Rice, Flacco Wrap Day 1


Stories: Calm Through the Storm | Day 2 Draft Picks | Flacco Feeling Fine | Ravens Get Their ManTranscripts: Draft Wrap-Up Presser | Flacco Introductory Presser | Ravens Day 2 A.M. Presser | Flacco Conference CallBlogs: The Big Board | The Byrne Identity | Insight to the Limelight

After an historic day of maneuvering, the Ravens landed quarterback Joe Flacco from Delaware and then Rutgers running back Ray Rice, two prospects right up Interstate 95 from Baltimore.

General manager Ozzie Newsome was busy from the beginning, turning the Ravens' eighth-overall selection into the 26th and three other draft picks in a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Then, he moved back down to No. 18 by giving their 26th, 89th and 173rd to the Houston Texans to select a quarterback he thinks will pilot the Ravens into the future.

Newsome admitted that two potential picks were off the board by Baltimore's second-round turn at No. 38, so he swapped with the Seattle Seahawks for their 55th and 86th selections.

Now, the Ravens are armed with nine Sunday selections, the most out of any NFL team on the draft's final day.

It is a perfect scenario for a class that Newsome had previously cited as exceptionally deep.

"What we have is the opportunity to match what we thought was a deep draft to having the ability to pick a lot of players," he said at a press conference following Rice's announcement. "This was a deep draft, and we were able to get the picks to utilize them in this draft."

Flacco, who will compete with Kyle Boller and Troy Smith for the starting spot under center, was a coup for the Ravens. The 6-foot-6, 235-pound passer is regarded by many draft analysts as second only to Boston College's Matt Ryan, chosen third overall by the Atlanta Falcons.

Despite playing at a Division I-AA school, Flacco's leadership, arm strength, accuracy and smarts are reasons the Ravens think he can lead the offense for years.

Rice figures to be a solid backup to Willis McGahee. At 5-foot-8, 200 pounds, he may be diminutive, but Rice was a solid contributor for the Scarlet Knights.

Known for his unexpected strength running behind his pads, Rice terrorized the Big East by topping 1,000 rushing yard all three years at Rutgers. By the time he decided to enter the draft, Rice owned a school-record of 4,926 yards on the ground, adding 49 career touchdowns.

"We think adding Ray Rice gives us a guy that we feel has the durability to play 16 games, if he had to, if Willis in some case got injured," Newsome explained. "He brings the type of temperament and the type of character that we want on our football team."

Director of college scouting Eric DeCosta said that Rice earned a "red star" among the scouts, a designation reserved for players that embody the characteristics he looks for in a Raven.

"He's our kind of player," DeCosta said. "He's got the right mentality to be a great special teams player for us. He gives us a lot of value as a second running back, and I'm very excited."

The Ravens will begin the second day at the 71st slot, continuing the third round with Seattle's No. 86 and a compensatory selection at 99. Baltimore has three fourth-round picks (Nos. 106, 125 and 133), one sixth-rounder (206) and two in the seventh (215 and 240).

"Tomorrow, we get a chance to do what I think our scouts do best," Newsome said. "We have nine picks. This is where our scouts really do a good job. We have a good coaching staff helping us, so we should be able to bring in a lot of depth to this football team beginning in the third round tomorrow with three picks."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content