Lockout Could Hurt ’10 Draftees Most

If there’s a lockout, players wouldn’t be allowed at teams’ offseason workouts.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Sunday, January 23rd, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink

A lockout would be damaging to all NFL players.

But Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome foresees it being hurtful to one particular set of youngsters.

“I think the group that could get hurt the most by the work stoppage is last year’s draft class on all 32 teams, because this is where they get the opportunity – would have had the opportunity – to start from March to go all the way to Game 1 to work with coaches, work with strength coaches and get themselves better and become better football players,” Newsome said.

“So, that draft class could not be as good as it could potentially be if there is a work stoppage.”

The Ravens’ 2010 draft class includes outside linebacker Sergio Kindle, nose tackle Terrence Cody, tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta, wide receiver David Reed, defensive tackle Arthur Jones and tackle Ramon Harewood.

A player’s first offseason is a critical time in the mental and physical development of a player. It’s when players first learn how to manage workouts and conditioning on an NFL level during extended time off.

The benefits of a full offseason regiment were particularly evident in such 2009 draftees as left tackle Michael Oher and defensive end Paul Kruger. Oher, who didn’t miss a single offseason workout, toned up and added quite a bit of muscle and Kruger bulked up to make a position change to defensive end.

If owners and players cannot reach a new collective agreement and a lockout ensues, players will not be allowed to step inside team facilities and coaches won’t be permitted to set-up any workouts outside the building either.

“It affects us the same way as it affects every other team,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

“So, the challenge for us is to put some plans in place to be better than the other 31 teams, or to try to, and come out ahead when we start playing games and be the best team we can be. As coaches and across the board, we’re going to try to find a way to do that. It’ll be challenging because it will be different.”

Tags: , , , ,