Kyle Juszczyk played tight end, H-back and fullback while at Harvard. Before he came to the Senior Bowl in January, very few people knew who he was. After his performance in Mobile, he instantly became the top fullback on many scouts’ boards.
Juszczyk was valued by Baltimore because he offers something that current starter Vonta Leach doesn’t: versatility as a blocker and receiver. Leach has a $4.3 million cap hit for the 2013 season, and Baltimore may not feel comfortable paying that much to someone who is on the field for less than half of the offensive snaps. Currently, the Ravens still need to find a starting left tackle but don’t have enough cap room to sign one. Leach could end up being a cap casualty, or Juszczyk could end up playing as a blocking tight end behind Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson.
Juszczyk will definitely contribute to the Ravens in many ways. He’s an extra receiver who can come out of the backfield for Joe Flacco, as well as a punishing run- and pass-blocker. He will also get a lot of time on special teams. People in Baltimore might be confused why the Ravens spent such an early pick on him, but they must understand that the offense becomes much more flexible with him on the field instead of Leach. If Leach does remain the starter in Baltimore, expect Juszczyk to take over in 2014.