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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ozzie Newsome keeps Ravens rolling with draft gems





By Robert Klemko

January 29, 2013

THE WIZARDY OF OZZIE

Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome has developed a reputation as a draft wiz, but he has also shown a keen ability to pick up talent overlooked on other rosters. Here are a few of his best pickups:

MARSHAL YANDA: Yanda, a guard, went from a third-round selection out of Iowa in 2007 to a five-year, $32 million extension and Pro Bowl nods in 2011 and 2012.

DANNELL ELLERBE: The linebacker was culled from the ranks of the undrafted in 2009. He was collected a career-high 89 tackles and 4 ½ sacks this season as Ray Lewis and Jameel McClain sat with injuries. Lewis’ possible successor is a free agent this offseason.

COREY GRAHAM: The cornerback was relegated to special teams after the Chicago Bears drafted him in the fifth round in 2007. Graham showed flashes in spot duty last season with Chicago, but his defining career moment would come in the divisional round of this season’s playoffs with two interceptions off the Denver Bronco’s Peyton Manning.

CARY WILLIAMS: One of two Ravens to start all 16 games in 2012, Williams became the team’s No. 1 corner when Lardarius Webb tore a knee ligament. The Washburn University product signed on with the Ravens in 2009 after two quiet seasons with the Tennessee Titans.

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