In recent seasons, Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome has not had much luck during the NFL Draft. While 2016’s selections look to be a good haul, along with 2017 first-round selection Marlon Humphrey hopefully being a core defensive player for years to come, and other picks have gone on to sign big contracts elsewhere, there have been noticeable problems.
Baltimore took four straight defensive players in the 2013 NFL Draft, three of them (Matt Elam, Arthur Brown, John Simon) are gone. Brandon Williams still remains after signing a large extension last offseason. Others from 2013 such as Rick Wagner, Kyle Juszczyk and Ryan Jensen helped Baltimore, but all three of them have left the Ravens in free agency these last two off-seasons. The 2015 draft class, aside from Javorius Allen and Nick Boyle, hasn’t done much either, with Breshad Perriman being labeled a bust, along with Maxx Williams and Za’Darius Smith entering important contract years in 2018. Other 2015 selections, like Darren Waller, and Carl Davis, haven’t stood out. The 2014 class however, has faded fast.
On Tuesday night, Michael Campanaro signed a 1-year contract with the Tennessee Titans. Which continued the Ravens objective of completely retooling the wide receiver unit, but his departure also leaves only two players remaining from Newsome’s 2014 draft. During that draft, Baltimore would repeat what they did the year before, and what they would eventually do again last year by taking three straight defensive players - C.J. Mosley, Timmy Jernigan, and Terrence Brooks. Jernigan was traded last year to the Philadelphia Eagles for a better third round pick. Brooks would only last two seasons before being waived in 2016 and claimed by the Eagles. He is now currently a member of the New York Jets.
Quarterback Keith Wenning only lasted a year and was released in 2015. Running back Lorenzo Taliaferro was waived before the start of last year. John Urschel, who was in competition for a starting spot on the offensive line in 2017, retired on the first day of training camp. Crockett Gillmore, now a free agent, has never been able to stay healthy and is being converted to offensive tackle. All of this now leaves the aforementioned Mosley, and the talented yet often injured defensive end Brent Urban.
Urban signed a 1-year, $2.35 million extension last month but he has played only one full season over the course of his four-year career. His 2017 campaign ended in Week 3 when he suffered a Lisfranc foot injury that required surgery. As for Mosley, he is entering a contract year and the team is likely to get a deal done with him sooner or later.
To have only one player standout from a draft class class is disheartening. Baltimore hopes the 2017 draft class doesn’t produce the same results. Humphrey had a solid rookie year, yet others like Tim Williams, Chris Wormley, and Tyus Bowser didn’t. The 2014 draft also looks underwhelming now considering the talented wide receivers that were picked. The Ravens waited until the seventh round to take Campanaro and his Ravens career was mired with injuries.
Newsome took responsibility for their recent draft struggles at the pre-draft presser, and the team hopes to get more from a promising 2016 class, as well as a 2017 draft class that is entering their second season. For his 2014 draft selections however, Newsome will continue to rely on Mosley and hope to see a full season out of the promising Urban.