With the 35th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select…the newest playmaking, run stopping and sack happy specialist. National Champion Defensive Captain, Courtney Upshaw. Easily a first round talent, Courtney fills a huge hole Baltimore had in its outside linebacker/pass rushing slot. With the loss of Jarret Johnson to the Chargers, Cory Redding to the Colts and the “big blow” news of Terrell Suggs partially tearing his Achilles tendon, Courtney is a young talent with strong knowledge of the game, a quick ability to learn Baltimore’s defensive scheme and a winning attitude from the college level. Playing at the University of Alabama isn’t just a good way to get your name out to NFL scouts it is also one of the top football programs in the country led by Coach, Nick Saban. If any of those defensive gems that were picked in this year’s draft from the University of Alabama, Courtney was right at the top for being most NFL ready. As we all know in Raven Town, Ozzie Newsome will always have a soft spot in his heart for Crimson Tide players, but this year the way he went about getting Courtney was not only a great place for Courtney to be, or just an excellent pick up for the team, it was also a great move from the guys upstairs. Picking him in the second round was one of the biggest steals in the entire draft. Getting him at second round value diminishes his first round cost, Baltimore also picked up an extra fourth round pick (98th overall from the Minnesota Vikings) which they used on one of Eric DeCosta’s favorite “sexy picks” Gino Gradkowski. Finally the most important reason why this was a complete steal is because it only motivates an already highly motivated Upshaw just a little more for being passed on all the way to the early second round. What better news could you possibly hear that a polished pass rushing, hard hitting run stopping first round talent guy slips to an already ferocious Ravens defense in the second round? A class move from Ozzie, and the guys upstairs, and because of that, it will bring Courtney into a winning environment where he can learn from the NFL’s best. Courtney is already a favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year with the playing time he will get, and the players he is playing around. Expect Courtney to fly under the wings of players like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Haloti Ngata and his new future next door neighbor. Terrell Suggs. Ultimately, that will benefit Courtney to the extreme and because of that will make him a very successful player in the NFL for years to come.
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