Five takeaways from the Ravens' draft

Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens surprised quite a few with some of their picks.

The Ravens came away with a draft class that didn't resemble too many mocks.

But do they ever? Obviously, there's a reason the Ravens' front office gets paid the big bucks. They've done a great job evaluating talent over the years, and will be confident — for the time being — in this year's group. Of course, only time will tell if this new batch of players pans out.

Now that the draft is over, here are five takeaways that immediately stuck out:

1) The Ravens were really close to having Zack Martin instead of C.J. Mosley

Based on Mosley's comments in his conference call, it sounds like the Ravens very well could have had Martin on their board ahead of the Alabama linebacker.

"I was talking to my agent, and he was pretty much saying that it was between me and one of the O-linemen, and the O-lineman went right before the pick, so I was pretty much just waiting for the phone to ring, and it did," Mosley said.

That O-lineman was Notre Dame's Zack Martin, picked by the Cowboys at 16th overall. Reading between the lines, it would appear Mosley knew where he stood. Once Martin went off the board, it was pretty much a given that the Ravens would take Mosley.

UPDATE: From multiple reports today, it sounds like Mosley would have been the pick over Martin. But it's apparent Martin was No. 2 when the Cowboys were on the clock.

2) Ravens trust the board once again

Every draft season, media and fans alike try to figure out, or predict, what a team will do with their picks. Once again, we're reminded it's very much unpredictable. Varying factors play into every draft, which can change a direction a team is headed beforehand.

In the second round, I expected the Ravens to take one of the quality receivers that were still available. Then they took defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan. The need for a nose tackle, in the short-term at least, wasn't evident. But the Ravens saw the value there, with Jernigan ranking second on their board after it was re-stacked for Friday.

Even Jernigan admitted his surprise, saying he hadn't had much contact with the Ravens leading up to the draft.

3) Lack of small-college prospects

Out of the nine draft picks, the Ravens only took one player from the FCS level or below — Coastal Carolina running back Lorenzo Taliaferro. This goes against the recent trend of the Ravens taking more of the under-the-radar prospects that few people would talk about leading up to the draft.

In 2012, the Ravens took three smaller-school prospects in Gino Gradkowski (Delaware), Christian Thompson (South Carolina State) and Asa Jackson (Cal Poly). Last year, they drafted Brandon Williams (Missouri Southern State), Kyle Juszczyk (Harvard), Ryan Jensen (Colorado State-Pueblo) and Aaron Mellette (Elon).

This time, it was mostly the big schools that got the attention, with Taliaferro being an interesting pick based on his big frame and one-cut ability as a runner.

4) Browns beat Ravens to West

Just a hunch here, but I have a strong feeling that, if available, the 99th overall pick in the third round would have been Towson's Terrance West. The interest was there, with the Ravens working him out at their local pro day. It just seemed like he was definitely on the radar.

Then the Browns traded up to the 94th pick and took West. Ozzie Newsome said the Ravens were interested in West but didn't say anything beyond that during his presser after the second day of the draft. Once pick 99 came around, the Ravens took Colorado State tight end Crockett Gillmore.

5) Michael Campanaro likely makes the 53-man roster

The Ravens historically want their draft picks on their roster, though there are exceptions to the rule — cornerback Marc Anthony being one a year ago. But with the Ravens trading a 2015 pick to the Browns to be able to take Campanaro 218th overall, you have to think there's a spot for him on this year's roster.

The Ravens aren't going to trade a future pick for a player they don't want to invest in. So even though Campanaro is a seventh-rounder, he should make the roster, barring injury or an unforeseen horrible performance in training camp.


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