Baltimore Ravens 2013 Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Grades
The 2012 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens go into the 2013 draft with 12 picks and not too many major spots to fill. One expectation is that the Ravens will use their eight tradable draft picks to move up and down the draft board to select the players they covet.
The Ravens' key needs include finding a left tackle, wide receiver, an inside linebacker (particularly one with coverage skills) and a strong safety. Additionally, the Ravens will look to add depth to the secondary and defensive line.
Throughout the draft this slideshow will be updated with the newly selected Ravens, an analysis, and draft grades. Expect updates quickly after each selection has been made. In the mean time, enjoy a slideshow of a few players the Ravens might covet on day one!
1st Round Selection: Matt Elam, Safety Florida
I mocked this pick to Baltimore after having a discussion with my colleague at DraftBreakdown. We knew the Ravens would take a Safety in the first round and he convinced me it would be Matt Elam or Jonathan Cyprien, the Safety from Florida International.
Baltimore had a huge hole at both Safety only a few weeks ago after Ed Reed left in Free Agency and Bernard Pollard was cut. The Ravens made up for this when they signed former Oakland Raider Michael Huff to replace Reed. Before the draft, James Ihedigbo was the starter at Strong Safety and was probably the weakest starter on the defense.
The drafting of Elam bolsters the entire Ravens secondary and the defense as a whole. The team is now solid from the defensive line to the back end, and the only major question mark is, who will start at the Inside Linebacker positions? It's assumed that the team will address that position at some point later in the draft.
Elam was one of the best players on the board, but arguably could have been had 5-10 picks later if Baltimore had tried to trade back. However, Baltimore knew who they coveted and were not about to risk losing him just to pick up another pick (especially when they already have 12 of them).
Draft Grade: A-
2nd Round Selection: Arthur Brown, ILB Kansas State
I mocked Brown to the Ravens in my Day 2 Mock Draft after the Ravens selected Matt Elam. I envisioned the Ravens trading the 64th and 165th picks to trade up, which was true, except the team also packaged pick 199 as well. Brown is one of the rangiest linebackers available in the draft, which is exactly what the Ravens need. After losing Ray Lewis to retirement and Dannell Ellerbe to free agency, the Ravens had a huge hole at the inside linebacker position.
After signing Rolando McClain in recent weeks, he was arrested again and may not stick with the team. Now after selecting Brown, the Ravens have the ability to let McClain go if they feel like he’s going to continue to act up.
Brown was a fringe first round prospect in the eyes of many, and at this point in the second round is tremendous value. The Ravens might have given up a lot to only move up about 10 spots, but they had more picks than they needed to begin with.
Pick Grade: A
3rd Round Selection: Brandon Williams, NT Missouri Southern State
Pick 94: Brandon Williams
After the season ended, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said that the team wanted to get faster on defense and stronger up the middle. With the first three selections, it's clear that he wasn't kidding.
Brandon Williams is a mammoth of the nose tackle that will play behind Haloti Ngata, and be competition for Terrence Cody who is going into a contract year. After signing Chris Canty and Marcus Spears in the offseason, the team knew they just needed another Nose Tackle in order to be complete along the defensive line.
Williams was rated as a fourth rounder by most, and isn't considered much of a threat to rush the passer. He also didn't play against significant competition and has been known to struggle against double teams. However, I believe this is more of a technique issue because he threw up 38 reps on the bench press at the combine. With proper coaching he could turn into a solid Nose Tackle in Baltimore.
Pick Grade: B+
4th Round Selections: John Simon, DE OSU and Kyle Juszczyk FB Harvard
Pick 129: John Simon, DE OSU
The Ravens were not messing around when they said they wanted to improve the defense. The first four selections were all defensive picks and improved several areas of the unit. Simon, a two-time captain at Ohio State, is a great value in the late fourth round. Simon has a tremendous motor and is a solid pass rusher. He will likely be added to the rotation of Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, and Courtney Upshaw.
Simon fits the mold of everything the Ravens like on defense. He fell in the draft due to average athleticism, but has an array of pass rush moves.
This was purely a value pick from the Ravens perspective, but most were expecting them to add someone on the offensive line or at wide Receiver with this pick.
Pick Grade: B+
Pick 130: Kyle Juszczyk, FB Harvard
Juszcyk is a player I mocked to the Ravens in the fourth round. After reports that the Ravens had brought him in for a workout, I knew there had to be a lot of interest in the kid. Vonta Leach has been one of the best fullbacks in the league for years, but the Ravens might not be willing to pay him his $4.3 million dollar cap hit for a part time player. The Ravens will likely need to address the left tackle position in free agency, but don't have the salary cap room to do so. The pick of Juszczyk probably spells the end of Leach's career in Baltimore.
Juszczyk is a punishing blocker, but played tight end and H-back for the Crimson. He's a good receiver which adds something to the Ravens offense that they didn't really have in Leach. The flexibility of Juszczyk was probably appealing to Jim Caldwell as he takes over for his first full year as offensive coordinator.
Many will say this was early for a fullback, but the Ravens wanted to make sure they secured their guy.
Pick Grade: B
5th Round Selection: Ricky Wagner, OT Wisconsin
Pick 168: Ricky Wagner, LT Wisconsin
The Ravens desperately needed to add some players to the offensive line at some point during the draft. Adding Wagner at the end of the fifth round is good value. Wagner was a two year starter at Wisconsin at left tackle and played fairly well. Wagner has solid height and arm length for the left tackle position, and would have been selected higher if he was a better athlete.
Wagner will compete in training camp with Michael Oher, Kelechi Osemele, or a free agent acquisition for the starting left tackle position. Some think Wagner might be better suited for right tackle, but he will certainly be given a shot at left tackle by Baltimore
Pick Grade: B+
6th Round Selection: Kapron Lewis-Moore DE Notre Dame and Ryan Jensen OT CSUP
Pick 200: Kapron Lewis-Moore, DE Notre Dame
Lewis-Moore played as a 3-4 end for Notre Dame and is seen as an athletic and powerful player who slipped in the draft due to an injury he suffered in the National Championship game. The good news is that the Ravens have a lot of talent at the 3-4 end position and he won't be rushed back into action. Lewis-Moore was a disruptive force at times on the Notre Dame line, and will be a good developmental piece for Baltimore. Don't expect much from him this year, however, as he may not even be healthy enough to play this season.
Pick Grade: B
Pick 203: Ryan Jensen, OT/OG Colorado State University-Pueblo
I actually mocked Jensen to Baltimore at pick 203 in my first two mocks posted here at Bleacher report. Admittedly, I have never seen a CSUP football game, but from everything I had read Jensen is a great developmental prospect at both guard and right tackle, and I knew the Ravens had interest in him from reports of them at the Colorado pro day. With the addition of Ricky Wagner and Jensen, the Ravens now have some solid young players that coach Juan Castillo can develop on the offensive line.
Pick Grade: B+
7th Round Selections: Aaron Mellette WR Elon and Marc Anthony CB Cal
Pick 238: Aaron Mellette WR Elon
Mellette is a great value at the bottom of the seventh round. I'm a bit surprised the Ravens didn't draft a receiver earlier, but Mellette could have been taken as high as the fourth or fifth round. He was extremely productive at Elon and has potential to contribute in Baltimore. He will likely compete with Tandon Doss, Tommy Streeter, Deonte Thompson and Laquan Williams for a roster spot. If he proves he can play on special teams it will significantly increase his chances of sticking.
Pick Grade: A-
Pick 247: Marc Anthony CB Cal
Anthony was also predicted by many to be a fourth or fifth round draft choice, but probably fell to the bottom of the seventh round because of a slow forty time that raised questions about his ability to play corner in the NFL. With he Ravens, I think Anthony will end up switching to free safety. He'll have an opportunity to compete for a roster spot there if he shows ability to play on the coverage units for special teams.
Pick Grade: B+