By Matt Vensel
10:02 PM PDT, April 27, 2012
Ravens end a run on offensive linemen
The Ravens, who have said all offseason that they would like to improve their offensive line, watched as a run on offensive linemen unfolded between their two picks in the second round.
Two picks after the Ravens drafted Upshaw at pick No. 37, the Cleveland Browns selected California offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz. Three picks later, the Carolina Panthers took Midwestern State guard Amini Silatolu. In the next two picks, the Buffalo Bills drafted Georgia guard/tackle Cordy Glenn and the Miami Dolphins drafted Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin.
Among the seven offensive linemen selected by the time the Ravens were back on the clock at the end of the second round were Wisconsin center Peter Konz (Atlanta Falcons) and Ohio State tackle Mike Adams (Pittsburgh Steelers). Both had been linked to the Ravens in mock drafts.
With the 60th pick, the Ravens ended the run with Iowa State guard/tackle Kelechi Osemele.
On a media conference call, he said it was frustrating to wait so long for his name to be called.
“I’ll just use that as a motivator, more than anything, to help fuel me when I first get in there, and try to prove everybody wrong, prove the naysayers wrong,” Osemele told Baltimore media.
Ravens pass on receivers early
Team officials had publicly stated that they wanted to address the offensive line, pass rush and receiving corps during the draft. They took care of those first two needs in the second round of the draft, but after the third ended Friday, they still hadn’t taken a wide receiver.
Four wideouts were selected in the first round and five more in the second. With the first pick in the second round, the St. Louis Rams drafted Appalachian State’s Brian Quick. With the final pick in the round, the New York Giants reeled in LSU's Rueben Randle. Drafted in between were Stephen Hill (New York Jets), Alshon Jeffery (Chicago Bears) and Ryan Broyles (Detroit Lions).Through the first three rounds, 13 receivers have been taken.
Despite the early run on receivers, Newsome said that strong options remain on their board.
“We feel like there’s some receivers left on the board that we think can come in and compete with the guys that we have on our roster,” Newsome said.
Pierce ready for short yardage
With the 84th pick, the Ravens selected Temple running back Bernard Pierce. Pierce is expected to compete with second-year running back Anthony Allen for the backup spot behind Pro Bowl back Ray Rice. Pierce, 21, left Temple after his junior season. He finished second in school history with 3,570 rushing yards and his 663 rushing attempts were third all-time at Temple.
At 6-foot and 218 pounds, Pierce is a big-bodied back. On a conference call, he said he would welcome getting the ball in short-yardage situations -- an area the Ravens can improve upon.
"I'm a big back," Pierce said. "I'm not going to down easy. I'm going to fight for every yard."
First round wheeling and dealing
On Thursday night, for the fifth time in seven years, the Ravens traded their first-round pick. But they were not alone. There were a record 19 trades in the first round of this year’s draft.
The previous high was 15 trades in the first round of the 1995. One of those trades happened when the Cleveland Browns traded their first-rounder to the San Francisco 49ers in a package that included the 26th overall pick in the 1996 draft. The Browns, of course, moved to Baltimore a year later and the Ravens selected Miami inside linebacker Ray Lewis with that pick.
Newsome said that the Ravens still have centers that they like remaining on their board. … Harbaugh said that Upshaw will be in the mix on special teams. … Harbaugh believes that Osemele can play both tackle and guard for the Ravens. … The Bengals selected Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still, wide receiver Mohamed Sanu and Clemson defensive tackle Brandon Thompson. … In addition to Schwartz, the Browns selected Cincinnati defensive tackle John Hughes. … Pittsburgh drafted Adams and Miami outside linebacker Sean Spence.
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