On Thursday one of the most hyped events of the sporting year will be held when the NFL draft kicks off with the Colts taking Stanford QB Andrew Luck. Sometime on Saturday afternoon the final pick will be made. I have always been amazed how high or low fans feel after every pick. The whole thing is a giant crap shot. For every Tom Brady (7th round by the Patriots) there is a Ryan Leaf (2nd overall pick by the Chargers) in the annual draft. Guys like Todd McShay and Mel Kiper have made careers out of this annual ritual. However, very few players selected in the next week or so will make that much of a difference for the team they are going to this coming season. If the team is bad today...they will still be bad on Monday. Andrew Luck will not put the Colts in the Super Bowl next February. There is a reason the Colts were 2-14 last season and not all of it was because Peyton Manning was hurt. Will Luck make the Colts a playoff contender in a few years...maybe but not without lots of other pieces via the remainder of the draft or free agency.
My whole point is stop looking at the NFL draft as the be all-end all for your favorite team. Some players just don't make the jump from College to the Pros. The landscape is littered with can't miss prospects who missed.
All that being said I suspect the Ravens will try very hard to draft Alabama Linebacker Dont'a Hightower. From all reports the 2 year Tide Captain is a Ray Lewis clone. If he is half as good as the future Hall of Famer the Ravens will be very happy. I expect if Hightower is available from about spot 20 to where the Ravens pick at 29 the team will make a deal to insure they get their replacement for #52.