Looking back: Ravens 2009 draft class

Looking back: Ravens 2009 draft class
April 10, 2013, 1:45 pm
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Over the past two weeks, we have been revisiting each Ravens draft class of the past 10 years. Looking back at past drafts is always entertaining; hindsight is always 20/20, and every team's draft history includes some hits and misses, some gems and some busts.

You can find our reviews of past draft classes at the bottom of this page. How did the Ravens fare in 2009? Let's have a look back.

1st round – Michael Oher, tackle, Mississippi
2nd round – Paul Kruger, LB/DE, Utah
3rd round – Lardarius Webb, defensive back, Nicholls State
5th round – Jason Phillips, linebacker, TCU
5th round – Davon Drew, tight end, East Carolina
6th round – Cedric Peerman, running back, Virginia

In 2008, the Ravens used their first-round pick on their franchise quarterback, Joe Flacco. In 2009, they used their first-round pick on the player they hoped would be his main protection, offensive tackle Michael Oher from the University of Mississippi.

Oher was projected as a top-15 pick, and the Ravens figured he'd be long gone by the time they picked at No. 26. But with Oher still on the board as the draft reached the later part of the first round, the Ravens made a move, trading up three places with the Patriots (and also giving the Patriots a fifth-round pick) to grab Oher at No. 23.

He became just the second offensive tackle taken by the Ravens in the first round, the other being Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden with their first-ever pick in 1996.

The jury is still out on Oher, who has proved to be a capable starting tackle in the NFL, but not the brick-wall left tackle that is expected of a first-round pick. Oher spent much of last season at left tackle, but for the playoffs Oher was moved to the right side and Bryant McKinnie took the all-important spot on Flacco’s blind side (which is, of course, the name of the book and movie depicting Oher's remarkable life story).

It took Paul Kruger a few years to show the potential that made him a second-round pick, but he recorded a team-high nine sacks in the regular season this past year and had 4.5 more in the playoffs, including a pair in the Super Bowl. He parlayed that into a huge free-agent payday in Cleveland.

The Ravens’ best pick of the draft might have been cornerback Lardarius Webb in the third round. Webb had flashed major speed at the NFL Combine but faced questions about his character (he had been dismissed from the team at Southern Miss) and the level of competition he faced (after leaving Southern Miss, he played two years at Nicholls State). Webb ultimately was the 88th player taken overall, but has since developed into one of the best cover corners in the league. Webb, though, has been hampered by two ACL knee injuries in his four-year career.

But after signing a six-year, $50 million deal last year, he is seen as a long-term leader of the Ravens secondary, especially now with the departure of Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard.

The remainder of the Ravens’ six-member draft class didn’t make a whole lot of noise. Jason Phillips played briefly for the Ravens, and tight end Davon Drew has been in training camp but never made the team.

Cedric Peerman, the Ravens’ sixth-round pick, has crafted a four-year NFL career after being waived by the Ravens in his rookie training camp. He spent time briefly with the Browns and Lions and has since played three seasons with the Bengals.

Overall, this draft class was somewhat lean for the Ravens. The Ravens got three reliable players, albeit one who is now gone and one whose career has been slowed by injuries. And the Ravens didn't accomplish much in the later rounds of the draft, where they have been known to unearth some gems.

Here are recaps of other Ravens draft classes: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.