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Draft review: Baltimore Ravens

Elam AP

From Super Bowl title to mass exodus to having multiple veterans fall into their laps, the Ravens found themselves with yet another opportunity to reload via the draft.  Let’s take a look at how they did.

What they needed:  Inside linebacker, safety, tackle, center, receiver, tight end.

Who they got:
Round 1: Matt Elam, S, Florida.
Round 2: Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas St.
Round 3: Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern St.
Round 4: John Simon, DE, Ohio St.
Round 4: Kyle Juszcyk, FB, Harvard.
Round 5: Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin.
Round 6: Kapron Lewis-Moore, DE, Notre Dame.
Round 6: Ryan Jensen, C, Colorado-State Pueblo.
Round 7: Aaron Mellette, WR, Elon.
Round 7: Marc Anthony, CB, California.

Where they hit:  They needed a safety and an inside linebacker, and they got one of each early.  While some may have preferred Manti Te’o with the last pick in round one, getting the safety then the inside linebacker makes more sense, given that plenty of inside linebackers were available in round two.  The decision to swap three picks to move up for Brown shows that they wanted him, badly.

Where they missed:  With all the hand-wringing regarding the departure of key players on defense, the decision to move on from receiver Anquan Boldin has been overlooked.  Aaron Mellette, a sixth-rounder from Elon, fits the profile for a Boldin replacement, but he likely lacks the skill to pull it off.  With tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson heading toward unrestricted free agency in 2014, the Ravens should have considered adding a tight end now.

Impact rookies:  Elam and Brown should start right away.  Most of the rest of the picks are guys who will be brought along slowly, with many emerging in time as key contributors.

Long-term prospects:  The Ravens deftly blended present needs and future development.  Like the 49ers and defensive end Tank Carradine, the Ravens squatted on defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore, who tore an ACL in January and who can be put on scholarship for a season as he heals.  Center Ryan Jensen provides depth at center at the retirement of Matt Birk. B asically, the Ravens had a Ravens draft.  They got better where they needed to, and they stockpiled talent for the future.  It’s hard to argue with an approach that has resulted in five straight playoff berths.

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44 Responses to “Draft review: Baltimore Ravens”
  1. icdogg says: Apr 30, 2013 10:04 PM

    Good draft for them. I especially like the Arthur Brown selection.

  2. whytryagainstme says: Apr 30, 2013 10:07 PM

    The Super Bowl Champions addressed all their needs! Best front office in the league!

  3. siggtacular says: Apr 30, 2013 10:10 PM

    World Champs

    In Oz We Trust

  4. classyjacklambert says: Apr 30, 2013 10:11 PM

    It will be interesting to see how this draft works in replenishing the Ravens line-up and keeping them from having a Super Bowl hangover that everyone thinks they are going to have. I think since they pretty much ripped the heart out of their team by letting Ed Reed and Anquan Boldin go, not to mention the retirement of Ray Lewis, that they might actually avoid the hangover this year since they brought in a lot of new hungry talent instead of keeping the old complacent players from last year. Or I could be wrong and it might backfire and the team could be in shambles. If it works Ozzie Newsome might actually be the genius all the Baltimore fans think he is. If it backfires he’s the goat in this one.

  5. rockthered1286 says: Apr 30, 2013 10:17 PM

    Considering the Ravens have said that they will do what it takes to keep Pitta, I saw no immediate need for a TE. Center wasn’t a major issue either- they drafted Gradkowski in the 3rd round last year and gave him a year under Birk to learn and develop. And i get all concerns about WR but AGAIN i will remind everyone that Boldin was only responsible for 4 TDs in the regular season so other than a hot hand in the post season? Not a massive loss. I see Deonte Thompson stepping into the role seamlessly. Overall? Stellar draft by Oz & DeCosta. Now lets go cut Leach (since we drafted a FB) and allocate that $3.5M towards a decent LT not named BigMac.

  6. ppdoc13 says: Apr 30, 2013 10:28 PM

    Typical Ozzie draft. Our first two picks were rated in the to 40 players. The dude from OSU looks like a clone of jarrett Johnson,but faster. And a lot of the pre draft pubs had this kid Mellette going in round 5 or 6. Most draft reviews have him as our sleeper. As bad as we need a LT, I am glad they didn’t trade to take someone mediocre. There were 4 ready to start LTs in this draft and they were gone before the first dozen picks we we gone. Time to go do our homework and find some that can fill the bill until we again get a good shot at a top guy.

  7. scoobies05 says: Apr 30, 2013 10:32 PM

    thanks for trying to at least be objective classyjack..but your analysis is off. i truly wish people would stop making so much out of the vets leaving. isnt it a steeler mantra..better a year early than a year late? looks like another good draft haul for the ravens. ozzie’s genius has been proven time and again. go ravens

  8. sfm073 says: Apr 30, 2013 10:32 PM

    Brandon Williams will be a beast in time. I played with him in high school and he’s an animals. Great pick by the ravens.

  9. tryingmybest2 says: Apr 30, 2013 10:42 PM

    They should have drafted Mr. Clean.
    It is not a clean fan base… or city.

  10. Max says: Apr 30, 2013 10:50 PM

    Brandon Williams should not have been at bottom of the 3rd. Best Pick of the draft, wrecking ball with high motor, with penerating ability at NT position.

    Ozzie and DeCosta continue to be the best in the business.

    San Fran and Seattle have been doing excellent jobs as well, with regards to talent acquisitions.

  11. albionhero says: Apr 30, 2013 10:51 PM

    The FB from Harvard was an H-Back type there, so he might be able to fill the TE role.

  12. lovefootball4life says: Apr 30, 2013 10:57 PM

    Also had 13 or so undrafted rookies. We know one or two will emerge as key players. I’m really hoping Streeter from last year’s draft is ready to go. With his measurements he’d be a pretty good replacement for Boldin and I’m dying to see what 6’5″ receivers can do. By the way, how much faster will Torrey Smith be now without his dreadlocks slowing him down. Lol.

  13. fusstr8tedfinfan says: Apr 30, 2013 11:00 PM

    Must be nice to be a fan of a team that has won a superbowl recently. Does anyone care to share how it feels to have years of unflinching loyalty rewarded.I’ve been a Miami fan for 32 years and honestly if things don’t pick up soon I’m going to have to resort to watching….gulp….baseball!

  14. wryly1 says: Apr 30, 2013 11:00 PM

    Lets get real. The Ravens have gone into rebuild mode. The SB winner just lost 10 starters, including key veteran leaders and playmakers on both sides of the ball. 8-8 tops in 2013.

  15. melkipershero says: Apr 30, 2013 11:11 PM

    The Ravens weren’t their usual dominate defense this past season. They’ve done more than enough to at least be in the thick of the race.

  16. reed20fence says: Apr 30, 2013 11:12 PM

    If the existing WRs don’t emerge in camp or the pre-season, they’ve already hinted that they’re willing to bring in free agent WRs as late as the last pre-season game.

    There’s still a ton of offseason left folks, and many personnel changes are possible.

    People get hurt in camp accidents. Guys get cut to meet roster restrictions and wind up elsewhere with chips on their shoulders. No-name talents emerge. Guys from NFL Europe and the CFL get pulled. It’s all happened before and happens every year.

  17. scoobies05 says: Apr 30, 2013 11:21 PM

    good organizations lose and replace players all the time. ravens lose players every year and every year people who dont know ravens football say “they lost (fill in the blank)…theyre done”. all will be well wryly. looking forward to another great season. maybe your team will do the same

  18. crownofthehelmet says: Apr 30, 2013 11:23 PM

    The only skill player was a 7th rounder from Elon? The spellcheck underlines in red “Elon”, so I don’t even think that’s a real school. And who exactly is going to make plays on offense this year?

    Let’s see, there’s Rice, and um….um… oh yeah, a couple flash-in-the-pan, one-trick-ponys trying to camp out under some pop fly balls. Keep pretending Boldin wasn’t a majority of the offense and didn’t win you that SB, and that you don’t really need a LT. I’m sure it’ll all work out fine. (that last sentence was sarcasm, morganator)

  19. lovefootball4life says: Apr 30, 2013 11:27 PM

    wryly rebuild means you gut your core and start over. Jets are in rebuild mode. Ravens are not. Steelers weren’t rebuilding last year so what’s their excuse for going 8-8?

  20. @Cereal_22 says: Apr 30, 2013 11:49 PM

    That DT they took in Rnd3 looked like Warren Sapp at the Sr Bowl

  21. bengalbuck says: Apr 30, 2013 11:53 PM

    @ reed20fence

    I hear the Hamburg Sea Devils are loaded at WR. j/k

  22. reediddy says: May 1, 2013 2:55 AM

    Signing Matt Furstenburg as a UDFA was huge for them, giving them an insurance policy at TE. Guy was impressive at the combine, is local (Maryland) and is an impressive blocker and pass catcher. Surprising that he wasn’t drafted.

  23. ravensdominate says: May 1, 2013 5:38 AM

    Best front office in the biz. World Champs for a reason. Go Ravens!

  24. ravensdominate says: May 1, 2013 5:41 AM

    Crown of the helmet, who’s going to make plays on offense, defense and special teams for the steelers??? Hmmm there’s Ben oh wait he’ll get hurt and there’s ummmm…. Yeah

  25. scoobies05 says: May 1, 2013 6:27 AM

    based on the number of posts put up by crown i have no doubt the ravens are going to have another great season

  26. reed20fence says: May 1, 2013 7:51 AM

    Dog it all you want, at this point in the 98 offseason Kurt Warner was the starting QB for the Amsterdam Admirals. His backup was Jake Delhomme.

    A year later he was named the NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP.

  27. daburgher says: May 1, 2013 8:20 AM

    As a Steelers fan, I am supremely jealous of the Arthur Brown pick.. I think he is going to be a stud.. However I think the Steelers, bengals, and ratbirds all drafted well so should be a competitive AFCN

  28. getyourownname says: May 1, 2013 8:36 AM

    “It’s hard to argue with an approach that has resulted in five straight playoff berths.”

    And yet, some people do.

    “Juice” will be an H back, so no tight end need there, plus they took Furstenburg as UDFA from Maryland. The only real open issues are WR and LT. But Ravens have regularly found decent players cut from other teams during the preseason (, so no reason to get overly excited concerned yet.

    Sorry, crownedinthehead, Boldin was extremely average during the entire regular season. You could look it up, if you were interested in discussing actual facts. Keep whistling past the graveyard as the Bengals and Browns both steal your thunder.

  29. jtbsteeler says: May 1, 2013 9:26 AM

    “Jumpball” Joe will need someone to throw to. THe Steelers stifled that offense twice last season and Charlie shredded that defense. I don’t see where you’ve improved…?

  30. buzzbeaubank says: May 1, 2013 10:32 AM

    You can only laugh at Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco’s detractors who are desperately trying to make this “Jump Ball Joe” nickname stick. Even before his 11 TD, 0 INT playoff run, he was considered by many to throw the best deep ball in the game. Then again, you do prefer a QB who runs around in circles behind a garbage O-Line, then chucks a jump ball off his back foot in the general direction of his WRs. Who is going to catch those ducks this year other than AB? Plax? Matt Spaeth?

  31. clownofthedroolingfool says: May 1, 2013 11:20 AM

    When your team is obviously dying, when it hit is peak during the Ford Administration, the only thing left is to trash your opponents. In the last 5 years, Ravens have had more regular season and twice as many playoff wins as the Steelers. Ravens have been remarkably consistent, winning one or more playoff games each year. Steelers missed the playoffs 40% of the time. Why do I pick 5 years as a benchmark? Before that, you’re talking about so many ex-players, there’s little resemblance to the teams that play now.

  32. krispyone says: May 1, 2013 12:33 PM

    clownofthedroolingfool says:
    May 1, 2013 11:20 AM
    When your team is obviously dying, when it hit is peak during the Ford Administration, the only thing left is to trash your opponents. In the last 5 years, Ravens have had more regular season and twice as many playoff wins as the Steelers. Ravens have been remarkably consistent, winning one or more playoff games each year. Steelers missed the playoffs 40% of the time. Why do I pick 5 years as a benchmark? Before that, you’re talking about so many ex-players, there’s little resemblance to the teams that play now.

    No you pick 5 years because it makes your team look good. Why not go back 10, 15?? Because it wouldnt fit with what you are trying to say. Teams look different year to year with many ex players. Stop trying to be a homer and using things that will paint your team in a better light

  33. blackraven1313 says: May 1, 2013 12:47 PM

    Another great draft by the RAVENS! The picks were great choices at their selected rounds. Liked the pick of Lewis-Moore in 6th round, hope the knee heals perfectly and he starts to bring it next year.

  34. jtbsteeler says: May 1, 2013 1:12 PM

    3 SB’s in 7 seasons. Knocked the Ravens on their@#$&% in the playoffs twice. Call me when that is done to the Steelers. YOur owner begged the league not to go to Pittsburgh week 1.

    Jump Ball Joe.

  35. jtbsteeler says: May 1, 2013 1:14 PM

    27yard 4th down gain in SD and a Hail Mary in Denver. Lucky season.

  36. scoobies05 says: May 1, 2013 1:25 PM

    if you dont see how the ravens have improved then you havent been paying attention

  37. jtbsteeler says: May 1, 2013 1:40 PM

    7 new starters on defense. Yeah, that’s improved. I hope you aren’t counting on Webb and Jimmy Smith?

  38. buzzbeaubank says: May 1, 2013 2:15 PM

    jtbsteeler says:May 1, 2013 1:14 PM

    27yard 4th down gain in SD and a Hail Mary in Denver. Lucky season.
    —————–
    If that’s luck, what do you call Big Ben tripping up Nick Harper because he was stabbed in the knee the night before?

  39. clownofthedroolingfool says: May 1, 2013 2:15 PM

    krispyone says:
    May 1, 2013 12:33 PM
    Stop trying to be a homer and using things that will paint your team in a better light

    OMG! Did you just say that??? Six rings!!! We’ve got six rings!!!! Hey everybody, look at our rings, six of them!!! Count em! 1-2-3-4-5-6!!!
    Seriously, how about we go back 1 year. In that case, Ravens are the best team in the NFL and Steelers are barely average. Or we could go back 2 years when the Steelers got bounced out of the playoffs by a QB that nobody wants. Read the writing on the wall. Unemployment is done, stock market is up, Steelers are dropping to 4th place.

  40. scoobies05 says: May 1, 2013 3:03 PM

    gift wrapped superbowl 40 from the refs. present days steelers have an aging qb no rbs no te and hardly any receivers. anybody who knows football would take the ravens over the steelers today

  41. jtbsteeler says: May 1, 2013 3:17 PM

    The Ravens defense is garbage. Offense is predicated on jump balls. We shut it down with Boldin, now with him not there I feel GREAT about the Steelers chances against the Ravens. You better call TO or Ocho because that WR corp is below average. And you know it.

  42. clownofthedroolingfool says: May 1, 2013 4:12 PM

    Steelers better call 911. Latest power rankings have Ravens at 8, Bengals at 9, Steelers at 16. 4th place, here you come!!!!

  43. scoobies05 says: May 1, 2013 4:38 PM

    maybe jb is right….i mean a steeler fan would certainly know what a mediocre receiving corps would look like.

  44. ravonatorswallowsspunk says: May 2, 2013 11:52 PM

    Nice draft…

    Cheers

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