As we got into the late hours of Thursday night, the whole Manti Te’o thing seemed to actually be happening. No one wanted to help out the emotions of Ravens fans and take him in front of us, so Roger Goodell stepped to the podium and I think we all had Te’o on the brain. As it turned out, the circus is not coming to town and the Ravens got a playmaker in Matt Elam to go along side Michael Huff. Two brand new starting safeties who will arguably be better in coverage then Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard were last year.
Despite the excitement of Thursday night, the Ravens still needed a linebacker. In true Ozzie Newsome fashion, he traded up when the bright lights of the first round were not on, and got the guy that they wanted.
Arthur Brown was someone on the Ravens radar for a long time. He was one of the premier linebackers in the draft alongside Alec Ogletree and Manti Te’o. Brown played a lot of outside linebacker is college, but I think the Ravens will try him at inside. He is undersized to be a middle linebacker in the NFL, but aren’t the paradigms changing? Teams no longer need a run stuffing giant man in the middle like Brian Urlacher. NFL.com has compared him to Navorro Bowman.
Brown had a very successful senior season. One of the positives about Brown is he is said to be a great open field tackler. He will latch on to even bigger running backs and not let go. In 13 games including the bowl game, Arthur Brown had 100 tackles and 65% of these tackles were solo. Manti Te’o was only 44% in solo tackles and Alec Ogletree was only 57%. 11 of 13 of Brown’s games were also against Big 12 or Pac 12 competition. I think Ravens fans everywhere are very happy with what Ozzie was able to do last night.
The big question that Arthur Brown has posed to all of Baltimore is: have we already met the end with Rolando McClain? In my opinion, his altercation with the law is the first and the final straw in his Ravens career. Picking Brown has added some depth to the linebacking core and the additions we have made upfront could make this an even stronger group. I don’t think that Ozzie and John Harbaugh need Rolando McClain in the linebacking core, so I doubt they will put up with his antics.
In my opinion, the Ravens have done a great job so far. Three picks and three needs met. The third day of the draft is just an important as the first two. Look for the Ravens to add depth at some positions like offensive line and possibly still linebacker depending on how the "process" with Rolando McClain shakes out. If I had to guess, the Ravens will not be walking away from the table tonight without a wide receiver either.