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Draft Review with Matt DeLima, FFToolbox

Draft Review Part I : Q&A with Matt DeLima, FFToolbox

Matt DeLima is joining us for a post draft review Q&A. We appreciate Matt’s participation throughout the draft process.

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 and contributes his Fantasy sports insight to FFToolbox.comand Follow him on Twitter @mattkdelima


1. BGR:  The Ravens had a productive draft and they stuck gold with Courtney Upshaw. What’s your overall thoughts, impressions on this year’s draft class and how the team did value wise?

Matt:  It’s difficult to evaluate Baltimore’s draft because they go after their guys. They rely heavily on scouts and coaches meeting with players during the draft process. Everyone closely following the draft knew of Courtney Upshaw, Kelechi Osemele and Bernard Pierce… but Gino Gradkowski, Christian Thompson and Asa Jackson were all under the radar players from smaller schools. All in all, this was a good, but not great draft from my perspective. Upshaw and Osemele are instant impact players and fans just have to hope that another player or two can be groomed into a starter over the next couple seasons.


2. BGR:  Of course Terrell Suggs injury puts more importance into Upshaw’s selection. How do you see Upshaw adjusting to the NFL and filling in for T-Sizzle (Suggs)?

Matt: Alabama’s defense was one of the greatest of all-time in college football and by adding anybody on that defense, I think you can’t go wrong. Upshaw is thick, relentless and I just love the way he plays downhill. Do I want him covering athletic tight ends man to man? No,definitely not. The key for him is that Baltimore doesn’t put too much on his plate too fast. He’s a pass-rusher first and foremost so build him up slowly since he’ll be forced onto the field.


3. BGR:  One of the biggest question marks is second round pick, Kelechi Osemele, T/G, Iowa State.  Do you see him sliding in right away at left guard (vacated by Ben Grubbs)?

Matt: Excluding David DeCastro, I wouldn’t be surprised if many teams considered Osemele as the second-best guard in this draft. His versatility and length are a great fit for a winning team like Baltimore who don’t necessarily have to force him to start right away. In the short term, he can sit for a few weeks, backup a few positions,and rotate in when needed. Or on the other hand, he might be ready to start immediately. I think he’d be a great fit at left guard and he’s used to playing on that side of the line.


4. BGR:  Third rounder running back Bernard Pierce will be battling it out with last year’s seventh rounder Anthony Allen. Which player do you see winning out as Ray Rice’s back-up?

Matt: Pierce should be the early favorite. He’s got great feet and can plant then drive towards daylight. With young backs though, it may take some time for him to learn pass protections and these sorts of things can keep him off the field early. I think another guy to really keep an eye on is Bobby Rainey. He’s dynamite and I’m very surprised a team didn’t draft him. He’s undersized but Rainey can be a real gem on third down.


5. BGR:  Do you see Gino Gradkowski as a starting Center after Matt Birk retires? He might of been taken a bit early, but Eric DeCosta had high marks on Gradkowski, he was one of their players targeted.

Matt: What’s interesting to me is I heard that Gradkowski was telling the press that he felt Baltimore would be a great spot for him and that he wanted to learn behind Matt Birk. Then what do you know, the Ravens take him in the fourth round. Other reports also indicated that a lot of teams were considering him in the later rounds which is why Baltimore may have felt pressured to grab him a round early. He’s a developmental prospect and he’ll need the full year on the bench to add useful weight.


Stay Tuned for ‘Part II’ of our Draft Review…


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One Response to “Draft Review with Matt DeLima, FFToolbox”

  1. […] Our second half of our interview with Fantasy sports writer and blogger Matt DeLima. If you missed the first half of our interview, go to: Draft Review I. […]

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