Ravens consider themselves lucky they took Upshaw

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The Achilles tendon injury suffered by Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs illustrates the one NFL reality that is both inevitable and completely unknowable.  Players will get hurt.  We just don’t know who will be injured.

A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that the Ravens considers themselves lucky, given that the Ravens selected Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw with its first pick in the 2012 draft, after trading down from the 29th pick in round one.  The Ravens could have gone in many different directions; it was pure fortuity that they opted to pick someone who plays a position of sudden and clear need.

Actually, the Ravens may have been better off to have had the injury happen after the draft.  The Ravens, we’re told, would have been far less likely to trade down if Suggs had been injured before the draft.  So they were instead able to trade down, get the guy they would have picked at No. 29, and picked up extra consideration for sliding back.

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44 responses to “Ravens consider themselves lucky they took Upshaw

  1. Not like Upshaw can replace Suggs off the bat, but yes still a “lucky” pick. I wish more teams were honest about lucky picks instead of being like the Polians and acting like they were so brilliant to pick Manning back in the day.

  2. that defense will find a way to stay top 5. I would be more worried about flacco if anything. although they were a Lee Evans catch away from the big dance

  3. Not a Ravens fan, but that team is run so well that it makes its own luck (like other consistently great teams in the NFL).

  4. .

    The team that lucked out in the Suggs injury wasn’t the Ravens It was the Patriots.

    I think that if Ozzie Newsome believed that Suggs season was in jeopardy, he would have made a beeline to the two players the Pats selected, Chandler Jones and James Hightower.


  5. A good GM like Ozzie Newsome doesn’t need luck, he just says “Next man up!”.
    He has been the reason for the Ravens success more than Billick or Harbaugh.

  6. Courtney Upshaw is a fast, powerful football player that will make a big impact. The Ravens are lucky to have him, regardless of the circumstances.

  7. Almost the same as getting suspended for a year for participating in a bounty program.

  8. Lucky isn’t the first word I would use to describe a team replacing the defensive player of the year with a guy that’s never taken a professional snap.

  9. Some how Oz always seems to come out of the draft looking like a genius. Lucky or not, this pick looks like a home run now. Next man up, Ravens will survive. It’ll make another AFCN sweep that much more enjoyable.

  10. Idiotic to say they were “fortunate” that the injury happened after the draft .

    1) Maybe Suggs was injured BECAUSE of the Upshaw pick – Not beyond the realm of possibility to imagine that he got extra motivated by the thought of the D’s newest aquisitions and injured himself by over-exerting .

    2) I’m sure Suggs had some type of contact with the new draftees – either verbal or otherwise. The amazing thing about life is a 20 sec. encounter can and does alter events that follow.
    It’s likely that had the Ravens selected someone different or even stayed put and still taken Upshaw , their draft would have fallen in a different way and who knows if this would have changed Suggs workout routine just slightly enough to have saved him from his injury ….you just never know.

    Nice try at spinnin’ …but this injury is NOT fortuidous in ANY way .

    ( Great player – the NFL is less w/o him in it )

  11. Wow now the ravens are better off that this injury happened after the draft, the earlier article announcing the tear wrongly said the complete opposite because the could have drafted his replacement. I guess printing the opposite story is what pft calls a retraction.

  12. mendenhallfumblemachine says:
    May 3, 2012 11:07 PM
    6ball when did the patriots draft this “James Hightower” funny, I always though his name was Dont’a…

    Yet another idiot Pats fan owned.

  13. U don’t replace the sizzle he’s a beast. However, The greatest linebacker of all time will figure it out with professor Ed. Ravens defense will hold the fort till sizzle comes back to face the steelers.

  14. Sizzle hopes that maybe enrollment is still open at Ball Softer University

  15. Lucky to draft him?? How is it possible for a rook to fill Suggs’ shoes? It isn’t. The Ravens took a huge blow in losing him for the year. Even if the rook is a pro-bowler in his first season, the D will still be in way worse shape without Suggs. Would be cool to see the kid step in and play well for them though. Ravens will be a tough win once again this year either way.

  16. @6ball

    “James” Hightower is pretty solid but Ray Lewis he ain’t. IMO I was wishing the Ravens wouldn’t take Hightower if he was there. Guy is too slow to be anything more than a 2 down thumper in the middle, I see too much Rolando McClain in him. As for Chandler Jones, good luck with that. Dude did nothing in college (in a weak confrence), had a mediorce combine and was viewed as a third rounder up until a week before the draft. Not saying he’ll be a bust but most of your busts historically have shot up draft boards close to the draft. Think on that a bit.

    I’m fine with Upshaw, he may not have Suggs’ explosivness but he is relentless and is very powerful. Dude stood out against the best competition in the nation in the SEC, not to mention Alabama players always work out for the Ravens.

  17. Ravens fans got this pick out of wide left field! Steelers super bowl champs 2012…Deal with it…

  18. Suggs was unbelievable agains Pittsburgh last year. Probably the difference in two close games.

  19. A big blow no doubt, but the Ravens do have Upshaw and Kruger (who had a bit of a breakout year as a pass rusher in ’11) so they have two guys who can start at SAM and WILL. If they can get something out of Kindle this year rotating in with those two until Suggs gets back, they will be ok. The secondary is much better than it was just 2 years ago and a front of Ngata, Cody, McPhee, and Art Jones with Ray Lewis behind them will still result in a top 10 defense by the end of the year. The loss of Suggs just prevents this unit from being one of the best this year, but they will still be better than most of the league.

  20. Swizzle stick’ll be aight,

    One Ray Lewis Jumbo-Sized-epileptic- gyrating- over-the-top-Momo-Voodoo Dance, at the very top-o-his-lungs and Frizzle Fry’ll be healed.

    I mean, come on. We’re talkin’ RAY LEWIS here.
    Dude walks on water

  21. Right, so the Ravens consider themselves lucky to have a rookie filling in for an all pro? That’s the kind of luck that describes the Ravens franchise’s entire existence.

  22. Anyone who doesn’t think the Ravens were targeting Dont’a Hightower is kidding themselves. When the Pats made the pick Ozzie and the Ravens slid out of the round as their guy was gone. Most pundits did not see that one coming but as a Pats fan we are excited especially with the knowledge that BB has on Alabama players.

    Upshaw is a good pick except it is rumored he has off the field isues.

    Tough injury as this is probably the last season for Ray Ray and Ed Reed.

  23. Talking heads say Upshaw lacks explosiveness and a good first step off the ball, sounds like the exact opposite of Suggs. He uses his head to make plays not his athleticism… Again, nothing like Uggs.

    Theyre lucky because Upshaw gives them hope. Hope to replace Suggs with someone better than was previously on their roster. Doesnt mean hes up to the task, and like others have said you cant replace a DPOY with a rookie second round draft pick.

    Silly Ravens.

  24. Did T-Sizzle disrespect the Terrible Towel?

    I think he did.

    Got to learn your lesson NFL’ers – above all else, respect the towel.

  25. runtheball says:
    May 4, 2012 6:46 AM
    Suggs was unbelievable agains Pittsburgh last year. Probably the difference in two close games.
    That first game wasn’t even remotely close. But you are correct, Suggs was on fire and probably BAL’s best Steeler-Killer.

  26. Actually, they may have been lucky that the injury didn’t happen a week earlier. If it had, they may have just taken Upshaw at 29 and not traded down.

    There’s always risk when you trade down that the player you’re targeting won’t be available when it’s your turn. The Ravens may not have been willing to take that risk with Upshaw had they known Suggs would be on IR this season.

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