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With draft complete, Ravens still don't have answer for who will replace Grubbs

Draft picks Gino Gradkowski and Kelechi Osemele could compete with Jah Reid to start at guard

April 28, 2012|By Chris Korman, The Baltimore Sun

Three of the team’s current linebackers – Jameel McClain, Albert McClellan and Dannell Ellerbe – joined the team after going undrafted, and have developed well enough that the Ravens once again did not select an inside linebacker to potentially replace Ray Lewis.

Cyhl Quarles, a safety from Wake Forest, said Saturday night on Twitter that he had agreed to sign with the Ravens.

The Ravens also signed Florida quarterback John Brantley and wide receiver Deonte Thompson, according to a report in the Gainesville (Fla.) Sun.

“There are still a lot of good players out there,” DeCosta said. “The hunt goes on.”

The Ravens will convene a rookie minicamp in two weeks, Newsome said. 

Taking the long road

Gradkowski hasn't met Joe Flacco, but he's anxious to play with his fellow former Delaware Blue Hen.

"I feel like, from the things I have heard, we are very similar, personality wise," Gradkowski said. "So I think we will hit it off, and I am excited to meet him."

Like Flacco, Gradkowski transferred to Delaware in search of playing time. He redshirted as a freshman at West Virginia and played in only one game his second season. His departure followed Mountaineers coach Rich Rodriguez's decision to become the head coach at Michigan. Gradkowski slipped on the depth chart and decided to find a new opportunity.

He had Flacco — among others — to look to for reassurance that elite players could emerge from the FCS level.

"He paved the way for all the small-school guys, especially guys coming from Delaware," Gradkowski said. "He is doing a great job of representing the school to the best of his ability, and we appreciate that."

Extra points

Safety Christian Thompson, whom the Ravens selected with the 130th pick out of South Carolina State, sought advice from Reed before the draft and was told to "stay hungry, stay humble and save your money," according to reports out of South Carolina. … Upshaw said he looks forward to trying to tackle former Alabama teammate Trent Richardson, whom the Cleveland Browns selected with the third overall pick. "It's going to be a little rivalry of its own," Upshaw said. "He tried to run me over a couple of times in practice, so I got a little vengeance out for it." … Running back Bernard Pierce, the Ravens' third round pick (No. 84), brushed aside any suggestion that his durability should be a concern. The Temple product admitted to struggling with hamstring issues and a separated shoulder but said he has felt fine since the beginning of last season.

ckorman@baltsun.com

twitter.com/chriskorman

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