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Kindle a solid scheme fit for Ravens

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Posted April 23, 2010 @ 8:04 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

With the No. 43 pick, the Ravens got a first-round talent in OLB Sergio Kindle, who appears to have slid into Round Two because of questions about a knee injury. There have been a couple reports that have suggested Kindle could need microfracture surgery at some point.

However, Kindle was worth the risk 11 picks into Rounds Two. He's one of the best pass rushers in this class, and he has shown he can rush from both two- and three-point stances. This is an especially important skill in the Ravens' defense, which has the personnel to show 3-4 and 4-3 looks.

The Ravens can be patient with Kindle. They don't need him to start immediately, not with Suggs and Jarret Johnson at outside linebacker. The Ravens could primarily use Kindle in pass-rushing situations as a rookie; they did just that with Suggs seven years ago, and he notched 12 sacks in his first NFL season. 

Kindle is entering an ideal situation. He joins a talented, veteran-laden defense where expectations will be low, and he'll have the chance to learn from players like Suggs and ILB Ray Lewis. If he matures and works at his craft, he'll be put in a position to succeed.

Time and again, the Ravens seem to get excellent value with their first pick. This is no different, even after they traded back into Round Two after Denver made a couldn't-refuse-it offer for the No. 25 overall pick on Thursday and New England traded up one spot ahead of them to take Arizona TE Rob Gronkowski at No. 42.

It wouldn't be a surprise if the Ravens selected a tight end later in the draft. Nor would it be a stunner if Kindle thrived in a defense that looks like it will suit him well.

 

For the most authoritative NFL draft news and free-agency analysis, visit ProFootballWeekly.com.

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