The 2014 NFL Draft was a big one for the Baltimore Ravens; coming off their first non-playoff season since 2007 and were only a year removed from drafting Matt Elam and Arthur Brown. General Manager Ozzie Newsome had to hit his first-round pick out of the park to rebound from the Elam selection, and sure enough, he took a middle linebacker from his old college stomping grounds. A player who has now become one of the best linebackers in football, a leader for the Ravens defense: C.J. Mosley.
In his first three seasons, Mosley stood out, recording 342 total tackles, seven sacks, six interceptions, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one touchdown and is a two-time Pro Bowler over the course of his short career. Mosley is also sure to be in line for a very nice pay day soon enough. While the Ravens nailed it with their 17th overall selection three years ago, sometimes you do wonder how the draft would've gone down after watching these players in NFL uniforms.
That's what NFL.com's Elliot Harrison decided to do, as he re-drafted that years first-round selections after what we know now. He has the Ravens taking wide receiver Allen Robinson with the 17th pick, as Mosley goes much earlier in the draft. Harrison stated:
17) Ravens: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State. "Despite signing Mike Wallace, and drafting Breshad Perriman two years ago, the Ravens still need a wide receiver. Robinson would give Joe Flacco a pass catcher who can run the whole route-tree. Flacco would provide Robinson with more catchable balls and fewer red-zone interceptions than the QB he currently plays with in Jacksonville. You see? It's a win-win."
Robinson was the 61st overall pick in the second round by the Jacksonville Jaguars and has carved out a nice resume for a Jaguars team that has only won 11 games since his arrival. So far, Robinson has recorded 201 receptions, 2,831 yards, and 22 touchdowns. Robinson was the NFL co-leader in receiving touchdowns in 2015 and made the Pro Bowl the same season. Equally as impressive is him doing it with Blake Bortles at quarterback, and two head coaches.
There is no doubt Robinson would've been a very good pick for a Ravens team in need of a receiver almost every year, and 2014 was no different after the disasters of Deonte Thompson and Tandon Doss. However, it’s not like the Ravens never had a chance to select Robinson in the second round as they used their 48th pick on Timmy Jernigan, who was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason. Other receivers the team passed over for Jernigan include Jarvis Landry and DaVante Adams.
Mosley, on the other hand, moved up into the top-10 in Harrison's re-draft. This is great for Mosley and certainly deserving, until you see the team Harrison has selecting him; the Cleveland Browns, who used their 8th overall pick on cornerback Justin Gilbert and infamously took quarterback Johnny Manziel with their next first-round choice.
While any draft could go in many different directions, the Ravens are very pleased to have one of the best middle linebackers in the NFL on their roster, and hope Mosley continues the tradition of great play from the middle linebacker position in Baltimore.