Ravens Address Defense on Day 2 of NFL Draft

ACC Championship - Duke v Florida State
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 07: Defensive back Terrence Brooks #31 of the Florida State Seminoles tackles wide receiver Issac Blakeney #17 of the Duke Blue Devils during the ACC Championship game at Bank of America Stadium on December 7, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

OWINGS MILLS — Timmy Jernigan and Terrence Brooks were part of one of the best defenses in college football last season at Florida State.

Now, they will try to help the Baltimore Ravens re-establish themselves as one of the best defenses in the NFL.

After taking Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley in the first round Thursday, the Ravens selected Jernigan, a defensive tackle, with their second round pick Friday. They followed that taking Jernigan’s college teammate, Brooks, a free safety, in the third round.

“It’s kind of crazy because the whole time I was just [thinking] if I could take one guy with me it would be Timmy,” Brooks said during a conference call. “I just know we can do damage together. We did it at Florida State. We can do it anywhere.”

The 6-foot-2, 299-pound Jernigan was projected by some analysts as a possible top-15 pick early in the draft process, but he slipped to the second round.

Jernigan will compete with 2013 third-round pick Brandon Williams and others for playing time at both defensive tackle and nose tackle, primarily at the defensive spot vacated by Arthur Jones.

Jernigan had 67 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks last season. The 67 tackles were third-most on Florida State’s team, which ranked third nationally in total defense.

“He’s really active. He moves around. But he’s stout,” Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. “He does not get moved out at all. … Really quick-footed guy. Really athletic guy. Probably a [defensive tackle] who plays nose guard is how we would probably describe him.”

Brooks started his college career at cornerback before switching to free safety.

He started at free safety each of the last two seasons and was selected second-team All-ACC as a senior last season.

Free safety was one of Baltimore’s most pressing concerns heading into the draft, and adding Brooks addresses that.

He will compete with recently signed Darian Stewart for the starting safety job next to 2013 first-round pick Matt Elam.

“I felt like they needed a safety,” Brooks said. “I just felt like a lot of teams needed a safety this year, and they just kept passing me up, [but] I just knew that at least one of them was going to bite, and I’m glad it’s the Ravens.

“I love that team, just how physical they are, and I try to play my game just so physical.”

Brooks only had two interceptions last year, but he had 56 tackles, including eight for a loss.

He also had the fastest 40-yard dash time among safeties at the combine (4.42).

Ravens director of college scouting Joe Hortiz said last week that Brooks had the best speed and acceleration of any safety in this year’s draft.

“Quite honestly, he was a guy we hoped would be there in the third round,” Baltimore assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said. “We had him targeted, and we’re excited to get him. Not only is he a great safety, he’s probably one of the top-5 special teamers, we think, in this whole draft.”

 

For more on Day 2 of the Ravens 2014 NFL Draft click here…

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