Patrick Semansky/Associated Press
As soon as the draft is over, the interwebs will be flooded with various experts and their draft grades. Then those draft grades will be revisited after the 2014 season to re-evaluate the rookies. It’s a fun exercise, but a somewhat hollow one.
Obviously, every team wants to find rookies that can come in and be stars from Day 1, but finding immediate starters is much more challenging than you would think. According to John Eisenberg of BaltimoreRavens.com, only five percent of the rookies find themselves in starting lineups across the league.
Of the Ravens' 2013 draft class, only one player—Matt Elam—became a full-time starter and Marlon Brown was the only other rookie to make a significant contribution to the team.
While that’s not ideal, it’s far more important that draft picks pan out over the long haul than finding immediate success.
That said, Baltimore has a couple of open starting spots that could be filled by rookies and the depth of this year’s class suggests that the new Ravens could be more impactful than any of the recent draft hauls collected by Ozzie Newsome.
We won’t know for sure—there are always surprises and busts—after the draft, but we should have a good idea of which rookies will come in and challenge incumbents for major playing time.
With four picks in the first 100 at his disposal and the deepest draft class in recent memory at his fingertips, hopefully Ozzie Newsome can snag at least a couple of prospects that will turn into regular rotation pieces as soon as this season—ideally at free safety and right tackle.