As we put the finishing touches on the 2011 NFL draft, I wanted to pass along some final notes from Day Three of the madness.
I'll have plenty of information on each of the Ravens' picks in the coming days, and will provide an in-depth look at how the front office members and head coach John Harbaugh feel each player will be able to make an impact in Baltimore going forward.
But just to get you through the night and give you a little more background information on the lesser-known guys, I wanted to give a quick look at each of the five guys the Ravens picked today.
Fourth round: Tandon Doss, WR Indiana
Doss was projected by some as a late-second or early third-round pick. He was the second wide receiver the Ravens took in this draft, but they believe he brings different strengths to the table than the ones that Torrey Smith - who they selected in the second round - possess. Doss doesn't stretch the field quite as much as Smith, but he has great hands, a big build and can serve as a nice underneath-to-intermediate receiver. Doss' downside might be his health; he is coming off two sports hernia injuries and had surgery to repair them in December.
"He's 6-2 and over 200 pounds - a very smart kid and can catch very well," general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "We thought he would be a great complement to Torrey and to the other guys, and he adds to the mix."
Fifth round: Chykie Brown, CB, Texas
Brown came to Baltimore with the first of the Ravens' back-to-back fifth-round picks. He has pretty good size at 5-foot-11, 190 lbs., has good athleticism and brings experience playing press coverage. The Ravens feel he has room to develop. Brown's ball skills are not his strong point; he only had two interceptions his entire college career.
"Chykie is a kid that started at corner, played at safety, brings some versatility," Newsome said. "We think he'll be a really good (special) teamer."
Fifth round: Pernell McPhee, DE, Mississippi State
McPhee is likely going to settle in as a defensive end in the Ravens' 3-4 defensive system. He's 6-foot-3, 280 lbs., and is still growing in a developmental sense. McPhee played just one year of high school football, then started at junior college before transferring to Mississippi State. He had two sacks and 10 tackles for loss last season.
"He's relentless - plays very hard," director of player personnel Eric DeCosta said. "We just like his motor, his mentality; he can rush the passer. He's a J.C. kid - there was a lot of upside there."
Sixth round: Tyrod Taylor, QB, Virginia Tech
The Ravens made one thing clear in their post-draft press conference - they drafted Taylor as a quarterback and intend to develop him as one. Taylor has the athleticism to play wide receiver or run the wildcat in the NFL, but he will be groomed as a signal-caller in Baltimore. He threw for more than 2,700 yards and 24 TDs last year, and was named ACC Offensive Player of the Year. Taylor has ability to make plays out of the pocket, but it's unclear if he's a good enough passer inside the pocket to be effective in the pro game.
"We had Cam (Cameron, offensive coordinator) and (offensive assistant) Craig (Ver Steeg) to (view and report on) quarterbacks, and they both felt very high about Tyrod Taylor," Newsome said. "Eric's scouts felt very good about Tyrod and we felt like we could bring in another guy that we could start to develop within our system."
Seventh round: Anthony Allen, RB, Georgia Tech
Allen is a sturdy 6-foot-1, 230 lbs., and posted big numbers last year in a run-dominated offense at Georgia Tech. He transferred from Louisville after playing all 12 games for the Cardinals during the 2007 season, and put up nearly 2,000 rushing yards in two years at Georgia Tech. With his big frame, he could be a nice special teams player, as well.
"We think there's some upside there being that he played in a wishbone (system at Georgia tech)," Newsome said. "Running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery made the statement to us last week when we were in meetings that if we backed this guy up six or seven yards from the ball, then he thinks he could add a lot to us as a running back."