2013 NFL Draft: Predicting All 12 of the Baltimore Ravens Draft Picks
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Last week I published an article breaking down the Ravens' biggest needs heading into this April's draft. Having been awarded four compensatory picks last month, the Ravens currently hold 12 picks heading into the the draft.
Despite making some nice signings following the loss of several players from last year's Super Bowl roster, the Ravens still have plenty of needs to fill through the draft. Here is my take on how the Ravens draft might shape up this April.
For a complete look at the order for the 2013 NFL Draft, click here.
Round 1: Pick 32
Linebacker Manti Te'o has seen his draft stock fall following his combine performance and a well-documented off-the-field incident.
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Middle Linebacker: Manti Te'o (Notre Dame)
There is no reason to recap the offseason incident that Manti Te'o went through following Notre Dame's loss to Alabama in the national championship. While it may have affected his draft stock, there are other reasons Te'o has seen his stock possibly fall to the bottom, if not out, of the first round.
Doubt about Te'o began to come into play following the BCS National Championship game, in which the senior linebacker struggled against Alabama's rushing attack.
Overall, Te'o put together an impressive stat line during his four years at Notre Dame, including an impressive senior year that led to a second place finish in the Heisman Trophy race. Last season Te'o racked up 113 total tackles and posted an impressive seven interceptions.
While Te'o didn't garner much criticism for his overall performance at the combine, he still received plenty for his poor showing in the 40-yard dash. Te'o's 40 time may be a concern, but his knowledge of the game and ability to dissect plays before the snap is something that has impressed scouts and coaches alike.
With the need to replace a thin linebacker corps following the retirement of Ray Lewis and loss of Dannell Ellerbe in free agency, don't be surprised to see the Ravens draft Te'o should he slip to them at pick 32.
Round 2: Pick 30 (62nd Overall)
Wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers transferred to Tennessee Tech following a suspension while at University of Tennessee.
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Wide Receiver: Da'Rick Rogers (Tennessee Tech)
The Ravens created a bit of a stir when they traded one of Joe Flacco's favorite targets, Anquan Boldin, to the San Francisco 49ers. If the Ravens are going to take a wide receiver, I would anticipate them to take one in an earlier round with similar attributes to Boldin.
Because of this, I like Tennessee Tech wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers.
Instead of sitting out the entire 2012 season, Rogers opted to transfer to Tennessee Tech.
Rogers excelled at Tennessee Tech, catching 78 passes for 1,207 yards and 11 touchdowns. While Rogers did not post the fastest 40-yard dash time, running a 4.52, he is a physical presence at 6'2", 217 pounds.
Barring any off-field issues, Rogers could make a nice pick for the Ravens and could fall to them, being projected to be a late second- or early third-round pick.
Round 3: Pick 32 (94th Overall)
The Ravens should look for a left tackle to protect Joe Flacco's blind side.
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Offensive Tackle: Oday Aboushi (Virginia)
The Ravens have yet to address the void at left tackle after they opted to let Bryant McKinnie hit the free-agent market. Michael Oher was drafted with the expectation to be Baltimore's future left tackle, but he struggled in 2010 when given the opportunity and was shifted back to the right side.
With unproven players like Jah Reid and Ramon Harewood as options, the Ravens could benefit by drafting a left tackle earlier in the draft.
In his last two seasons at Virginia, Aboushi started 25 games at left tackle for the Cavaliers and was a Second-Team All-ACC player in 2011.
While he may not be the most athletic offensive lineman in the draft, Aboushi has received praise for being a physical player in the run block. With little depth at the tackle postion, the Ravens may be able to bolster their o-line with the addition of Aboushi.
Round 4: Pick 32 (129th Overall)
Florida free safety Josh Evans will help provided depth to a depleted Ravens safety corps.
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Free Safety: Josh Evans (Florida)
Last year, the Ravens drafted safety Christian Thompson, who has recently been suspended the first four games of the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. This year, the Ravens could very well take another safety in the fourth round.
Despite signing Huff, the Ravens should still look for a security blanket on the depth chart behind the 29-year-old veteran.
Evans led the Florida Gators in tackles last season with 79 and recorded three interceptions. Running a 4.54 at the scouting combine and having a strong athletic build, Evans would not be a starter in the Ravens' secondary in 2013, but he could make for a nice special teams player.
Round 4: Pick 33 (130th Overall)
Defensive tackle Bennie Logan has the raw talent and motor to play at the next level.
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Defensive Tackle: Bennie Logan (Louisiana State)
LSU has had several great collegiate defenders go to the NFL as high draft picks only to struggle at the next level. Still, it's tough not to love players who had relatively good success against some of the top-tier teams in the nation.
The Ravens have struggled at defensive tackle for the last few seasons. Terrence Cody has yet to amount to the player the Ravens hoped he would be, and with Haloti Ngata playing both defensive end and defensive tackle, the position remains a need for the Ravens.
Bennie Logan saw productive numbers for the Tigers in 2011 playing alongside former teammate Michael Brockers. When looked upon to be the top defensive tackle in 2012, Logan saw a drop in numbers, but he was solid enough to be awarded Second-Team All-SEC recognition.
Not the quickest guy, Logan ran a 5.08 40-yard dash time, so he won't impress anybody with his pass-rushing skills. He does however, have the ability to fill a hole in the line and stop the running back, something the Ravens struggled with at times last season.
Round 5: Pick 32 (165th Overall)
Brandon Magee will have some growing to do at the next level.
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Outside Linebacker: Brandon Magee (Arizona State)
The Ravens addressed the loss of outside linebacker Paul Kruger when they went out and signed Elvis Dumervil. That being said, the Ravens could continue to address defensive positions in the draft in regards to their front seven.
Magee posted a solid 2012 season for the Sun Devils, racking up 113 tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks. One of the biggest concerns for Magee could be his health.
In 2011, Magee suffered a torn Achilles that kept him out of football all season. He did manage to stay healthy for the 2012 season and received Second-Team All-Pac 12 honors.
A respectable pass-rusher, Magee struggles at times in pass coverage, likely having lost some speed from his 2011 injury. It also doesn't help that Magee stands at only 5'11" and will be asked to cover tight ends who will be significantly taller.
Round 5: Pick 35 (168th Overall)
Former Nevada strong safety Duke Williams brings an athletic combination of speed and agility to the position.
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Strong Safety: Duke Williams (Nevada)
Another need the Ravens have that has not yet been addressed is the strong safety position. The Ravens decided to cut Bernard Pollard this offseason and could be looking for somebody to fill the void he left behind.
While the Ravens did re-sign safety James Ihedigbo this offseason, it was only to a one-year deal, and there has been more speculation than facts on where he could play for the Ravens in 2013.
Nevada safety Duke Williams posted a 4.48 40-yard dash time, and for being a smaller strong safety, has had a nice history of bringing down the ball-carrier. Williams tallied a total of 105 tackles last season for the Wolf Pack including 5.5 tackles for a loss.
If the Ravens can manage to land Williams, the late-round draft pick could find himself as the week one starter for a relatively weak strong safety position.
Round 6: Pick 31 (199th Overall)—from San Francisco 49ers
Iowa cornerback Micah Hyde has the ability to play both cornerback and safety.
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Cornerback: Micah Hyde (Iowa)
Micah Hyde put together a solid college career for himself in his four years at Iowa. Hyde notched eight interceptions during his career and recorded 78 tackles last season for the Hawkeyes.
Because of his lack of speed, some NFL teams may consider him to be more fit at the safety position, while others may look at his success at cornerback and give him the chance to prove himself at the next level.
Obviously not viewed as a starter in the near future, the Ravens still have a hole at the cornerback position with the loss of Cary Williams. As with most late-round draft picks, Hyde will likely be asked to serve primarily on special teams his first few years in the league.
Round 6: Pick 32 (200th Overall)
Lehigh wide receiver Ryan Spadola turned many scouts' heads at the scouting combine this year.
Wide Receiver: Ryan Spadola (Lehigh)
Every year there seems to be one small school prospect who blows scouts away at the scouting combine. Such was the case with Lehigh wide receiver Ryan Spadola.
Since 2010, Spadola has recorded 231 catches for 3,595 yards and 24 touchdowns.
In a league dominated by the pass, the Ravens could always take a flier on the small school prospect.
Round 6: Pick 35 (203rd Overall)
The Ravens could decide to take a second middle linebacker in the draft.
Middle Linebacker: Steve Beauharnais (Rutgers)
The Ravens could still be potentially thin at linebacker with Jameel McClain still coming back from a spinal contusion injury suffered last season. Should the Ravens draft Te'o in the first round, they won't be taking another middle linebacker until later in the draft.
Beauharnais made a solid career for himself at Rutgers, establishing himself as a consistent run-stopper. Beauharnais' best season came in 2011 when he racked up 77 tackles, 16 for a loss, five sacks and three interceptions.
Although he is not the fastest linebacker in the draft, his coverage and run-stopping abilities should make for a nice addition to any linebacker corps.
Round 7: Pick 32 (238th Overall)
Kerwynn Williams may be one of the best dual threat running backs in this year's draft.
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Running Back: Kerwynn Williams (Utah State)
In 2012, Kerwynn Williams did it all for the Utah State Aggies, rushing 218 times for 1,512 yards and 15 touchdowns. In addition to his running ability, Williams was also a top receiving target for the Aggies, bringing in 45 catches for 695 yards and five receiving touchdowns.
Williams is an undersized back and likely won't run many defenders over, but he's established himself as a willing blocker when necessary. Williams did spend time returning kicks for the Aggies in his first three seasons with the team, posting respectable numbers as a return man. He saw only one return in 2012.
The likelihood that the Ravens would even have the chance to draft Williams in the seventh round is more of an optimistic hope than a realistic expectation, but for a half back who has similar abilities to Ray Rice as a pass-catcher, Williams could make sense for the Ravens.
Round 7: Pick 41 (247th Overall)
Vinston Painter has shown great versatility throughout his career at Virginia Tech.
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Offensive Lineman: Vinston Painter (Virginia Tech)
Not playing football until high school, Vinston Painter has had a little bit of experience on both sides of the ball. Ultimately playing right tackle in his senior year with the Hokies, Painter also has experience at left tackle and right guard.
Painter has the makings of a raw talent type of guy who just hasn't played enough football to really get a gauge on what he can be at the next level. Should he be drafted, he would be considered a a project player at best.
With the opportunity to address a lot of needs this year in the draft, the Ravens have been known to take chances on offensive linemen late in the draft.