Your turn: Should the Ravens avoid players with red flags?

April 25, 2011|By Matt Vensel

The Ravens spent their top pick in last year's draft -- a second-rounder -- on linebacker Sergio Kindle, who came into the NFL with character concerns. In a disappointing first year in Baltimore, Kindle had more arrests (one) than NFL snaps (zero).

Kindle suffered a fractured skull in July while falling down a flight of stairs, and in December, he was arrested for driving under the influence (again). His status for next season is up in the air.

Asked if he was second-guessing the selection of Kindle, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome defended the decision.

"To have been able to sit here the day we picked Sergio and say that he was going to fall down a flight of stairs, I couldn't predict that one," Newsome said last week. "We'll wait and see how that outcome is going to be. But that story is not completely written yet."

During the first round of this year's draft, Newsome and the Ravens could again consider taking a talented player with a troubled past. The Ravens are linked to Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith, who has failed at least one drug test and has been arrested twice for underage possession of alcohol. The Ravens have met with Smith, a projected first-round pick, to try to get a read on his character.

You tell me: Should the Ravens roll the dice on a talented but troubled player such as Smith, or is there some sort of lesson to be learned from their selection of Kindle?

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