The dust has settled on the second major off-season milestone, the draft. Many teams set out to fill the needs that they couldn’t during free agency. That is exactly what the Ravens tried to do.
The Ravens surprisingly started out on defense with their first three picks. This certainly filled a few needs and made the team better immediately. The biggest steal of the Ravens draft for me was Arthur Brown. To be able to trade up and get the guy that valued so highly was genius. The front office just waits in the grass for moments like this and they pounced once again. Many think Brown can be in Baltimore for many years to come.
Day 3 featured a lot of offense. I really like the two linemen that the Ravens were able to draft. The most interesting of which is Ricky Wagner, who went to college for basketball and then walked onto the football team. I think this goes to show that Wagner is not only versatile, but very athletic. They also added some competition for Gino Gradkowski by drafting Ryan Jensen from Colorado State-Pueblo. He will be given the opportunity to compete in camp, but I assume will eventually be Gino’s backup.
The most intriguing pick of the Ravens’ draft (mostly for the backlash then the pick itself) was Harvard fullback, Kyle Juszczyk. He is a player who does everything on offense. He blocks, runs and catches the ball from the backfield and the slot. Many have said that this will now be Vonta Leach’s ticket out the door. I am not so sure. For me, it is a bit early to tell, but if Juszczyk is as good and as versatile as we all hope, he might bring more to the offense then Leach is able to. Many Ravens fans are immediately ready to get rid of the $4.3 million contract of Leach’s and say goodbye.
The only disappointment I drew from the draft is that the Ravens were not able to draft a receiver higher. I assume that they had a group of guys on their board in the higher round, but were unable to get them, so they decided to go in another direction. I am very concerned with the depth at this position and think we need to add something. Aaron Mellette is a step in the right direction to correcting this, but he is somewhat of an unknown commodity due to his college playing in the FCS, but hey – so was Joe Flacco.
All in all, the Ravens did what they normally do during the draft – got better. As a fan, that is all you can ask for. I know some teams don’t have as much fun as we do on the last weekend in April.