Reed and Lewis Who? The Super Bowl Champs Baltimore Ravens Scored High Marks Drafting Their Replacements.
The Ravens selection of safety Matt Elam in the first round reinforced GM Ozzie Newsome’s commitment to strengthen the defense and find replacements for Ed Reed and Ray Lewis. They might have accomplished this goal with their picks on day two.
The Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, hopefully, found Lewis’s replacement with second round pick (56 Overall) linebacker Arthur Brown, Kansas State. Brown, considered a steal, is a strong, versatile linebacker who knows how to make big plays and tackle. Although his 6’0 241 pound frame is considered undersized by scouts, he plays bigger because he shoots the gaps and blows up blockers. These skills make him a valuable addition to a Ravens 3-4 defensive scheme.
When it came time for the Ravens to make their third round (94 Overall) pick, the team bolstered the defensive line selecting defensive Brandon Williams from Missouri Southern State. Williams made an impact at the Senior Bowl when the 6’1 335 pound run stopper showed he had the skills to make his presence felt in the trenches. Although Williams lacks the mobility to get outside to make the tackles, his adjustments on the line allow him to cut off gaps giving linebackers the time to make tackles. He is not an every down defensive tackle yet, but he will see more playing time as he gathers experience.
By having seven picks on the third and final day of the draft, the Ravens added depth on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
They used the 129th and 130th selections to choose defensive-end John Simon, Ohio St. and fullback Kyle Juszczyk from Harvard. Juszczyk adds versatility to the Ravens backfield because of his exceptional pass catching skills. He may not help running back Ray Rice any way on the run, but he adds another dimension on the line as a possible second tight end.
Offensive Tackle Ricky Wagner from Wisconsin was the Ravens lone pick in Round 5. The 6’6 308 pound Wagner is versatile as he can play on both the right and left side. With the loss of Bryant McKinnie this offseason, Wagner might find himself a starter for 2013.
Ozzie Newsome selected defensive-end Kapron Lewis Moore, Notre Dame and offensive tackle Ryan Jensen Colorado State-Pueblo in Round-6. Both players have upside, but Moore has the potential to become a solid defensive end if he does not have any lingering effects from past knee injuries.
Trading wide receiver Anquan Bolden meant the Ravens needed depth to an inexperienced wide receiver corp. Quarterback Joe Flacco might find it tough to get the ball to star wide receiver Torrey Smith in 2013 so the selection wide reciever Aaron Mellette, Elon in round seven helps coach John Harbaugh find a potential number two. Mellette put up some good numbers at Elon but he will have to up his game tremendously in order to see playing time.
In their final pick, the team drafted corner back Marc Anthony from Cal. Anthony will provide depth to the secondary and might find himself on special teams or dime coverage.