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Ravens Draft: Q&A with Matt De Lima

 

Q & A: With Matt De Lima

Last season we were able to have Matt De Lima join us for some draft questions and answers. Matt has taken time to answer questions this year as the draft approaches. We appreciate Matt taking time to be a part of our pre-draft coverage.

Matt De Lima is a recognized Fantasy sports writer and blogger. He was a finalist for the 2011 College Sports Writer of the Year, an award presented by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. When he’s not busy talking in the third person, he is the editor of TheDugoutDoctors.com and contributes his Fantasy sports insight to FFToolbox.comand 4for4.com. Follow him on Twitter @mattkdelima

 

1.  Who’s your latest player slotted in for the Ravens 29th pick in the 2012 draft?  

Matt- “Last year, you asked me about cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Brandon Harris. I said I liked Smith more than Harris. I also went on to mention Rashad Carmichael and Chris Culliver. What’s strange about this is that Smith ended up with the Ravens, as you and your readers should know and he was in fact, as I and many others predicted, the better prospect compared to Harris. Harris and Carmichael are now buried a bit on the Houston Texans depth chart. And Smith is of course a starter with Baltimore and Culliver played a ton for the San Francisco 49ers as a late round selection.

Does any of this mean I have a real future as a scout? Probably not. But to address the here and now, I feel the Ravens top draft priority is a center. Matt Birk recently stated he wants to play another year and I have no problem with that. He’s been a beast for years, but I’d love to see Baltimore bring in Peter Konz of Wisconsin and have him play one year behind Birk to learn how a true pro plays the game.”


2. You previously selected Vontaze Burfict in your latest mock, but he has recently received some negative reviews.  Where do you stand on his draft stock and do you see him falling to the second round? Another name surfacing in some mock drafts to the Ravens is Dont’a Hightower, ILB, AL. What’s your take? Any other linebackers you see fitting in with the Ravens? 

Matt- “I do not like Vontaze Burfict. The young man does not have the right attitude just yet to make it. Is he doomed to fail? Of course not, but I do not feel he is a wise choice. I have kept Burfict in my mock as a late first guy because that’s where the hype says he is at. I do like Hightower but this isn’t a particularly great year for inside backers. I do think it’d be a wise choice if they drafted him though.”


3. Ravens fans see Center and possibly Guard (depending on the resigning of Ben Grubbs), as the most important areas for the offense to address in free agency or the draft. Besides the top names such as Peter Konz, C, WI and Ben Jones, C, GA what other prospect might be there for the Ravens who would be a good fit?  

Matt- “This is an awful year for centers. I wouldn’t recommend anyone but those two and the gap between Konz and Jones is very significant. At guard, I like Osemele, Cordy Glenn, James Brown, Ryan Miler and Kevin Zeitler. After those guys, the herd withers down.”

4.  One area the Ravens have been trying to fill in recent drafts is outside linebacker (i.e. Sergio Kindle, Paul Kruger) opposite Terrell Suggs. Which player in the draft do you like playing opposite Suggs? Such as, Nick Perry, USC?  Vinny Curry, Marshall, Andre Branch, Clemson, Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma? Or, another prospect you have in mind?  

Matt– “Baltimore finished third in the NFL with 48 sacks. Jarret Johnson certainly isn’t bad, he’ s just nothing to write home about. Will Paul Kruger get 5.5 sacks again with limited playing time? Probably not. My point being, I don’t know that Baltimore values a pass rusher with a first or second round pick. As an example, the Jets on paper should have drafted a pass rushing OLB ages ago, yet they continue to rely on scheme rather than youth and athleticism. Perry has the highest ceiling of the players you listed, but part of the issue is that the Ravens use that LB spot in such a unique way that I don’t know that a rookie can jump right in there and contribute. I’d love to take a flier on a guy like Boise State’s Shea McClellin in the fourth round and let him learn the position for a year.”

5. The Ravens need a returner for Special Teams. Is there a player the Ravens can find in the mid-rounds to fill that void? 

Matt– “Miami’s Travis Benjamin is a real fast guy who underachieved in college. He should be available in the fourth or fifth round. Arkansas’ Joe Adams is a popular name but I think he’s too much of a liability as a WR. He runs bad routes and has below average hands. Since he’s graded by some as a third round guy, I don’t believe he’s worth the reach. I’d take a flier on someone like TY Hilton out of FIU. He’s a scrappy player, undersized for sure, but I like the way he runs. He’s shifty and determined. He is someone who can be had in the fifth or later.”   —Good luck to you guys.”


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One Response to “Ravens Draft: Q&A with Matt De Lima”

  1. […] is back to answer some questions related to the Ravens draft. Matt joined us in March for our first segment of draft Q&A‘s and we fortunate to have him back for another round of […]

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