Ravens finish strong draft with 3 good picks

The Ravens capped a very good draft by taking defensive back Asa “Ace” Jackson with the 169th pick, Miami receiver Tommy Streeter with the 198th selection and Georgia defensive tackle DeAngelo Tyson with the 236th pick.

Jackson, a fifth-round pick provides the team depth in the defensive secondary and on special teams, where his 4.4-second 40-yard dash makes him hard to tackle.

Asa 'Ace' Jackson

“We are extremely excited,” defensive coordinator Dean Pees told the team’s website. “We had him very high on our board on defense and are really kind of shocked that he was still there in the fourth round. To get a guy that we had ranked as high as we had him ranked, I wanted to hug [general manager] Ozzie Newsome. That was a great pick. We always talk about taking the best available, but he wasn’t only the best available, but you get a two-run homer when you also get a need filled.”

Jackson averaged 14.06 yards per punt return, the third-best among active college players in the Football Championship Subdivision. The 5-foo-10, 193-pound Jackson should factor in kick returner competition, as Lardarius Webb, the team’s top cornerback, likely will be used strictly on defense and last year’s kick returner, David Reed, is coming off a season-ending knee injury. Tom Zbikowski signed with the Colts as a free agent.

Defensively, Jackson dominated in the lower division of college football, as he never surrendered a touchdown pass in man coverage – a major reason why he was named to All-Great West Conference’s first team all four years.

Streeter left Miami after his junior season because he felt he was ready for the NFL – and considering he was taken in the sixth round, the move didn’t pay off. Streeter, at 6-foot-5 and 219 pounds, brings a height to element to a receiving unit that features a pair of 6-1 targets in Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith, who was last year’s second-round pick. He’ll also challenge Tandon Doss, who played in six games and made no receptions as a rookie.

Tommy Streeter

“At the time he was the best player on our board,” Ravens director of player personnel Eric DeCosta told the team’s website. “We were excited about him. It’s unusual to get a receiver with that kind of size who can run like that.”

Streeter is fast, too, as he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds and some draft analysts have said he isn’t polished as a runner.

Streeter had a good – but not a great – junior season with the Hurricanes, as he led the team in receptions (46) and yards (811) and touchdown receptions (eight) , playing in all 12 games with seven starts. His 811 yards and 67.6 receiving yards per game each ranked fifth in the ACC. His 17.6 yards per catch was best among ACC receivers who had at least 40 receptions.

Drafting players from the University of Miami is nothing new to the Ravens. Streeter is the sixth former Hurricane selected by the team, which is anchored by former Hurricanes Ray Lewis and Reed.

DeAngelo Tyson

Tyson, at 6-2 and 315 pounds, adds depth up front, as he’ll compete against Terrence Cody for the backup role behind Pro Bowler Haloti Ngata. Cody has 47 tackles and no sacks since the Ravens drafted him in the second round in 2010. The Ravens needed another big body up front after losing Brandon McKinney, who signed a free-agent deal with the Colts.

As a senior at Georgia, Tyson made 20 tackles, including 3.5 behind the line of scrimmage, to go along with 11 quarterback pressures in 11 games, all starts.

“The [defensive line] is another area where you can’t have too many players,” Newsome said.


(Feature photo of Draft Central by Dave Carey)