Baltimore Ravens Draft Grades: Looking Back at the 2012 NFL Draft

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Sep 15, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens guard Kelechi Osemele (72) prepares to block Cleveland Browns linebacker Barkevious Mingo (51) during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens won 14 – 6. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Common thought indicates that you can’t truly scrutinize an NFL team’s draft choices until three full seasons have passed.  While there is no magic measuring stick for draft success, it’s widely thought that if a player doesn’t fully develop after three seasons, it just isn’t going to happen.  The same time frame has always been a measurement for wide receivers in particular (though that trend appeared to end last season).

Now that three years have passed since the 2012 NFL Draft took place, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at how the Ravens truly made out as we head into the final countdown for the 2015 draft.  For a team that has historically done a fantastic job drafting players, developing them, and keeping them (when reasonably priced), I must say that 2012 wasn’t Ozzie Newsome’s shining moment.

That isn’t to say the Ravens didn’t find a couple of gems in the draft.  We’ll just say that it pales in comparison to some of their other work, including the 2011 draft that saw the Ravens bring in Jimmy Smith, Torrey Smith, and Pernell McPhee.  But at least they didn’t pass up Rob Gronkowski for Sergio Kindle, as they did in 2010 (ouch).

Without further ado, here are the Baltimore Ravens draft grades for the 2012 NFL Draft:

Courtney Upshaw: Round 2, 35th Overall

Nov 24, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Josh Cribbs (16) gets tackled by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Courtney Upshaw (91) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

After trading out of the first round, the Ravens still got a player considered to have first round talent at the time. Upshaw has not yet lived up to the pass rushing potential he showed at Alabama, but the Ravens have indicated that he might be asked to do more than set the edge in 2015.  Still, he’s more than done his job on defense over the last three seasons, providing good value for a second round pick.

Grade: B+

Kelechi Osemele: Round 2, 60th Overall

Oct 20, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Baltimore Ravens guard Kelechi Osemele (72) blocks Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel (99) during the first half at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The best selection of the draft for the Ravens, in my opinion anyway.  Osemele has been one of the best guards in the NFL since he entered the league.  The Ravens offensive line just wasn’t the same in 2013 when he was out with a back injury (though Gino Gradkowki’s poor play contributed to that as well).  If Osemele plays anything like he did in 2014 this season, he’s going to get paid mega bucks in free agency.

Grade: A+

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