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Ravens do it again in NFL draft with Upshaw

NEW YORK -- If the NFL was a fantasy football league, the Baltimore Ravens are that guy who always makes the rest of the room say "nice pick."

The Ravens take value. Year after year, they see a blue-chip talent fall for some bogus reason or another. And then they snap them up, coach them up and make them into Pro Bowlers.

General manager Ozzie Newsome did it again by drafting Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw with the 35th overall pick in the draft.

"I'm very excited to be a Raven," Upshaw said after he got off the stage at Radio City Music Hall. "I can't stop smiling."

Upshaw was a player with whom most teams didn't know what to do. They didn't know what position at which to play him. The Ravens specialize in customizing roles to fit a player's strength.

Is Terrell Suggs a linebacker or a defensive end? What was Adalius Thomas?

Upshaw is a tough, smart football player. He's a hitter. And now he's a Baltimore Raven.

"He plays like a junkyard dog," Ravens director of personnel Eric DeCosta said of Upshaw, according to The Associated Press. "He's a physical, violent football player. A lot of guys can rush the passer, a lot of guys can drop and play in space, but setting the edge is really one of the most important things at this position, and we feel this guy can do that."

Upshaw will fit right in.

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