Ravens draft picks

April 16, 2000|By Jamison Hensley

Jamal Lewis, RB

Round: First, fifth overall

Size: 5-11, 228 pounds

School: Tennessee

Hometown: Atlanta

Career statistics: Left after his junior year and still finished third on the Volunteers' career rushing list with 2,677 yards. Averaged 5.5 yards per carry and scored 17 touchdowns. His 13 100-yard rushing games tied the school record, which is held by Ravens teammate Jay Graham. Caught 39 passes for 484 yards for his career.

Quote: "He combines true explosiveness with sheer power. I perceive Jamal will be someone that's going to crank off a couple of 30-, 40-, 50-yard touchdowns and also be the guy you can pound in there from the 20 down in. That's a rare combination." -- Ravens coach Brian Billick.

Quick note: Ran 4.34 in 40-yard dash and had 40 1/2-inch vertical jump.

Strengths: A game-breaker who bursts through holes and shakes tackles. With interesting complement of size and breakaway speed, Lewis is equally as effective running inside as outside. A reliable receiver out of the backfield.

Weaknesses: The main question is Lewis' durability. He has dealt with injuries to his knee, shoulder and ankle the past two seasons. After knee surgery in 1998, some scouts noticed that Lewis was more tentative when asked to block.

Projected role: Featured back in Ravens' offense. He's the multi-faceted running back that Billick covets in his system. If he remains healthy, Lewis could become the Ravens' workhorse as a runner and a receiver as well as a reliable threat inside the red zone.

Travis Taylor, WR

Round: First, 10th overall

Size: 6-0, 198 pounds

School: Florida

Hometown: Jacksonville, Fla.

Career statistics: Compiled 71 catches for 1,139 and 15 touchdowns in his sophomore and junior seasons. Ended his career with an 11-reception performance against Michigan State in the Citrus Bowl, racking up 156 yards and three touchdowns.

Quote: "Travis gives you some great runs after the catch. One of the things I'm most excited about is his upside is huge. Certainly, Travis Taylor being in Steve Spurrier's offense has been exposed to a few concepts. So he will probably come in here, open the playbook and say: Are you kidding me?" -- Billick.

Quick note: Only player in draft to win consecutive bowl MVP awards (1998 Orange, 1999 Citrus).

Strengths: Rated as the complete package and a playmaker. Displays sound hands, rarely letting the ball reach his body. Runs disciplined routes and exhibits little fear on patterns over the middle. Elevates for passes and still maintains body control.

Weaknesses: Seen more as an intermediate threat since not exceptionally fast on deep routes. High ankle sprain limited him to nine games last season.

Projected role: Should share star role with tight end Shannon Sharpe. He has the gifts and toughness to step right in as one of the Ravens' primary targets. A polished receiver from a sophisticated passing school, Taylor will be expected to make an immediate impact.

Chris Redman, QB

Round: Third, 75th overall

Size: 6-3, 225

School: Louisville

Career statistics: Fifth-year quarterback who holds the Division I career record for completions (1,031) and attempts (1,679). Passed for at least 3,000 yards his past three seasons.

Quote: "The thing that intrigues me the most is that he's a coach's son who has talked football every night at dinner his entire life. You can see that in his play." -- Billick.

Strengths: A prototypical drop-back passer noted for being accurate and intelligent. Can make most throws and shows an awareness as well as toughness in the pocket.

Weaknesses: Vision seems to be most frequent negative, sometimes missing certain reads. Also has lack of mobility.

Projected role: As the No. 3 quarterback, long-term development more than immediate impact is the key here.

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