After the fourth round of the 2012 NFL draft Saturday, Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron made a cameo at the introductory press conference for Courtney Upshaw, Kelechi Osemele and Bernard Pierce. In addition to Kelechi, an Iowa State offensive lineman, and Pierce, the big Temple back, the Ravens had just drafted him another offensive player in Delaware center Gino Gradkowski.
Cameron was pleased with what general manager Ozzie Newsome had done at that point. He liked the selection of Pierce, though he said that the team is still high on Anthony Allen and Damien Berry. As Cameron said, “we’ve now got three really good young backs” in addition to Pro Bowl back Ray Rice. And he believes the versatile Osemele and Gradkowski will be in the mix for playing time right away.
“It’s competition across the board,” Cameron said. “Jah Reid [is] a tackle but can play guard. Kelechi played some guard at the Senior Bowl, which was the first time we got to see him there because he’d pretty much been a tackle. But good player. Like he said, he’s tough, he can move his feet, he’s athletic. Jah can move his feet, he’s athletic. We’ll find a way to get both of those guys in the lineup.”
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He raved also raved about Gradkowski, saying he won’t have to adjust his style of play one bit to fit in with the Ravens.
“If he’s half as good as the last guy from Delaware, we’re going to be all right,” Cameron said, a nod to quarterback Joe Flacco.
At that point, the Ravens hadn’t addressed the receiver position, but Cameron said that if they were to draft one, size wouldn’t be as big of a deal to him as was catching radius and play-making ability, but he noted that “big throwing to big is tough to stop.” Hours later, the Ravens drafted 6-foot-4 Miami speedster Tommy Streeter. He fits the description that Cameron had been talking about.
The Ravens probably aren’t done making moves. As Cameron pointed out, they have added players as late in the season as training camp -- they added left tackle Bryant McKinnie and wide receiver Lee Evans during training camp last year -- and the roster isn’t final until the week before the 2012 season.
“We like our guys. We like our tight ends, we like our backs, we like our receivers,” Cameron said, sounding a little like Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. “I think everyone knows the philosophy here. We want to bring in good, versatile, physical, tough-minded guys that can do a lot of things. We’ll take good football players.”