John David Mercer, US Presswire
April 30, 2012
The Ravens deftly moved out of the first round after realizing one of the players they were targeting was going to slip into the second. Having lost outside linebacker Jarret Johnson to the Chargers though free agency and unable to wait any longer for former second-round pick Sergio Kindle to return to his playmaking ways, the Ravens nabbed one of the safest pass rushing OLBs in the draft in Courtney Upshaw (above) at No. 35 overall. Upshaw will erase any doubts about his ability to transition from Alabama to the NFL when he makes an immediate impact for Baltimore. Four-year starter Kelechi Osemele won't be asked to remain at left tackle in the NFL as he played for Iowa State but move either to the ride or compete with second-year pro Jah Reid to take over for another free agent defection Ben Grubbs (Saints) at left guard. Of the Ravens' later picks, watch out for Temple running back Bernard Pierce and Cal-Poly cornerback Asa Jackson to emerge as strong contributors in backup roles.