Ravens' picks

April 17, 2000|By Jamison Hensley

Richard Mercier, G

Round: Fifth, 148th overall

Size: 6-2, 292

School: Miami, Fla.

Hometown: Montreal

Career honors: Named first-team All-American by The Sporting News and voted to Associated Press' second team. Led Hurricanes last season with 112 knockdown blocks and graded 91.3 percent for blocking consistency as a left guard. Has not missed offensive play for two straight years.

Quote: "He has the ability to get out in space and make things happen. We like his athleticism and toughness, and it will be interesting to see how he fits into the mix at right guard." -- Ozzie Newsome, vice president of player personnel.

Quick note: First Canadian drafted by the Ravens, Mercier placed fifth at the Canadian junior national mogul ski championships eight years ago.

Strengths: Underrated guard features excellent lower-body strength and a mauler's mentality. A blocker who excels at driving clear lanes in short areas. Provides reliability and durability.

Weaknesses: Torn ACL in his left knee three years ago slowed him down. Maintains average size and hasn't shown consistent explosiveness off line.

Projected role: Should figure in the battle for the starting right guard spot with third-year reserve Mike Flynn. Provides depth to a line that is replacing two starters.

Adalius Thomas, DE

Round: Sixth, 186th overall

Size: 6-2, 256

School: Southern Mississippi

Hometown: Equality, Ala.

Career statistics: Two-time Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year made 242 tackles, including 56 for losses, and 34 1/2 sacks in 44 games. The third-team All-American by Football News blocked four kicks on special teams last season.

Quote: "He's one of the guys in the draft you would consider a tweener. He's probably not quite tall enough to be a pure defensive end. And yet he's not quite experienced enough in the dropping back to be a true linebacker." -- Phil Savage, director of college scouting.

Quick note: As a redshirt freshman, Thomas appeared in 22 games for the basketball team and averaged 2.9 points.

Strengths: Classic pass-rush specialist, thriving on quickness and excellent first step. Takes advantage of speed to record tackles from back-side pursuit.

Weaknesses: Undersized for position and doesn't stack up well at the line. His instincts sometimes place him too far upfield against the run.

Projected role: Will use his speed and leaping ability on special teams. Could grow to become either a linebacker or an end in passing situations.

Cedric Woodard, DT

Round: Sixth, 191st overall

Size: 6-3, 295

School: Texas

Hometown: Sweeny, Texas

Career statistics: Shifted to defensive end last season and played on a Longhorns front line that allowed only three 100-yard rushers. Shared Texas' Outstanding Defensive Lineman Award in 1998, when he had 56 tackles and six sacks while playing defensive tackle, his natural position.

Quote: "When you get back to the '98 tapes, you saw some mobility inside to hold the point and get some push on the pocket. He showed that at the Hula Bowl with some moves to the inside." -- Savage

Quick note: Woodard has two cousins (Tracy Simien and Elmo Wright) who have played for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Strengths: A versatile lineman, working best in the interior. A stronger run-stopper, but can put pressure on the quarterback.

Weaknesses: Lacks ability to consistently shed blocks. Has to adjust to life back on the inside.

Projected role: Adds depth and youth to a defensive front that will start three players in their 30s. Will enter training camp as a backup, but has an outside chance to rotate into the lineup by showing the same inside presence from two years ago.

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