Grade : A
Round 1 – C.J. Mosley ILB
Round 2 - Timmy Jernigan DT
Round 3 – Terrence Brooks S
Round 3 – Crockett Gilmore TE
Round 4 – Brent Urban DT
Round 4 – Lorenzo Taliaferro RB
Round 5 – John Urschel -G
Round 6 – Keith Wenning - QB
Round 7 – Michael Campanaero WR
Although none of the Baltimore Ravens picks will make huge headlines the overall picture of the Maryland outfit's draft is that General Manager Ozzie Newcome and Head Coach John Harbaugh have drafted solid, football smart players who can contribute early in their careers.
The jewel in the Ravens draft is first round pick C.J. Mosley. In grabbing Mosley
with the 17th overall pick the Raven's got an absolute steal. Mosley was a legitimate top ten player who only fell as far as he did due to the need desire to find defensive pass rushers and some injury concerns (which the Ravens felt were exaggerated).
Mosley is a decent pass rusher enough but he really excels at choking off the run. In 2012 he got 107 tackles which was the second highest for an Alabama linebacker ever. As a bonus Mosley is fast enough to drop into coverage and play all three downs. A talent that is increasingly rare in the modern NFL.
Even better though Mosley reads the game magnificently and will act as a leader/organiser in the centre of the field. The comparison that no one wants to make is the the great ex-Raven Ray Lewis. Mosley is obviously a different player but in terms of intangibles and on pitch leadership ability Mosley is made from the same mould as Lewis.
Mosley's task will be made even easier by the second round pick of Timmy Jernigan and the fourth round pick of Brent Urban. These two giant defensive tackles will fill up gaps as they compete for a spot in an increasingly deep Ravens defensive line.
In the AFC North having players like Jernigan and Mosley who can stop the rush is crucial. The Bengals have the likes of Giovanni Bernard and added Jeremy Hill in the draft. Whilst the Steelers have LeGarrette Blount and added super fast rookie Dri Archer is key. Even the Browns have RB Ben Tate and Terrence West plus Johnny Manziel is also a rushing threat.
The Ravens needed to be able to shut down the run and with this draft the certainly took care of that.
The other picks are also really solid. Running back Lorenzo Taliaferro was perhaps the best blocker in his position in the draft and tight end Crockett Gilmore may not be a flashy player like Eric Ebron but he is a solid blocker who won't get bullied on the line. Whilst free
safety Terrence Brooks is super quick and potentially a great foil for strong safety Matt Elam.
The Raven's also traded back into the draft to grab seventh round pick WR Michael Campanaro. Campanaro could potentially play slot receiver for the Ravens.
Perhaps the most interesting pick was guard John Urschel who won the Campbell award or “academic Heisman” last year. He is a solid if unspectacular blocker whose arms are
shorter than you would perhaps like. Interestingly he can play center as well as guard. A move to the very middle of the line would make sense considering how “football smart” Urschel is and would also fill a need in the Ravens roster.
I'm giving the Ravens an A grade because the more you look at this draft the more logic there seems to be behind it. The Ravens have set themselves up well to deal with their divisional rivals.
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