- The Washington Times - Monday, April 28, 2003

OWINGS MILLS, Md. Now when Ray Lewis speaks, Terrell Suggs is going to have to listen and maybe do Lewis' laundry.
Suggs was featured in a pre-draft commercial starring Lewis. During production breaks, Lewis, the Baltimore Ravens' five-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker, informed Suggs of his plans to mistreat rookies in July's training camp.
"That's cool, because I ain't going to be there," Suggs said.
In the commercial, Suggs introduces himself and then boasts about his NCAA-record 24 sacks last season. Lewis rolls up to Suggs on a Cushman, normally reserved for carting players off the field, and presents him with two more sacks a couple bags of dirty laundry.
When the Ravens called Suggs on Saturday to inform the Lombardi and Nagurski Trophy winner he was going to be the 10th overall player selected in the NFL Draft, a happy Suggs quickly flashed back to his cameo appearance with perhaps the dominant defensive player in the game today.
"The first thing I thought about was me and Ray Lewis doing that commercial and how he made me do his laundry and now his acting is probably going to be a reality," Suggs said. "When they called my name, it was 'Yeah! … No!'"
While Suggs, who the Ravens plan to convert to outside linebacker from defensive end, never expected to be in Baltimore, California quarterback Kyle Boller did. Suggs, out of Arizona State, fell into the Ravens' lap at No.10 when teams became concerned over his 4.85 in the 40-yard dash. Many mock drafts had Boller going to the Ravens with the 10th pick, but Suggs was too good to pass up.
The Ravens got their quarterback, but it took some doing. They traded their second-round draft pick (41st overall) and next year's first-round selection to the New England Patriots for the 19th overall pick and grabbed Boller.
What sold the Ravens on the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Boller was a trip to Berkley, Calif., by a large delegation of Ravens, including coach Brian Billick. On one knee, Boller threw a perfect spiral through the uprights from the 50-yard line.
Boller, who passed for 2,815 yards with 28 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions last season for the Golden Bears, said at February's NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis he felt the meeting with the Ravens went well.
"I remember going home that night and calling my parents and just telling them that I thought I had a real good conversation with Baltimore," Boller said. "They came down for my individual workout and I think that went well. It clicked, I think."
Boller credits Cal coach Jeff Tedford for a breakout senior season after three mediocre years. Tedford changed Boller's throwing mechanics by taping his left (non-throwing) wrist to his torso to develop a more overhead throwing motion and to keep his hands up.
The Ravens have started eight quarterbacks over the past three seasons. Some in the media believe Boller will come in and start over incumbent Chris Redman, who had offseason back surgery, and question whether he can return to form this season.
"People are talking about me starting. I need to learn from Chris," Boller said. "I'm going to work hard and compete, but Chris is a great guy I can learn from and hopefully I can establish a good relationship with."
Said Billick, "Chris will open training camp as our starter and we'll see what happens."
The Ravens addressed need areas in yesterday's later rounds. With two picks in the fourth round, the Ravens selected Alabama defensive end Jarret Johnson (109th overall) and Wake Forest fullback Ovie Mughelli (134th overall), who is an intriguing pick, especially because he's listed at 6-1, 250 pounds.
"He was too good a value to pass up," said Phil Savage, the Ravens' director of player personnel.
In the fifth round, the Ravens took Tennessee defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin (146th overall) and Tony Pashos (173rd overall), a 6-6, 337-pound offensive tackle out of Illinois. The Ravens then selected Notre Dame strong safety Gerome Sapp in the sixth round with the 182nd overall pick.
The Ravens had three compensatory picks in the seventh round and chose Oklahoma tight end Trent Smith (223rd overall), Central Florida center Mike Mabry (250th overall), and Utah free safety Antwoine Sanders (258th overall) in the last round.
The Ravens went into the draft with only one first-round pick and left with two first-rounders in the top 20. Of the NFL's 32 teams, the Ravens arguably had the best draft, in what is becoming an annual rite of spring.
"I couldn't conceive that we would get Suggs and Boller in the same draft," said Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome. "I never imagined getting those two guys at two positions that were needs for us."

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide