3. The front office sets contingency’s in place in case Jimmy Smith can’t play right away or gets injured again:
Jimmy Smith when healthy is no question one of the top five cornerbacks in the league. He can play just about every team’s number one wide receiver and make them a non-factor. The only problem is, he hasn’t exactly been healthy the last couple of seasons. And when Smith isn’t on the field, it’s quite noticeable. The defense is a completely different unit when number 22 goes down. In his final draft, Ozzie made sure that, if history repeats itself and Smith goes down with yet another injury, the coaching staff has a backup plan.
It wouldn’t be an Ozzie Newsome draft if there wasn’t an Alabama player in the draft class. Cornerback Anthony Averett was the first of two picks to come from Alabama. What Averett lacks in size he makes up for in speed. A good amount of people had Averett graded as a second-round talent. And the Ravens stole him in the fourth with the 118th pick.
The sixth round came and Ozzie had yet another home run pick in Texas safety Deshon Elliot. If you watched Elliot at Texas you would be surprised as I, and a lot of other people were to see him still available in round six. Elliot was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award given to college football’s best defensive back. He was also voted first team All-Big 12. Elliot had seven interceptions over the last two seasons at Texas. Primarily Elliot is a box safety. Think Miami Dolphin’s safety Reshad Jones as a pro comparison. The Texas DB was a great tackler in his time with the Longhorns. Expect him to be just as reliable in the Ravens secondary, as he was for Texas.
Ozzie Newsome added to an already comfortable secondary. And he did so adding two great players and it only cost him two day three picks. If Jimmy Smith does go down, which hopefully he won’t, this time the coaching staff will have a backup plan in two DBs.