopardy, but the Ravens are giving him another chance to prove himself.
DeCosta said he isn't sure if the Ravens will get anything from Kindle after the second-rounder pick suffered a serious head injury during his July accident, but he thinks the linebacker is talented and "very hungry."
"Obviously, we had high expectations for him as well and we’re very disappointed how things transpired," DeCosta said. "I’ll tell you this: He’s made progress. I’ve had the chance to see him actually work out at our facility and he’s getting better. And I don’t know what that means for the future. I’m not a doctor, and I can’t speak for our trainers and doctors, but I know Sergio is very hungry. He’s obviously a very talented kid with a lot of ability to play the game of football. And if we can somehow get him out there, that helps our team very much."
While discussing how talent evaluators spend time at the scouting combine staring at prospects in their underwear, the subject naturally switched to Cody, who doesn't exactly look like Adonis with his shirt off.
"To play [the nose tackle] position, you’ve got to be a built a certain way," DeCosta said, referencing former Ravens defensive linemen Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams. "Gravity takes its toll, let’s say. It helps you play low to the ground. Gravity sort of sinks you down and things start to sag and droop a little bit."
Yeah, just a little bit.
DeCosta continued, saying that Cody is a player the Ravens are "very high on."
"He finished the season very strong for us and made some big plays, particularly in that Chiefs game and we’re very excited to see what he can do next year," he said.
Later, DeCosta was asked about Flacco, who was backed by John Harbaugh on "Norris & Davis" last week.
"I think he’s probably one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the league," DeCosta said. "Do I think he needs to improve? Sure. But so do I. So do our coaches and our scouts and the people selling suites. Everybody does. Can he play? Sure. Would we like him to play better? Sure. But looking back on it, he’s one of the better quarterbacks in the league. Is he one of the elite guys? Probably not. Is he Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? No.
"I saw Matt Cassel play against the Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs. He was a Pro Bowl quarterback. And who would you rather have: Joe Flacco or Matt Cassel? [Cassel is] making $60 million this year."
I don't know about you, but I'm talking Flacco even if the money is equal.
DeCosta said that while Flacco is "going to get better and better and better," it's up to the Ravens to surround him with more talent if they want to win another Lombardi Trophy.
"Not all of our draft picks have panned out, for sure," DeCosta said. "And we need better players, and when we have better players around Joe Flacco, I think you’ll see a better quarterback and you’ll see a better team and you’ll see a team that’s able to go in and beat Pittsburgh when we need to beat Pittsburgh and challenge for the Super Bowl."