As we get closer to the 2014 draft, let us take a look 3 years earlier and see how well the Ravens did. Most draft experts will say that 3 years is the best spot to look in order to judge how a team had really done in the draft. It gives players enough time to learn the game, get used to the speed and strength of NFL players and establish themselves as what type of player they will probably be their entire career.
Round 1 (27th overall): Jimmy Smith - Cornerback
Notes at draft: Coming out of the University of Colorado Boulder, Jimmy Smith was the prototype press cornerback at 6'2" and 205lbs. A reported three failed drug tests and an aggravated assault charge gave teams reason to question Smith's maturity. Smith's size and desire to be physical both in run support and in the passing game meant that he was well suited for the Ravens style of play.
Notes currently: Jimmy is just one of the Smiths on the team. During the first two years of his career, he flashed enough promise here and there to see the field frequently. While struggling as a starting corner for those two years, he improved his game greatly in the 2013 season. He took the physical gifts he had coming out of college and matched it to a calmer and smarter mental game and looks poised to establish himself as a top corner in the 2014 season.
Round 2 (58th overall): Torrey Smith - Wide Receiver
Notes at draft: Torrey is the two on the one-two Smith punch from this draft. Coming out of Maryland, Torrey Smith featured blistering straight line speed and decent size. His explosion off the line of scrimmage, his passion and his tireless effort graded him out as a big play threat that would match up well with a strong armed quarterback. Smith had questions about his hands and route running ability to succeed as a consistent threat in the NFL but matched up well with the Ravens' offensive philosophy and personnel.
Notes currently: Torrey Smith is coming off his best season statistically in which he caught 65 passes for 1,128 yards. As the first Raven-drafted player to go over 1,000 yards in a season, he is featured as the Ravens top receiving option. Having solved the hands concern from his draft analysis, he still is learning a full route tree and finding openings against zone coverage while being more commonly used as the deep threat he was expected to be coming out of the 2011 draft. Entering the 2014 season, Smith is looking to break 1,200 yards and earn a Pro Bowl nomination
Round 3 (85th overall): Jah Reid - Offensive Tackle
Notes at draft: Jah Reid came out of The University of Central Florida as an incredibly large tackle prospect. At 6'7", and 335 lbs, Reid looked to be the physical answer to losing Jonathan Ogden in 2007 even if he was a little raw in his technique.
Notes currently: Reid has bounced around the line a little bit seeing time at both guard and tackle. Playing in 25 games and starting only 7, hopes of him becoming anything more than a depth player at this point in his career seem to have faded completely. Entering the 2014 season Reid was arrested on battery charges but is in the mix currently with Ricky Wagner to start at the right tackle spot. The Ravens are expected to either draft a replacement or sign a veteran starter before the season starts. Reid will probably end his time with the Ravens after the year is over and his contract is up.
Round 4 (123rd overall): Tandon Doss - Wide Receiver
Notes at draft: Doss hails from Indiana University Bloomington as an All-Big Ten First Team player. He had good size and good speed and was expected to be a favorite of quarterback Joe Flacco. He was never expected to be a top receiving option but figured to be a slot option for whoever drafted him.
Notes currently: Doss was a product of limited depth at the wide receiver position that struggled mightily at every turn. He could never take the hard work and turn it into consistent results. Plagued by an inability to get open regularly and catch tough balls, Doss was released prior to the 2013 season and only picked back up due to extensive injuries at the wide receiver position. He was released this offseason and signed by Jacksonville looking to compete for a starting spot.
Round 5 (164th overall): Chykie Brown - Cornerback
Notes at draft: A smaller corner coming out of Texas, Chykie Brown figured to be a good floater in various defensive packages. Having a 4.5 40 yard dash meant that he could keep up with most receivers even if he couldn't match up well due to his shorter height and not so great instincts
Notes currently: Brown is currently used as depth with playing time as a sub-package and a special teams player. He figures to see more playing time this year with Corey Graham having left for Buffalo. He could be a player that the Ravens resign just for continuity or they could look to draft new talent this year and next.
Round 5 (165th overall): Pernell McPhee - Defensive End
Notes at draft: Pernell McPhee came out of Mississippi State known for his hard working attitude and being durable on the line. He used his strength to be a run stuffer and his motor to surprise quarterbacks.
Notes currently: After having a breakout rookie season with 6 sacks and seeing time in all 16 games, McPhee has been quiet over the years. Last year he was moved from defensive end to outside linebacker in a move that could see him off the team or could see him become the next Jarrett Johnson.
Round 6 (180th overall): Tyrod Taylor - Quarterback
Notes at draft: The mobile quarterback from Virginia Tech showed some promise as a Michael Vick clone. He was never drafted as anything more than a career backup but could be used as a change of pace quarterback with the 'wildcat' being popular and as a practice quarterback for teams facing more mobile opponents.
Notes currently: After having been a backup and never starting a game, Tyrod saw some live action during the 2013 season and was less than spectacular. Given that he was a favorite of former Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron, the Ravens are reportedly interested in finding his replacement. If he isn't replaced this offseason, he will not be resigned following the season due to his cost and awful stats. The Ravens appear to want to go in a different direction at this point.
Round 7 (225th overall): Anthony Allen - Runningback
Notes at draft: Allen was drafted purely as depth at a time where Willis McGahee was showing his age. At best, he figured to be a sub player on a team that ran the ball frequently
Notes currently: Anthony Allen surprisingly made a bit of a name for himself as a special teams player blocking for Jacoby Jones. Allen was released last season and was out of football until signing a 2 year deal with the Buffalo Bills.
The Ravens had a pretty good draft by all accounts. Later round picks Anthony Allen, Tyrod Taylor and Chykie Brown have been almost all exclusively for depth which is to be expected of those spots. McPhee had a great rookie year and has some promise as a rotational player this year. Doss, while not on the team any longer, saw playing time. Jimmy Smith is a starter on the team as is Torrey Smith. In eight picks, having two full time starters on the team is considered a win especially considering that only 2 players from this draft class are no longer on the team and one of those was at a position that was already pretty deep.