The Baltimore Ravens selected Alabama’s OLB Courtney Upshaw 35th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. This is a great pick for so many reasons and should fit in perfectly with the Ravens 4-3 scheme.
Courtney Upshaw is very similar to Terrell Suggs and should take over the spot left by Jarret Johnson who joined the San Diego Chargers during free agency. Upshaw is a very physical, tough, and smart football player who’s not afraid to smack you in the mouth. The Ravens have been looking for a pass rusher opposite of Suggs for awhile now and have seem to found him in Alabama’s Upshaw. They hoped that Sergio Kindle could fill that role after drafting him in 2010 but a head injury prevented him from playing for the past two years. Upshaw shows great technique when rushing the passer and has heavy hands that allow him to pull a variety of pass rushing moves on unsuspecting tackles.
The other thing that makes this pick so great is the fact that the Ravens were able to trade back and still nab him while gaining a 4th round pick from the Vikings. Upshaw was considered a first round talent by many and the Ravens got him in the second. It’s another testament to the genius of GM Ozzie Newsome.