All week, the Baltimore Ravens blog will take a look at what the team can learn from each of its previous five drafts:
The Baltimore Ravens made the wrong decision on medical and character risks in 2010.
Like many teams, the Ravens were worried about Gronkowski's long-term health after repeated back issues. Drafted one spot ahead of Kindle, Gronkowski set NFL records for most touchdowns in a season by a tight end (18 in 2011) and most consecutive seasons with at least 10 touchdowns by a tight end (three). Injuries have caught up with Gronkowski but not until he produced two All-Pro seasons.
The Ravens traded out of the first round because the Denver Broncos wanted to to take quarterback Tim Tebow at No. 25, and they chose Kindle at No. 43 despite reports that he had four procedures on his right knee and two car accidents (including a DWI charge). When questioned repeatedly about Kindle's character on draft day, general manager Ozzie Newsome sounded defensive when he said, "I'll tell you what, he's a pretty good player on tape."
Kindle's career was cut short by an accident that occurred three months after the Ravens drafted him. He was ruled out of training camp before he even reported there because he fractured his skull after falling down two flights of stairs. His troubles continued in December 2010, when he was arrested for driving under the influence.
Kindle played two games in 2011 and one in 2012, recording a grand total of one tackle. The Ravens put Kindle on the practice squad in November 2012 and was released him two months later. He tried out for the New York Giants and Chicago Bears last year, but he wasn't signed.
Here's how the Ravens' 2010 draft graded out five years later (based on production and weighted with where they were drafted):
Sergio Kindle, LB (second round): F. He'll be remembered as the worst top pick of any Ravens draft.
Terrence Cody, NT (second round): C. Cody was a full-time starter for one season. He is a rotational player who is fighting for a roster spot this year.
Ed Dickson, TE (third round): C-plus. Dickson looked like he was on his way to being an impact player in 2011, when he caught 54 passes and five touchdowns. Then, drops and lack of confidence led to 46 catches and one touchdown in his last two seasons with the Ravens.
David Reed, WR (fifth round): C-minus. He showed flashes of being a playmaker as a kickoff returner. Fumbles and lack of production as a receiver (five catches in three seasons) sealed his fate.
Arthur Jones, DT (fifth round): A-minus. Jones got better each season and made big plays for the Ravens during their Super Bowl run. He was the Ravens' best defensive lineman last season and priced himself out of the Ravens' range in free agency.