The Ravens entered the 2014 NFL draft with eight selections and came away with nine picks.
That's because the organization found it necessary to trade a 2015 sixth-rounder for Wake Forest wide receiver Michael Campanaro, a shifty slot receiver that somehow fell to the seventh-round.
A projected fifth-rounder, the Ravens may have gotten a steal with the pick. To expand on that, we caught up with Robert Reinhard of SB Nation's Wake Forest affiliate Blogger So Dear, who believes the Ravens got some great value by taking Campanaro.
How valuable was Campanaro in Wake Forest's offense the past four years?
I can't stress enough how valuable Michael Campanaro was to Wake Forest's offense over his career. He is Wake Forest's all-time leader in career receptions with 229. Over the past three seasons Campanaro has accounted for 30% of the team's receptions (219/736) and 30% of the team's receiving yards (2,399/8,060). This is remarkable considering that Campanaro played alongside NFL receiver Chris Givens during his sophomore season and that Campanaro missed seven games during that time. This past season we essentially based our entire offense around Campanaro and our season essentially ended when Camp went down against Syracuse. Wake averaged 85 more receiving yards per game this season during games in which Campanaro played.
How do you see him projecting at the NFL level?
I see Campanaro as a very good slot receiver and potentially a kickoff returner. He's never going to be an elite outside threat like an A.J. Green or a Julio Jones, but he can absolutely be a slot receiver who is a featured part of an offense. I'm not saying that Camp is the next Wes Welker, but his combine numbers are more impressive. It wouldn't shock me at all if Camp is an NFL receiver for a long time.
What are Campanaro's strengths and weaknesses as a receiver?
His biggest strengths are his route running and his hands. I believe he runs precise routes and he has a knack for finding the holes in a defense and running to them. He also has great hands (this over the shoulder diving catch against Boston College) and would be a reliable safety valve for Flacco.
His main weaknesses are his durability and lack of elite speed. He played in only eight games this season due to a season-ending collarbone injury suffered against Syracuse. He also missed two games last season because of a hand injury he suffered against Duke. He is fast (4.46 40-yard dash), but he isn't a burner like a Jacoby Jones.
Do you think Campanaro has what it takes to be a special teams returner at the next level?
I think he's better suited to return kickoffs than punts, but I believe he has the hands and decision making ability to do both.
Based on what you've seen from him over the years, were you surprised to see him fall to the seventh round? Or do you think that was the appropriate spot him to be drafted?
I was very surprised that he went that late. I wouldn't have been that shocked if he had gotten drafted in the late third round. I definitely expected him to be at least a fifth round pick. I know I'm biased and see him play far more than other receiver prospects, but I can't be convinced he's only a seventh-round talent. I believe Ozzie Newsome got another steal and that trading away next year's 6th round pick is well-worth moving up to snag Camp. As a Ravens/Wake fan I'm thrilled with the pick.