Talk about getting the job done. The Ravens went into the draft with their backs against the wall, obtaining the 32nd pick in the NFL Draft due to winning the Super Bowl. Obviously we would all take that every year.
But to get the prime needs of this team addressed with their first two picks in Matt Elam at safety and Arthur Brown at inside linebacker?
You can’t get any better than that.
Elam is in the mold of Bernard Pollard – a strong safety who will come in the box and strike.
Brown is a linebacker who excels in coverage and is a pretty good run defender.
In all honesty, the scouting report on Brown makes it more and more puzzling as to why so many people had Manti Te’o ahead of him. Te’o has nothing on Brown. I’m not saying this because the Ravens selected Brown, I’m saying this as a fact.
People talked about Te’o being limited in pass coverage, while Brown plays about as well as you want a linebacker to play.
The Ravens got a player in the third round in Brandon Williams who will immediately compete with Terrence Cody for the back- up nose tackle position. I fully expect Williams to take it. That’s not a knock on Cody (though he may deserve one), but Williams could turn out to be a real gem.
In the fourth round – and this might be my favorite pick of all – Ozzie selected Kyle Juszczyk, a TE-FB who has exceptional hands. I know many have speculated that this pick may be the end of Vonta Leach but I don’t buy it. Leach is still an asset in the run game and I don’t think the Ravens should cut Leach due to the fact that he can be a great mentor for Juszczyk for this season.
Now you have three capable outlets at tight end with Dennis Pitta, Ed Dickson and now Juszczyk. For those of you who have a problem with this pick, think of Juszczyk as a player in the mold of a Chris Cooley for the Washington Redskins. He can beat linebackers down the field and create problems for defensive backs.
Aaron Mellette, wide receiver out of Elon, is a sleeper that plays a bit like Anquan Boldin, while not possessing the physicality. Both do a good job of fighting for the ball and catching in traffic. Mellette has decent run blocking skills but with room to improve. He is 6’2” 217 lbs, so he can be an interesting prospect.
OT Ricky Wagner and G/C Ryan Jensen are projects as this point as Wagner is seen mostly as a right tackle in the NFL and Jensen is considered a center and a guard.
If the Ravens had added a more viable solution for left tackle it would have been an A+ draft. Still, great work overall.