Ravens draft picks

April 22, 2001|By Jamison Hensley, Brent Jones

Todd Heap, TE

Round: First, 31st overall

Size: 6 feet 4, 248 pounds

School: Arizona State

Hometown: Mesa, Ariz.

Career statistics: Finished as school's all-time leader in receptions (115) and receiving yards (1,685) for tight ends. Set the single-season record for tight ends with 55 catches for 832 yards in 1999.

Quote: "We have a tight end who can run under 4.7 [seconds over 40 yards] and that can be a factor in the passing game. He's someone right now who can learn from Shannon [Sharpe]. I think Shannon's game and Todd Heap's game are going to be very consistent," said Ozzie Newsome, vice president of player personnel.

Quick notes: Had brief playing time with the Arizona State basketball team a year ago. His mother's cousin is former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Danny White.

Strengths: A pass-catching specialist, Heap has the quickness and size to be a potent downfield target. His athleticism and body control puts him in a similar mold as the Washington Redskins' Stephen Alexander.

Weaknesses: The most glaring drawback is Heap's blocking. Although he has bulked up since the college season, many think he needs to increase his strength to become a better blocker.

Projected role: Heap will see time in the Ravens' two-tight end sets and have a presence on special teams. With Sharpe turning 33 by the start of training camp, Heap will be developed as the tight end of the future.

Gary Baxter, DB

Round: Second, 62nd

Size: 6-1, 202

School: Baylor

Hometown: Tyler, Texas

Career stats: Finished with 202 tackles and six stops behind the line of scrimmage in 41 games. Baxter had six career interceptions and a school-record 50 pass deflections. He runs a 4.46 in the 40. "We've had success in drafting athletes that have speed and have size," Newsome said. "He fits that profile."

Quick note: Was a fashion design major with a minor in communications.

Strengths: Very physical cornerback who excels in bump-and-run coverage. Size makes it difficult for receivers to get off the line of scrimmage. Has good speed and does not bite on pump fakes.

Weaknesses: Does not provide many big plays. He did not have any interceptions last season. He also played on a defense that gave up 30 or more points in seven games in 2000.

Projected role: Baxter should come in as the team's nickel or dime back next season. His speed and tackling ability make him a prime candidate to be one of the team's premier special teams' players.

Casey Rabach, OL

Round: Third, 92nd

Size: 6-4, 301

School: Wisconsin

Hometown: Sturgeion Bay, Wisconsin

Career stats: Four-year starter, was named a second-team All-American by the Associated Press. Won the Wayne Souza Award, given to the Badgers' top offensive lineman. "He's very tough and physical," Ravens director of college scouting Phil Savage said. "He reminds me very much of [former Ravens center] Jeff Mitchell."

Quick note: Is a three-time honor roll student.

Strengths: An excellent drive blocker who has good-hand quickness and foot adjustment speed.

Weaknesses: Not as strong as other linemen.

Projected role: Rabach should be the top backup at center and one of the guard positions.

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