5 Players the Baltimore Ravens Should Target on Day 3 of the 2013 NFL Draft
Did you really doubt the Ravens and their draft strategy?
After hitting a home run with their first three picks last year, the Baltimore brass looks to have at least hit for extra bases with their first three draft selections this year.
In the first three rounds, the Ravens selected excellent players who also filled needs without really sacrificing anything of significance.
Free safety Matt Elam (Florida), inside linebacker Arthur Brown (Kansas State) and defensive tackle Brandon Williams (Missouri Southern State) are all big-time players who made impressions in one way or another on an elite NFL front office.
Elam and Brown both have brothers who play in the league. Abram Elam (unrestricted free agent) plays in Kansas City and Bryce Brown plays in Philadelphia. All Williams did was tie for the most reps in the bench press at 225 pounds at this year's combine (38 reps).
If the Ravens were to line up today, they'd field a very good football team—in fact, better than most.
However, with seven selections left, the Ravens' work in this draft isn't over by a long shot.
That said, here are five prospects Baltimore might be looking at drafting on day three.
Quinton Patton, Wide Receiver, Louisiana Tech
NFL grade: 83.8
NFL comparison: Reggie Wayne
Weight: 204 pounds
Key stats: 104 receptions, 1,392 yards (13.4 yards per reception) 13 touchdowns in 2012
Projected pick: Round 4, Pick 32 (129 overall)
Analysis: First of all, it's a surprise that Quinton Patton has dropped to where he is. If you watch him play and look at his numbers, it's definitely unusual that a player of his ability would still be available at this point in the draft.
Is it because he's from a "small" school and is that really still an excuse? He's a big-time athlete with all the numbers you'd want and who will compete on every snap.
Patton has shown the ability to repeatedly beat a double-team, but with the receivers and tight ends the Ravens have, he may not see many double-teams.
The Ravens are probably fine with the receivers they have, but Patton has the potential to make them even better.
Reid Fragel, Offensive Tackle, Ohio State
NFL grade: 77.0
NFL comparison: Eric Winston
Weight: 308 pounds
Key stats: 33 bench reps of 225 pounds, 30" vertical leap, 113" (9'5") broad jump
Projected pick: Round 4, Pick 33 (130 overall, compensatory selection)
Analysis: Although he's a converted tight end, Reid Fragel has shown the ability to play at a high level for an excellent football program while at Ohio State.
Like the Patton pick, the Ravens have a few players waiting in the wings, so this is not a necessity. Then again, that's what the late rounds of the draft are for—adding depth.
While Fragel played mostly right tackle at Ohio State and Michael Oher is no doubt the man at right tackle for the Ravens, drafting Fragel at No. 130 might be a good thing.
The Bryant McKinnie situation is still up in the air, so why not take an athletic tackle with a big frame and see if you can't develop him?
Fragel might not overpower defensive linemen, but he's still learning the position. His footwork is sound, he understands combination blocks and he will use defenders' momentum against them.
Here's the question: In his time in Baltimore, has John Harbaugh drafted a Buckeye yet?
Da'Rick Rogers, Wide Receiver, Tennessee Tech
NFL grade: 74.4
NFL comparison: Greg Little
Weight: 217 pounds
Key stats: 39.5" vertical leap, 132" (11 foot) broad jump
Projected pick: Round 5, Pick 35 (168 overall, compensatory selection)
Analysis: Da'Rick Rogers is among the most talented wide receivers in the draft. He's fallen this far mainly because of character concerns and a lack of consistent effort.
He's a physical, versatile receiver who can block well too. The bottom line is that when he wants to be, Rogers is flat-out dominant.
If Baltimore drafts Rogers and he stays focused, watch out.
Barrett Jones, Guard/Center, Alabama
NFL grade: 71.1
NFL comparison: Daryn Colledge
Weight: 306 pounds
Key stat: Won three national championships at three different positions (2009: right guard, 2011: left tackle, 2012: center)
Projected pick: Round 6, Pick 32 (200 overall)
Analysis: Barrett Jones is about as decorated a collegiate player as there has been. He's won three national championships, two major trophies (2012 Rimington—nation's top center, 2011 Outland—nation's best interior lineman) and many more awards.
However, he might be a better student than he is a football player.
Although Jones was a two-time first-team All-American, he won the 2012 William V. Campbell Award (academic Heisman), was the 2012 Academic All-American of the Year and received a Master's degree in accounting over the course of three semesters (Fall '11-Fall '12).
In 2012, Jones missed six assignments out of 731 snaps. Yes, six out of 731.
In case you're not getting the picture, there's not much Jones can't accomplish.
He's a versatile, savvy, smart football player who, for some reason, is falling in this draft.
To get him at the end of the sixth round would be an absolute steal.
Levine Toilolo, Tight End, Stanford
NFL grade: 66.0
NFL comparison: Marcedes Lewis
Weight: 260 pounds
Key stats: 34.5" arms, 10.25" hands
Projected pick: Round 6, Pick 35 (203 overall, compensatory selection)
Analysis: Sure, the Ravens have Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson on the roster, but they will both become unrestricted free agents after the 2013 season unless they're each able to sign a long-term deal in the interim.
That could be where Levine Toilolo comes into play.
As you can see in this Notre Dame game, when blocking in-line (in a three-point stance on the line of scrimmage), Toilolo struggles.
However, when he's in the slot or going out on routes, he's fine.
Really, the Ravens don't ask their tight ends to do a lot of in-line blocking anyway. Most of their blocking at tight end comes from their H-back sets.
If not Toilolo, Baltimore should definitely take a tight end on day three, but given some time, imagine what Toilolo could do in the red zone with Joe Flacco as his quarterback.
I'd say that prospect is worth the 203rd overall pick.