McShay: ’11 Draft Class Short of ’10

Scouts Inc.’s Todd McShay sees only 23 or 24 players with legitimate first-round grades.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Saturday, February 19th, 2011 at 10:52 am | Categories: Ryan Mink

The Ravens are slotted to pick 26th in the NFL Draft this year.
 
If every team drafted according to Scout Inc.’s Todd McShay’s rankings, Baltimore would be choosing from second-round talent at that point.
 
“I think this year’s group in general, I have 23 or 24 players with legitimate first-round grades,” McShay said. “So there is going to be some players that end up getting drafted late in the first round that ordinarily wouldn’t.”
 
Last year’s draft class was widely-regarded as exceptionally strong, with considerable top-tier talent and depth at many positions.
 
This year, a record 56 underclassmen declared for the NFL Draft, but some of the top talent may have entered the draft last year when there wasn’t an immediate threat of a lockout, which would keep them from practicing with their teams during the offseason and could restrict their salaries.
 
“This isn’t a bad draft class,” McShay said. “It just comes up short [of 2010] in comparison.”
 
An example can be seen in brothers Maurkice Pouncey and Mike Pouncey. Maurkice was taken by Pittsburgh with the 18th overall pick last year. This year, McShay has Florida’s Mike being drafted not too much later at 27. But the draftnik sees a big disparity between the brothers.
 
“[Mike's] brother is at a different level,” McShay said.
 
Of course, as it happens every year, some teams may reach to satisfy a need or because they fall in love with a prospect. Thus, there’s a good chance that what McShay views as a first-round talent falls to the Ravens at No. 26.
 
Baltimore has made a living on snatching up late first-round standouts such as tackle Michael Oher, guard Ben Grubbs, safety Ed Reed, tight end Todd Heap and Ray Lewis, just to name a few.

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