In second round, Ravens bolster depth for trenches

Cody can rush the passer

Terry's forte: pass blocking

April 24, 2005|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Ravens officials sported satisfied looks at the end of a long draft day, pleased with the realization that they, thanks to some nifty haggling, likely have become better in the trenches with a couple of second-round picks.

The Ravens used the 53rd overall choice to get Oklahoma pass-rushing specialist Dan Cody, then traded their third- and sixth-round picks this year and a third-round pick next year for New England's second-round pick (64th overall) and selected Syracuse offensive tackle Adam Terry.

Neither player is expected to crack the starting lineup at first, but that did not stop Ravens executives and coaches from beaming over what the future may hold.

Cody, especially, is expected to be a game-changer, one who will make the switch from college defensive end to professional linebacker. Rated among the top 25 players on their draft board, Cody is a relentless rusher built in the same mold as former Ravens star Michael McCrary, and though he will be officially a linebacker, they expect he will have his chances coming off an end opposite Terrell Suggs this year.

Suggs, too, made a successful move from college end to linebacker, and the Ravens expect similar results from Cody.

"You can never have enough pass rushers," Newsome said. "He's another guy who we will be transitioning to outside linebacker right away. He'll be able to help us in pass-rushing situations."

A number of draft publications had Cody as the top-rated end, though four ends went before he did. Cody's fall might be due, in part, to his missing most of the 2001 season because of clinical depression.

The Ravens checked Cody's background thoroughly, coming away convinced the player is in fine health.

"He spent some time with our medical people, and our people have a comfort level with Dan," general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "We had a chance to talk to the medical people, and they are very comfortable with where he is now."

The Ravens spoke of playing Cody along with strong-side linebacker Adalius Thomas, then having Cody drop down to the defensive line in pass-rushing situations, the same script projected for Peter Boulware, who missed all of last season.

Boulware, heading into his ninth season, is the Ravens' all-time leader in sacks (67 1/2 ).

"Peter is still on this football team," Newsome said. "You can't have too much depth."

That motto extended to the offensive side, where Terry's primary role will be as backup to Jonathan Ogden and Orlando Brown.

Terry potentially could challenge Brown as the season progresses, excelling in an area in which Brown struggles. Terry is considered to be one of the best pass-blocking tackles in the draft, his 6-foot-8, 330-pound frame engulfing smaller ends.

Still athletic enough to get to linebackers and cornerbacks, Terry's major weakness, knocking defensive ends off the ball on running plays, also happens to be Brown's major strength.

"This guy is a big, tall athlete, so pass blocking is his strength," offensive line coach Chris Foerster said.

Chances are, Cody will test Terry's pass-blocking prowess early in training camp, a preview of the Ravens' future.

"He plays with his hair on fire," defensive coordinator Rex Ryan said of Cody. "The flexibility he gives you with the kind of athlete he is is the thing we take advantage of in our packages."

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