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Rookie, Undrafted Free Agent Watch for Baltimore Ravens Camp

Shawn BrubakerContributor IIDecember 6, 2016

Rookie, Undrafted Free Agent Watch for Baltimore Ravens Camp

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    The Baltimore Ravens' draft was all about defense, speed and athleticism. Guys like Matt Elam, Arthur Brown and Brandon Williams will instantly step in as some of the most athletic players at their positions.

    The Ravens' class was unique, in that a lot of these guys will have a chance to earn starting reps. For a defending champion, that's virtually unheard of.

    Ravens fans shouldn't worry though. This is a great class prepared to make a huge impact at the NFL level. Let's take a look at each player as they get ready for training camp.

Matt Elam

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    • College:Florida
    • Draft Status: Round 1 
    • Height: 5'10"
    • Weight: 208
    • College Production: 176 tackles, 23.5 TFL, 5 sacks, 6 int

    To get an idea of what kind of player Matt Elam is, take a look at how many tackles for a loss he racked up in his career. Elam averaged about eight per year despite playing in the defensive backfield, as his aggressive and energetic style of play produced a ton of big plays.

    Elam is a projected starter for the Ravens, but he needs to show that he's ready for an NFL learning curve. After excelling in OTAs, Elam looks poised to assert himself as a Rookie of the Year candidate.

Arthur Brown

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    • College: Kansas State
    • Draft Status: 2nd Round
    • Height: 6'0"
    • Weight: 241 lbs
    • College Production: 218 tackles, 17 TFL, 3 int

    Arthur Brown is the heir to Ray Lewis' throne, possessing similar speed and size to the former all-pro. Brown is also very instinctive, though we'll see if he can match Lewis' knowledge and feel for the game.

    Where Brown needs to improve is his block-shedding. As a very small linebacker, Brown is at his best flowing to the football and making plays. If engaged by blockers, though, Brown will struggle to hold his position.

    The Ravens can mask that to an extent, but they need Brown to show that he plays bigger than his size. Training camp is the place to start doing just that.

Brandon Williams

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    • College: Missouri Southern State
    • Draft Status: Third round
    • Height: 6'1"
    • Weight: 335 lbs
    • College Production: 16.5 TFL, 8.5 sacks as senior

    The Ravens had a big hole at nose tackle, and to that end they drafted a big man to fill it in Brandon Williams. At 335 pounds, Williams is stout, strong and surprisingly athletic. He has a nice burst and a great build for the position that could help him earn a starting job immediately.

    Williams will be competing with Terrence Cody for the starting job, but he will get reps regardless thanks to his run-stuffing ability. The Ravens will find a way to use the big-bodied Williams. We just have to watch him during camp to see what that role will be.

John Simon

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    • College: Ohio State
    • Draft Status: 4th round
    • Height: 6'1"
    • Weight: 257 lbs
    • College Production: 154 tackles, 42 TFL, 20.5 sacks, 10 passes defended

    John Simon is the kind of grinder the Ravens love to have. His work ethic should push the Ravens' veterans while ensuring Simon at least some kind of success at the NFL level.

    Simon is a decorated leader from his time at Ohio State, but his athletic ability is just average. He's a big straight-linish, but the Ravens should be able to mask his deficiencies in lateral agility. For now, Simon will be a special teamer, but keep an eye on him to see if his role doesn't increase.

Kyle Juszczyk

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    • College: Harvard
    • Draft Status: 4th round
    • Height: 6'3"
    • Weight: 240 lbs
    • College Production: 125 receptions, 1,576 yards, 22 touchdowns

    Kyle Juszczyk was the first offensive player the Ravens drafted, and now he looks likely to start as a fullback/H-back hybrid. The Ravens valued his hard-nosed blocking, but fans will get to know him better from his ability as a receiver.

    Juszczyk excels at getting open in the flat and turning those short catches into solid gains. He's physical after the catch and as a blocker, though he has little experience running the ball.

    He should have an immediate role on offense, but watch him to see just how many ways the Ravens figure out how to use this versatile prospect.

Ricky Wagner

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    • College: Wisconsin
    • Draft Status: 5th round
    • Height: 6'6"
    • Weight: 308 lbs
    • College Production: 37 starts

    The Ravens needed some offensive line depth, so they added Ricky Wagner, whose versatility should help the Ravens at both guard and tackle.

    Wagner needs to add some strength before he becomes a candidate to start, but he could be a solid tackle down the line. Watch to see whether the Ravens consider him more of a tackle or a guard.

Kapron Lewis-Moore

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    • College: Notre Dame
    • Draft Status: 6th round
    • Height: 6'4"
    • Weight: 298 lbs
    • College Production: 180 tackles, 22 TFL, 12 sacks

    The Ravens drafted Kapron Lewis-Moore as a guy they could stash away on injured reserve for a season while letting him learn the playbook. You won't see him on the practice field after he tore his ACL in the National Championship Game.

Ryan Jensen

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    • College: CSU-Pueblo
    • Draft Status: 6th round
    • Height: 6'3"
    • Weight: 317 lbs
    • College Production: 4-year starter

    The Ravens needed some more offensive line depth, and Ryan Jensen should provide that. He's a strong, tough guy who has some upside as a guard or center. He might be involved in a scuffle or two, so keep an eye on that in training camp.

Aaron Mellette

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    • College: ELON
    • Draft Status: 7th round
    • Height: 6'2"
    • Weight: 217 lbs
    • College Production: 304 rec, 4,254 yards, 44 touchdowns

    Though his production came at a lower level, Aaron Mellette was among the most productive receivers in this draft.

    Mellette is a solid player technically with good size and jump-ball ability. He could assert himself in the Ravens' receiving competition, but he's considered a dark horse at this point.

Marc Anthony

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    • College: Cal
    • Draft Status: 7th round
    • Height: 5'11"
    • Weight: 196 lbs
    • College Production: 137 tackles, 5 int, 26 passes defended

    Marc Anthony will probably get some ribbing in training camp about his famous name, but there is no joking about his play. Anthony is a nice cover corner with good size, but slow hips and feet.

    Anthony will be battling for a roster spot against guys like Chris Johnson and Asa Jackson. Keep an eye on him to see if he has the special team ability to make the final roster.

Undrafted Free Agents

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    The Ravens have so much depth in this year's class that undrafted guys will have a very tough time standing out. Here are two that have a shot.

    Matt Furstenburg, TE University of Maryland

    Matt Furstenburg has a good chance to make the final roster. He needs to beat out Billy Bajema for the third tight end spot, but he has superior athleticism and upside that could help him do just that.

    Moe Lee, CB Utah

    Moe Lee excelled at OTAs, but he has very limited experience. He will need to excel on special teams to have a chance to make the roster, but he is a nice practice squad candidate.

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