Ravens review

April 17, 2000|By Vito Stellino

Rd. No. Player Pos. College

1 5 Jamal Lewis RB Tennessee

1 10 Travis Taylor WR Florida

3 75 Chris Redman QB Louisville

5 148 Richard Mercier G Miami

6 186 Adalius Thomas DE So. Mississippi

6 191 Cedric Woodard DT Texas

Pick to watch: RB Jamal Lewis -- Has to justify being the fifth selection and the signing bonus of almost $9 million that comes with it.

Analysis: A man in charge of a draft has to have the courage of his convictions, and Ozzie Newsome proved he has that this year by taking Lewis with the fifth pick. Thomas Jones or Ron Dayne would have been a safe, conservative pick, but Newsome rolled the dice on a player coming off major knee surgery who has had off-the-field problems.

If Lewis is the back he was before the surgery and becomes a Pro Bowl player, it'll look like a brilliant choice. If he's injury-prone like the Bengals' Ki-Jana Carter, Newsome will have lost the gamble. The key is that Newsome was willing to put himself on the line and take the chance.

Taking Chris Redman was a good move in the third round. Brian Billick now has Tony Banks, Trent Dilfer and Redman, and if the coach is really a quarterback guru, he should turn one of them into the quarterback of the future.

Grade: B

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