With back-to-back selections in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft on Saturday, the Baltimore Ravens selected Ohio State outside linebacker John Simon and Harvard fullback Kyle Juszczyk.
The selection of Juszczyk is rather unsurprising, as the Ravens were rumored to have had serious interest in him.
He’s a versatile offensive weapon who played mainly fullback for the Crimson, but is also capable of being a receiving threat, mainly in an h-back role. Essentially, he was drafted by the team to be Vonta Leach’s backup (and possible heir), as well as another receiving option both out of the backfield and as a tight end.
With no true third tight end currently on the roster, Juszczyk, for now, takes over that role.
In 2012, he caught a career-high 52 passes for 706 yards and eight touchdowns. At his pro day, he ran the 40-yard dash twice, posting times of 4.71 and 4.72 seconds.
The selection of Simon marked the Ravens’ continued efforts to revamp and reload a defense going through a transition period.
The pass rusher was used primarily as a defensive end at Ohio State, but with his ability to get after the quarterback, he’ll move to outside linebacker in Baltimore’s 3-4 defense.
For the Buckeyes last season, Simon recorded nine sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss. He isn’t an exceptional athlete, but he shows consistent effort on plays and may remind some Ravens fans of former outside linebacker Jarret Johnson.
With Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs penciled in as the starting outside linebackers for the upcoming season, Simon will be used in a rotational role.
So far, the Ravens have made it a priority to upgrade and add youth to the defense. Four of the team’s first five picks have been on the defensive side and it doesn’t appear that they’re finished adding defensive talent.