Coming off an 8-8 season, Ravens need a few positions to get above the .500 mark. Ravens needs are Center, Right Tackle and Safety. They could always strength their WRs even with the signing of long-time veteran Steve Smith. With the health of TE Dennis Pitta and the signing of TE Owen Daniels, look for the Ravens to deploy the two TE set for a LOT of their passing downs. With Steve Smith and Torrey Smith coupled with two seam threats. The Ravens might be a tough act to follow and look a lot like the New England Patriots during the Gronk/Hernandez years. If Ray Rice doesn’t improve quickly and dramatically, look for GM Ozzie Newsome make a change. The two TE set works only if a run game is established and the sub par 700 yard season by Rice in 2013, Isn’t gonna cut it. Ravens also have a need for a QB since Tyrod Taylor is definitely NOT the answer. On with the recap.
C.J. Mosley LB Alabama Round 1 Pick 17
Typical move by Ozzie Newsome taking the best talent on the board and ignoring the team’s biggest needs at OT and Safety. But that’s Ozzie and as the preeminent drafting GM, anything he does is fine in my book. Mosley exemplifies Raven football in that he is a machine that keeps on going. A tackling machine, he led Alabama as Team Captain to two National Championships. Excellent athlete with instincts on the football field coupled with a high football IQ. His work ethic and character leave nothing to be desired. He will surely become a MONSTER player for the Ravens for years to come.
Timmy Jernigan NT Florida State Round 2 Pick 16
Three technique defensive tackle, naturally strong but some concern about his weight room regiment cause of his natural strength. Won’t be able to rely on that strength in the pros. Has excellent tackling technique and aggressive swims, slaps, rips and spins to get by the blocker. Doesn’t allow anyone to engage him, keeps his feet positioned correctly and keeps defenders guessing which way he is going. A little slow on the move but as an inside anchor, possibly he will be am inside force stopping the run.
Crockett Gillmore TE Colorado State Round 3 Pick 35
Sounds like some wild west name back in the day. Love it! Not sure what this pick is all about. Slow, weak TE with no real qualities that afford him a c career in the NFL as a TE since all he can do is block. Transitioning him to another position besides water boy makes zero sense either. They already have two premiere TEs and needed help at other positions and I am still wondering why Newsome decided on taking a blocking TE, a poor one at that. Huge hands, stands 6’6″ and plays at 260 may be the answer and maybe Ozzie knows something no one else does cause most had him projected in the 185 range as far as being drafted and Newsome takes him at #99, a definite puzzle. Lots of weaknesses and not many strengths make this to me the most confusing player drafted in the entire draft.
Brent Urban DT Virginia Round 4 Pick 34
Another strange draft pick by Ozzie. A Canadian raised player with huge injury history. ACL tear in 2010, wrist surgery in 2011, high ankle sprain in 2013, had a medical exclusion at the NFL Combine for his knee. Drafted by the Hamilton Tiger-cats in the CFL. Ozzie should have let him go back. This kid has a huge hockey background and I wouldn’t doubt if his tendency to injure was tied to that at all. 6’7″ 300 pound with a 34.5″ wingspan will enable him to definitely swat passes. Seems to have some good moves getting by the defender and has the ability to collapse the pocket but that was in college and this is a totally different arena. No way does this guy do anything against a starting offensive tackle in the NFL. Personally, this is a really poor pick and I am at this point in the draft wondering if Ozzie is drinking or smoking the wacky tabacky. Bust city written all over him.
Lorenzo Taliaferro RB Coastal Carolina Round 4 Pick 38
OK, so they thinking RB. Shame they settled on this guy. A vanilla type runner. No dazzle and no real talent that I see watching some tape on him. I see a mediocre speed guy on the field who is hesitant to make moves. Seems to rely too much on lateral jukes rather than committing to a gap. Seems to be dependent on others creating holes and doesn’t have big enough hands to be a great ball handler and fumbling will be a concern. I think the reason he got so many accolades in college is he should have been at a higher division school than Lackawanna College in Scranton, PA. And Coastal. Had he played in the SEC or the Big 10, we would have never heard of the guy. Another head scratcher by Ozzie Newsome. I am at this point really concerned that this is a bust draft for the Ravens.
John Urschel OG Penn State Round 5 Pick 35
Recipient of the William V. Campbell Award which is the equivalent as the Heisman for Academics and graduating with a Master’s degree in Mathematics proves that any NFL playbook will feel like a paperback. This is one smart guy. Will see if his fall back academics has an issue on his motivation. He will be successful without football so it is a concern he bails early in his career for more interesting challenges. Played for Bill O’Brien at Penn State so should have zero issue making the transition to the professional schemes. Underpowered and lacks explosion off the snap. Sure to find his match opposite him in the pros. Possible move to Center. Without sound coaching and a strength program, there is little chance Urschel lasts long in the pros. Another Bust Pick, too many intangibles for him to succeed.
Keith Wenning QB Ball State Round 6 Pick 18
Wow, finally, Ozzie gets on track with this under the radar pick. A kid that bleeds football from every pore. A 6’3″ 220 pound QB that has guts and skill. Engineered 10 fourth quarter comebacks and has the will to win and doesn’t give up. He is a definite project player with a good core of skills that can be transformed into a reliable back up. Don’t see a future starter in the NFL but will be a cheap low risk/ high reward investment. A definite alternative to Tyrod Taylor, the current QB backup.
Mike Campanaro WR Wake Forest Round 7 Pick 3
A 5’9″ slot receiver who can’t run routes and has been prone to injury. It;s the seventh round and this is what is out there. Has some success at Prep returning kicks and punts so maybe this is Ozzie’s plan for him. If not, I don’t see this kid even making the roster. Sorry, but he is a bust.
Overall Draft Analysis
Outside of the first two picks, I don’t like the draft picks of Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh. They seem to be a reach from three to seven and I just don’t see the normal drafting guru present. I’m most likely wrong. Trying to analyze Newsome is like a 8 th grade science teacher grading a paper by Einstein. Quite over matched. With that said, I am a huge Ozzie fan and trust him on his decisions.
Draft Grade –C+
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