April 24, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2001 NFL Draft
The Ravens were in the somewhat difficult position of picking 31st in the NFL's first round of the draft this year after winning Super Bowl XXXV last January 28. And, despite this late choice, Ravens officials grabbed a targeted player. "We had 20 players listed as the best in the draft, and were hoping one would drop to us, and that happened," Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens' Vice President of Player Personnel said.
Baltimore selected Arizona State tight end Todd Heap with its first selection of the 2001 draft, 31st overall. Heap, 6'-4", 248 lbs., caught 115 passes for 1,685 yards and 10 TDs in his career with the Sun Devils. A true junior, he is the first opening-round tight end selected by the Ravens. "Long term, this is a good pick," Ravens' Head Coach Brian Billick said. "But even in this season, 250 to 300 snaps would be a pretty good contribution. He's a tremendous athlete."
Baltimore tabbed hard-hitting defensive back Gary Baxter of Baylor with its second round selection. Baxter, a big (6'-2", 204 lbs.) defensive back has played both cornerback and safety. "Gary is big, he's fast and he's classy," said Newsome. "With that combination, you don't lose." In the third round, the final round of day one of the draft, the Ravens selected Wisconsin center Casey Rabach. A versatile lineman who can play both center and guard, Rabach is another of a steady flow of big, tough Badger linemen. Rabach helped block for 1999 Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne (N.Y. Giants), who became the first player in college annals to rush for over 7,000 yards (7,125) in his career.
The Ravens selected inside linebacker Edgerton Hartwell in the fourth round, then tabbed RB Chris Barnes in the fifth round. "In Hartwell, we drafted a true middle linebacker, a guy that can call the signals," said Newsome. "Chris Barnes is from the state of Florida, which produces a lot of real good football players. He gives us a chance to have a viable backup to Jamal Lewis."
Deep snapper Joe Maese from New Mexico was selected in the sixth round, 194th overall, and Baltimore's final pick was DE Dwayne Missouri, 6'-5", 260 lbs. from Northwestern.
"Joe's a guy who may be able to snap for us on opening day," cited Newsome. "If not him, we have some veterans with experience we can rely on. Dwayne adds some depth on the defensive line. He will need to develop a little more physically, but he's shown signs that he could play in the league."
"With this draft, you may have to wait a couple of years to really judge us," said Newsome. "We stuck by our board and tried not to get too cute. We put in our hard work, and now we'll have a chance to see these guys play."
|1||31st||Todd Heap||TE||6-5||252||3/16/80||Arizona State|
|4||126th||Edgerton Hartwell||LB||6-1||250||5/27/78||Western Illinois|
|5||161st||Chris Barnes||RB||6-0||210||7/31/78||New Mexico St.|
|6||194th||Joe Maese||LS||6-0||241||12/2/78||New Mexico|
click here for last year's Draft info