Ravens' draft class of 2010 a work in progress

Dickson, Reed have made biggest strides among rookies

November 13, 2010|By Ken Murray, The Baltimore Sun

The defensive boost the Ravens hoped to get from the 2010 draft has yet to materialize for unforeseen reasons. But all seven picks are still around. More encouraging, even though there are few early dividends, there is the chance at least three picks could become starters at some point.

Here is a midseason review of the Class of 2010.

Linebacker Sergio Kindle

Second round, 43rd overall pick out of Texas

Has not played

Progress report: Kindle's season came to an abrupt halt on July 22 when he stumbled down a stairwell in the dark at a friend's house and suffered a hairline fracture of his skull. He signed a one-year contract and, upon arrival in Baltimore in September, was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list. He continues rehabilitation for balance issues in an effort to play next season. His pass-rush skills on the outside would've helped a defense that struggles for sacks.

"I can come in next year knowing the defense, and I might even be better mentally than I would have been this year because I have a better understanding of the defense," Kindle said.

Defensive tackle Terrence Cody

Second round, 57th pick out of Alabama

Has played in six games (no starts) and has eight tackles.

Progress report: Cody was inactive the first three games after having knee surgery during training camp. The past two weeks he has gotten increased playing time and had a solid game against the Falcons with five tackles. Cody has a chance to become a force in the middle if he can manage his weight and stay healthy. He is strong enough to push the pocket.

"They've seen on film I can do quite a few things," Cody said. "It's just me being able to catch up with the game speed and just playing faster."

Tight end Ed Dickson

Third round, 70th pick out of Oregon

Has played in nine games (one start) and has five catches for 91 yards, including a big play of 58 yards.

Progress report: Dickson is the No. 2 tight end and is the man who replaces Todd Heap when he's hurt. Also plays on special teams. He has an athletic tight end's body with long arms and is explosive. He needs to improve his blocking, but he is the clear heir apparent to Heap.

Tight end Dennis Pitta

Fourth round, 114th pick out of BYU

Has played in six games (no starts), with one catch for 1 yard.

Progress report: Pitta has been inactive the past two weeks with a concussion, and has gotten limited playing time as a tight end.

Wide receiver David Reed

Fifth round, 156th pick out of Utah

Has played eight games (no starts) and averaged 21.6 yards on five kickoff returns. Has one rush — an end-around — for 15 yards.

Progress report: The latest player to get a shot at returning kicks, Reed showed promise with a 31-yarder in the third quarter in Atlanta. But he also opted to return the game's final kickoff from 5 yards deep. It was yet another bad decision by Ravens' returners this season. Despite his slender stature (6 feet, 190 pounds), he is tough and is a willing contributer on kick coverage. He has five special teams tackles.

"I proved that I can stick my nose in something and run the ball," he said. "I'll hit the wedge, I'll do whatever. I'll never feel comfortable. I'm always fighting. That's my nature."

Defensive tackle Arthur Jones

Fifth round, 157th pick out of Syracuse

Has not played

Progress report: This is Jones' "redshirt" season in the NFL. He has been inactive for all nine games, with no sign that he's close to playing. Jones pays attention to the players in front of him, especially Haloti Ngata and Kelly Gregg. The Ravens obviously believe he has potential or he would have been waived already.

"It's a little disappointing [not to play]," Jones said, "but you've just got to keep your head up. They brought me here for a reason. It may not be my time to play yet."

Offensive tackle Ramon Harewood

Sixth round, 194th pick out of Morehouse

Games played, statistics: None.

Progress report: Harewood will spend his rookie season on injured reserve after knee surgery last summer. His size (6-6, 340) and his intelligence suggest he can make the transition from small college football to the NFL. At some point, he could become a solution at right tackle.

ken.murray@baltsun.com

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