Ravens' draft review: Kyle Juszczyk

The Baltimore Ravens blog is wrapping up its review of the team's top five draft picks in 2013:


Position: Fullback

Drafted: Fourth round, 130th overall (selected one spot after Ravens LB John Simon and one pick before 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore)

Key stats: No carries or catches. His five special-teams tackles were tied for sixth on the team.

His 2013 season: Juszczyk didn't prove he could be a lead blocker in training camp, which led to the Ravens re-signing Vonta Leach. But neither Juszczyk nor Leach saw much time on offense because the Ravens went to a spread attack. Juszczyk was on the field for four offensive snaps and none after Week 5. But Juszczyk brought a physical presence to special teams. He was only one of three rookies to play in every game this season. Safety Matt Elam and offensive lineman Rick Wagner were the others.

Forecasting 2014: More of an H-back, Juszczyk is more versatile than Leach, who is expected to be cut for salary-cap reasons. Juszczyk won't be a full-time starter but his role should expand. He can be utilized in certain personnel groupings as either a fullback or a tight end.

What the Ravens are saying about Juszczyk: "[He] was one of our best special-teams players -- played like a linebacker on special teams. That’s a great thing for a fullback/tight end-type guy, but we’ve got to get him into the mix more. Kyle has got to be a huge part of what we do going forward. He’s transitioned from a two-back to one-back scheme. He’s the link, as far as being a move guy, lining up in the backfield and lining up out as a wide receiver. He can do those things. We have high hopes for him." -- Head coach John Harbaugh