- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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It's that time again for Mel Kiper Jr. to hand out his post-draft grades, and the Baltimore Ravens got their usually solid mark. Kiper gave the Ravens a "B," which is a fair grade considering the value of their nine picks and addressing needs.
"The Ravens put together another solid draft, with one notable question," Kiper wrote. "They got some really good players who will contribute immediately, and peppered in some high-upside picks that could make this draft look outstanding down the road. My question would be whether they got enough in the passing game."
In terms of value, the Ravens would get an "A-minus" because they were able to get two top-20 talents (linebacker C.J. Mosley and defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan) in the first two rounds and a potential immediate starter (safety Terrence Brooks) in the third round. The Ravens also pointed out that defensive end Brent Urban, a fourth-round pick, was someone who was under consideration in the second round.
Where this draft fell short was filling immediate needs. The Ravens still have question marks at offensive tackle and cornerback. At this point, the Ravens are going with Rick Wagner at right tackle and either Chykie Brown or Asa Jackson at the No. 3 corner spot. No one has seen enough of them to say with any confidence that they will be able to handle those jobs.
The Ravens also could have addressed running back earlier because that could become a bigger need if Ray Rice is suspended and Bernard Pierce isn't at full strength. Coastal Carolina's Lorenzo Taliaferro was taken in the fourth round, but it could be a lot to ask of a small-school back to take a major role as a rookie. So, as far as pressing needs, the Ravens get a "B-minus."
This Ravens draft could look better a few years from now. It's not a stretch to say the Ravens could get three to five starters out of this draft. Mosley and Brooks should be starters as rookies, and Jernigan could be one by 2015. Urban and offensive lineman John Urschel, a fifth-round pick, have the chance to develop into starters in three or four years.
The Ravens didn't have the best draft in the AFC North, according to Kiper. The Pittsburgh Steelers received an "A-minus" after drafting linebacker Ryan Shazier, defensive end Stephon Tuitt and running back Dri Archer in the first three rounds.
"Even though the Steelers could have done more at cornerback, it was hard to pass on players they took where they did," Kiper wrote, "and it adds up to one of the best 2014 draft classes."
Here are the Ravens' previous grades from Kiper: A in 2010, B-plus in 2011, B in 2012 and A-minus last year.