Baltimore Ravens Mock Draft: Updated 7-Round Projections After Senior Bowl

Mike FastContributor IJanuary 26, 2013

Baltimore Ravens Mock Draft: Updated 7-Round Projections After Senior Bowl

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    Now that the Senior Bowl has concluded, those not involved in Super Bowl festivities can truly start thinking about next season.

    While the scouting combine begins on February 20 and the NFL Draft begins on April 25, the real process of evaluating players began months ago.

    There are always players who see their "stock" rise or fall during Senior Bowl week. To that, I ask if a players' stock can drastically rise or fall in one week, what was the point of them playing for an entire season?

    Of course the combine and bowl games are important, but people put too much emphasis on those elements of the process.

    Is a player a quick study? Is he a proven performer? Is he a team player? Can he make the big play under the most pressure? That's what really matters.

    For a team like the Ravens that has made it to three conference championship games and a Super Bowl within five years of having a new head coach and a new quarterback, the draft represents an opportunity to reload, not rebuild.

    Replacing retiring players or players who are close to retirement is the goal now. Baltimore has proven once again in 2012 that it has depth. Now the key is replenishing that depth.

Round 1: Eric Reid, Safety, LSU

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    Height

    6'2"

    Weight

    208 pounds

    NFL Grade

    87.5

    NFL Comparison

    Mark Barron

    YouTube Highlight

    Eric Reid LSU

    Analysis

    Like Ed Reed, Eric Reid is a versatile, athletic and instinctive safety. Reid has made numerous big plays for LSU during his collegiate career, and he's done it against some of the quickest and strongest wide receivers in the country in the SEC.

    With Reed being a free agent, the Ravens may want to draft Reid in the event that Reed signs with another team, or they could select the LSU product to eventually replace Reed.

    There aren't many collegiate defenses that are better than LSU's. Reid has been a cornerstone for the Tigers during his time in Baton Rouge, and he has shown signs that he could captain a Ravens defense once Reed calls it quits.

    Reid is simply a premier playmaker in this draft. It's pretty much guaranteed that he'll go in the first round.

Round 2: Arthur Brown, Inside Linebacker, Kansas State

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    Height

    6'1"

    Weight

    228 pounds

    NFL Grade

    70.3

    NFL Comparison

    D'Qwell Jackson

    YouTube Highlight

    Arthur brown big hit vs ou

    Analysis

    Arthur Brown is like Ray Lewis was when Lewis was leaving college: Just too small.

    According to scouts, that is.

    Not according to performance though, which, as far as I know, is what counts. Weight can be added, but instincts and fundamentals are something you either have or you don't.

    Brown takes his sound fundamentals and goes full speed ahead, playing without fear. He hustles in pursuit and in pass coverage, and he can make plays one-on-one if he has to.

    I don't know if there will be another Ray Lewis. But Brown has shown he has a strong foundation to build upon that could lead to the Ravens having another Pro Bowl middle linebacker for years to come.

Round 3: Adrian Bushell, Cornerback, Lousiville

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    Height

    5'11"

    Weight

    184 pounds

    NFL Grade

    69.0

    NFL Comparison

    Tramon Williams

    YouTube Highlight

    Adrian Bushell vs UConn (2012)

    Analysis

    Cornerback Adrian Bushell (boo-SHELL) is feisty and dynamic, which is just how the Ravens like their players to be.

    One inch taller and two pounds heavier than Lardarius Webb, Bushell plays like the fourth-year cornerback from Nicholls State.

    Bushell made 57 tackles and had 13 passes defensed last season for the Cardinals. In 2011 at UConn, he ran the opening kickoff back for a 100-yard touchdown.

    Bushell has played for three teams in his four college years. In 2009 he began his career at Florida. Then he transferred to Coffeyville Community College (Kansas) where, yes, he played for the Ravens (Coffeyville's mascot). Bushell finished his collegiate career at Lousiville.

    While his circumstances often changed, his on-field play did not. Given Webb's injury history and Cary Williams being a free agent after this season, Bushell may be a Raven once again.

Round 4: Khaled Holmes, Center, Southern Cal

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    Height

    6'4"

    Weight

    305 pounds

    NFL Grade

    71.0

    NFL Comparison

    Brian De La Puente

    YouTube Highlight

    USC Football - T.J. McDonald and Khaled Holmes Mic'd Up

    Analysis

    By the time next season's training camp begins, Matt Birk will be 37. While he has two more years left on his contract, it might be a good time for the Ravens to look for his replacement.

    Gino Gradkowski was taken by Baltimore in fourth round of last year's draft, but he is more of a guard than a center.

    Khaled Holmes was a captain on the Trojans team in 2012. And he, like Birk, is a very smart player. Holmes graduated from USC with a double major.

    On the field, Holmes is a leader with his words and his actions. He's what you want in a center in that he gets players on the same page before each snap. Holmes shows good footwork and almost always gets there in time to make just about any block he's asked to make.

    Holmes also needs some refinement and has to get used to consistently playing with a lower posture and pad level, especially if he is to start in the AFC North. Birk may be the best example for Holmes to learn from.

Round 5: Joseph Fauria, Tight End, UCLA

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    Height

    6'7"

    Weight

    258 pounds

    NFL Grade

    67.8

    NFL Comparison

    Rob Housler

    YouTube Highlight

    Joe Fauria 2 TDs against Colorado HD

    Analysis

    After catching five touchdown passes in 2011, Ed Dickson didn't reach the end zone a single time in 2012. Furthermore, his receptions and receiving yards were more than cut in half since last season. Dickson will become a free agent on March 4.

    The Ravens know Dennis Pitta, who was second on the team in receptions (61) and receiving touchdowns (7) this year, is a keeper. And considering their lack of production behind Pitta and how they use a lot of two tight end sets, Baltimore may be looking for another tight end in the draft.

    Joseph Fauria would be the biggest tight end and the second-tallest Raven if he were signed today. But he's not just a tall pass-catcher. He's a willing run-blocker and a big-time red-zone threat.

    In 2010, Fauria caught three passes, two of which were touchdowns. In 2011, he made 39 receptions, including six that went for touchdowns. This past season, 12 of Fauria's 46 receptions resulted in scores.

    2012 was such a good season for Fauria that he was tied for eighth in the nation with 12 touchdown receptions, even though the leader (West Virginia's Stedman Bailey, 25 touchdowns) caught 68 more passes than he did.

    Now you can see why Fauria would be worth more than just a look in the late rounds for the Ravens.

Round 6: Brandon Williams, Defensive Tackle, Missouri Southern State

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    Height

    6'3"

    Weight

    325 pounds

    NFL Grade

    69.1

    NFL Comparison

    Brandon Thompson

    YouTube Highlight

    Brandon Williams - Drive To Make It

    Analysis

    Brandon Williams is a solid defensive lineman. He can play any defensive line position and possesses a strong lower body and good leverage.

    He's not Haloti Ngata by any stretch, but Williams is a hard worker who has a variety of moves that he can use to beat his man. He relies on his knowledge of the game to win matchups.

    Terrence Cody has underperformed and will be a free agent after 2013. Ma'ake Kemoeatu is now 34 years old and will be a free agent after this season.

Round 7: Zach Boren, Fullback, Ohio State

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    Height

    6'1"

    Weight

    245 pounds

    NFL Grade

    64.0

    NFL Comparison

    Korey Hall

    YouTube Highlight

    Zach Boren hurdels a defender

    Analysis

    Vonta Leach has been a truly unsung hero of the Baltimore Ravens since he arrived in Charm City in 2011.

    When you get to the seventh round, you're really adding depth instead looking for someone to replace a starter. Leach is in no jeopardy—both financially and in terms of his performance—of losing his starting job.

    Zach Boren represents a tough-nosed player who can contribute in multiple ways. Boren led the way for the Buckeyes' 10th-ranked rushing attack (242.3 average yards per game) in 2012. He's very used to being a lead blocker from the I-formation, which is something Baltimore uses quite often.

    Boren was actually the defensive player of the year in Ohio as a senior in high school, so he understands what a blitzer or tackler is thinking and knows how to counter that.

    He's athletic for being 245 pounds and is a solid pass protector. If nothing else, the Ravens can put him on special teams, which might be the best idea for now, because putting Boren at just one position seems like a waste.

    This could come across as an insignificant move for the Ravens if they choose to make it, but championship teams are replete with guys like Boren who consistently do the little things really well.