For many people, hearing the old saying about making lemonade when life gives you lemons causes a negative reaction because of the overly simplistic and appallingly cutesy way it attempts to deal with crushing disappointment.
Courtney Upshaw isn’t one of those people. He expected to go in the first round of April’s draft, but found himself still sitting in the green room at Radio City Music Hall when the second day of the process got underway. His wait ended when he went to the Ravens with the 35th overall selection and that spot wound up working out just fine for Upshaw.
Jarret Johnson left as a free agent and Terrell Suggs injured his Achilles shortly after Upshaw came to the team, leaving ample playing time available on the edge for a rookie who happens to play in that exact spot. Upshaw realizes his good fortune.
“I’m very blessed, very happy I fell into this predicament,” Upshaw said, via Zac Jackson of FOXSportsOhio.com. “I was disappointed in the draft, not being a first-rounder, but at the end of the day I landed in a great spot. Why it happened, I don’t know. I just enjoy being the with the Ravens. The veterans there are unbelievable. It’s a great atmosphere, starting with Ozzie (Newsome), the coaches, Ray Lewis, everybody.”
Paul Kruger appears set for one starting linebacker job, which means Upshaw will have to compete with Sergio Kindle, Pernell McPhee and Chavis Williams this summer. All signs point to him standing in Suggs’ spot when the season gets underway, though. That job won’t come with the contract that Upshaw thought he’d get as a first rounder, but it could well give him a better chance at long-term success than he would have had as a higher pick.