Ravens taking a closer look at draft prospects’ off-field issues

AP

The Ravens earned a reputation last year as a team full of off-field troublemakers, as an offseason filled with player arrests culminated in the release of the infamous Ray Rice elevator video. So it’s no surprise that the Ravens are determined not to draft any players who will add to those off-field problems.

Citing a person familiar with the team’s operations, USA Today reports that the Ravens have an increased emphasis on domestic violence issues as they prepare for this year’s draft.

That approach is wise, and the Ravens are surely not the only team that is closely scrutinizing players who have been accused of domestic violence. In fact, it would be surprising if all 32 teams aren’t paying closer attention to that issue in this year’s draft than they were last year.

However, the reality is that there’s only so much a team can know about a player before drafting him. The Ravens had no reason to think when they drafted Rice that he would some day embroil the team and the league in a domestic violence scandal. And there’s no way to know for sure what kind of off-field issues a player entering the NFL now might have six months from now or six years from now.

But suffice to say, draft prospects who have a history of domestic violence are going to be a tough sell this year. For the Ravens and for 31 other teams.

49 responses to “Ravens taking a closer look at draft prospects’ off-field issues

  1. Well, at the very least, ask for all the videotapes there are on each draft prospect.

    You might want to watch them before TMZ gets a hold of them…..

  2. Before this offseason the Ravens were among the best behaved teams in the NFL and had very few arrests, but I realize that doesn’t fit with the narrative you’re pushing.

  3. They should let Ray Lewis help with this project. If anyone knows character, it’s him.

  4. Talk about difficult tasks.

    Not only do they have to assess what the player is today, before hitting the NFL, but what he will be once he gets the fame, money, attention and entourage that go along with being an NFL player.

    Man, if I had those kind of powers of prognostication, I’d be playing the lottery every day.

  5. All the teams need to do this — the college players that can’t stay out of trouble can stay out of the NFL. I’m tired of hearing of all the arrests. The courts need to start treating these guys like regular citizens and put them in jail when need be. The website that has the “Days Since Last Arrest” should make Roger Goddell and the owners cringe with shame.

  6. I love how this article starts with;

    “The Ravens earned a reputation last year as a team full of off-field troublemakers…”

    Coach Harbawling CRY -BABY completed the season with whining to Goodell that he was outsmarted by Belichick & mocked by Brady!

    Hey Coach Harbaby, Your team had two 14 point leads ( 14+14=28 points) and couldn’t come out on top.

    GROW UP and be a MAN.

  7. As much as I hate the Ravens, given what’s happened over the past 2 or 3 years I’m sure all teams are looking for off the field issues. Now on the flip side the Ravens the last 5 years have had a lot of their players in some kind of trouble whether it’d be Ray Lewis with performance enhancing drugs, Jah Reid for assault, Ray Rice with beating up his wife in an elevator, Will Hill with child support, Terrance Cody with dog fighting, Terrell Suggs with domestic abuse, etc so it seems like they especially should be looking at character.

  8. On “Number of Arrests”:

    I would say you have to consider the quality as well as the quantity. How visible and egregious an incident the player is arrested for weighs, as it should, in heavy proportion.

  9. ravensterps says: Feb 16, 2015 4:43 PM

    Before this offseason the Ravens were among the best behaved teams in the NFL and had very few arrests, but I realize that doesn’t fit with the narrative you’re pushing.
    ____________________________________
    “Before this season” like that somehow excuses putrid behavior.

    Check it out at arrests dot thesportsgeeks dot com. Ravens are 3rd most since 2000. I would agree they are in the top 30 of best behaved teams.

  10. Ray Rice didn’t embroil the Ravens & NFL in a scandal…the NFL League & Ravens Management embroiled themselves in a scandal. Yes, he made a terrible personal decision that put his family at risk & ultimately his future employment in peril. But the “scandal” was the result of terrible decisions made by others who given the opportunity to demonstrate resolve & maturity (expected of those in Management positions) chose instead to display their less than adequate true personalities!!

  11. The real story isn’t being told. How was it that the cheating Patriot’s supported Hernandez all of those years turning a blind eye to his activities.

    Anything to win…cheat, murder…Kraft, spare me your false indignation!

    NE couldn’t even win its first SB in over a decade until Seattle gave it to them!

  12. I may be biased in saying this because I’m a Ravens fan, but hear me out. Every NFL team has their off the field issues and no team is looking to bring in players that are going to cause trouble whether it be by the draft or free agency. What Ray Rice did was wrong and he is paying for that. However, for every knucklehead/trouble maker that is on an NFL team there are 5-10 players that are true class acts and do a lot off the field to help those who are in need. An example from the Ravens would be Torrey Smith- class act.

  13. The Ravens and Vikings were poster boys for the MOST high profile off the field incidences, especially for the horrible way they handled each case. They tried to brush aside issues like smashing a woman in the face and dragging her unconsious deadweight out of an elevator and also for beating a child to the point where he was bleeding. The nonchalant ways the Ravens handled Ray Rice and the Vikes with AD created a PR nightmare for the teams and league with major sponsors threatening to pull out.

    Some people may claim the Ravens were “one of the best behaved teams”, but you were the poster boy for violence against women and then not caring.

  14. Most of the NFL players are good kids. There are always going to be a handful of knuckleheads in any industry. Sometimes you get a real bad guy like Aaron Hernandez or Adrian Peterson, but the teams do a pretty good job of staying away from the big time criminals.

  15. What a crock. The Ravens were complicit in trying to coverup the RRice thing until the evidence was overwhelming. They brought in Steve Smith, who’s certifiable. Built a stfatue to RLewis. A little late to decide to start screening.

  16. Yeah, anyone who has committed a felony (today) isn’t the kind of person the Ravens want. Anyone who has committed murder, assault, rape or arson (in the previous 24 hours) doesn’t have the kind of character needed to be a Raven. If you’ve tortured another human being, beaten a child or animal or murdered two men in a car (since the last time the sun rose in the east), you need to try to start your NFL career elsewhere.

  17. Yeah everyone else has a team of choir boys.

    It’s not a team specific problem it’s bigger than that.

    By the intelligence level of some things I read I’d say some of the commenters here have records too.

  18. dumbaseinstien says:

    Ray Rice didn’t embroil the Ravens & NFL in a scandal
    =========================================

    Yeah, actually he did.

  19. This whole site is flooded by Patsy fans with nothing in their lives but watching Baaaaston spaats team down at the baaa. Enjoy that wicked pissah of a beeah and shut ya chowdahead yappahs!

  20. PCa Survivor says: Feb 16, 2015 5:35 PM

    Check it out at arrests dot thesportsgeeks dot com. Ravens are 3rd most since 2000. I would agree they are in the top 30 of best behaved teams.

    ——————–

    Baltimore is not 3rd in arrests. The teams are listed alphabetically by team location, so Baltimore comes third after Arizona and Atlanta.

    Based on the site you’re referring to, the Ravens have the 13st most arrests since 2000 with 22. The Vikings lead the way with 45 arrests since 2000. Considering the ridiculous amount of Ravens players arrested in the past year, my point still stands.

  21. Both John Harbaugh and Jim Harbaugh turned their respective teams into the most-arrested, most-off-field-problem teams in the league. It can’t be a coincidence.

  22. PCa Survivor says: Feb 16, 2015 5:35 PM

    Check it out at arrests dot thesportsgeeks dot com. Ravens are 3rd most since 2000. I would agree they are in the top 30 of best behaved teams.

    ==============================

    You are right PCa – In the ALPHABETICAL listing on the page, Baltimore is third behind Arizona and Atlanta. If you bother to look at the actual number of arrests, you would see that Baltimore is 13th, which is not even in the top third of the league.

  23. “However, the reality is that there’s only so much a team can know about a player before drafting him. The Ravens had no reason to think when they drafted Rice that he would some day embroil the team and the league in a domestic violence scandal.”
    ______________________________

    True. But both the Ravens and the NFL could’ve handled events in a more responsible manner after the fact, instead of trying to sweep it under the rug the way they did…

  24. rjpats, they may be off-field criminals, but at least they don’t cheat.

    And I’d be more concerned with the Ravens evaluation of on-field talent.
    Oz “bust” Newsome
    Oz “wish I was Colbert” Newsome

  25. skawh says:
    Feb 16, 2015 5:48 PM
    The real story isn’t being told. How was it that the cheating Patriot’s supported Hernandez all of those years turning a blind eye to his activities.

    Anything to win…cheat, murder…Kraft, spare me your false indignation!

    NE couldn’t even win its first SB in over a decade until Seattle gave it to them!
    =============================
    ok

  26. How can you write an article about the Ravens supporting their cast of questionable characters without mentioning Ray Lewis??

  27. Mike Brown wants to know how he’s supposed to get players on the cheap without signing turds, it’s the Bungal way.

  28. PCa Survivor says:
    Feb 16, 2015 5:35 PM

    Check it out at arrests dot thesportsgeeks dot com. Ravens are 3rd most since 2000. I would agree they are in the top 30 of best behaved teams.
    ————————-
    Next time won’t you sing with me.

  29. Colbert is better than Ozzie?! Huh?

    Perhaps this is true in an alternate universe where the Steelers have actually won a playoff game in the past five years and Hillbilly Holler is better than Mountain Dew…

    LOLz @ Yinz.

  30. Shouldn’t ALL teams be taking a closer look at draft prospects? If these kids coming out of college can be handed out multi-million dollar contracts and they are going to represent your organization on and off the field, wouldn’t you, as an organization, want to vet these players better anyway?

    As for the Ravens, they should have Ray Lewis speak to prospects, and if he thinks they should draft a player, they should steer away from that player.

  31. They’ve been burned by high picks with off-field issues lately. Kindle and Cody immediately come to mind. Add in the other talented but injury-prone guys (Webb, Pitta, Jimmy Smith) and it’s easy to say that they haven’t had a good draft class in a while. Mosely is a bright spot.

    It could be a lack of diligence or it could just be bad luck. Either way, something has to give.

  32. “They’ve been burned by high picks with off-field issues lately. Kindle and Cody immediately come to mind. Add in the other talented but injury-prone guys (Webb, Pitta, Jimmy Smith) and it’s easy to say that they haven’t had a good draft class in a while.”
    ~~~~~~~
    Let’s break this down by first three picks to inform your uninformed comment.

    2014, Mosely, Jernigan, Brooks. Its only one year so we won’t include it. No off field issues.

    2013: Elam, Brown, Williams. Williams is the bright spot and is solid, so yes, 1 of 3 isn’t great. No off field issues.

    2012: Upshaw, Osemele, Pierce: 2 of 3 are solid, one pro bowler. Pierce needs work. No off field issues.

    2011: J Smith, T. Smith, Reid: All solid contributors and one real difference maker 3 of 3. No off field issues. J Smith was helping out. T. Smith is a leader. Reid got into a fight, misdemeanor battery.

    2010: Kindle, Cody, Dickson: bad top three 0 of 3. Off field issues for 2 of 3.

    2009; Oher, Kruger, Webb: Kruger and Webb are solid. 2 of 3. No off field issues.

    That’s looking only at top three. Ravens usually find gems in later rounds. I’d say Ravens are doing just fine.

  33. talking about a joke,wait and see the 2015 steelers..Ravens will be playoff bound again.

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