- Pictures: Ravens 2012 draft picks
- Mike Preston looks at what's next for the Ravens
- Preston: How the Ravens settled on Upshaw
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Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama: Ravens GM and 'Bama alum Ozzie Newsome saves free-falling Upshaw -- once considered a potential Top 10 pick -- who can clearly play the game effectively even if he is a bit of a 'tweener at 6-2, 272 pounds. The pick makes sense after Baltimore let OLB Jarret Johnson walk. Yet Upshaw could be an even more formidable force opposite 2011 defensive MVP Terrell Suggs. Upshaw is the fifth Tide player selected in the draft's top 35 spots.
Kelechi Osemele, OL, Iowa State: Stout run blocker looks like he'll play inside at the pro level, and that works perfectly for the Ravens, who failed to re-sign G Ben Grubbs during free agency.
Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple: Baltimore definitely needs depth behind Ray Rice, but don't expect Pierce to see the ball much any time soon barring an injury or holdout.
Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News thought the Ravens and Falcons did good business in the second round:
Baltimore and Atlanta were among four teams (along with New Orleans and Oakland) that didn't have a first-round pick. They both made up for lost time and picks in Day 2.
The Ravens came away with a potential Jarret Johnson replacement in outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw at No. 35, a much-needed powerful guard in Kelechi Osemele at No. 60 and running back insurance for Ray Rice in Bernard Pierce at No. 84.
The Falcons used their picks on big center Peter Konz at No. 55 and bigger tackle Lamar Holmes at No. 91 to upgrade in front of quarterback Matt Ryan.
The teams also traded with each other to help each other. Ozzie Newsome and Thomas Dimitroff showed off their personnel aptitude again.
Don Banks of Sports Illustrated believes the Ravens will know where to play Upshaw:
The primary drawback that seemed to knock Alabama outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw down into the early stages of the second round was some confusion about just where he best fit in the NFL: at linebacker or defensive end. But the Ravens have no such doubts about where they want him to line up. They've been looking for a complementary outside linebacker-edge rusher opposite of Terrell Suggs for a while now, and took Texas outside linebacker Sergio Kindle in 2010's second round with that role in mind. Kindle hasn't worked out so far, but Baltimore has much higher hopes for Upshaw, who went 35th overall, third in the second round.
Chad Reuter of the NFL Network was impressed with the Ravens' decision to move out of the first round:
Fans of the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens might be disappointed that their teams opted out of the first night of drafting, but these were smart moves.
The Ravens moved down just six spots (from 29 to 35) and gained an early fourth-round selection from the Minnesota Vikings in the process. They'll likely pick up a similar player -- if not the same -- early on Friday night than they would've if they stayed put.