Baltimore Ravens: John Urschel

It's time to click open the Baltimore Ravens' Twitter mailbag ...

@jamisonhensley: The big question was whether Gary Kubiak was going to interview in Denver or remain committed as the Ravens' offensive coordinator. Once he agreed, it feels like the meeting is a formality. There's a slim chance that Kubiak doesn't leave for Denver as the Broncos' new head coach. He is long-time friends with general manager John Elway. He has lived in Denver as a player or coach for 20 years. The only way Kubiak comes back to the Ravens is if he and Elway don't see eye-to-eye on personnel (particularly at quarterback) and the coaching staff. But it's not a coincidence that Teryl Austin and Doug Marrone both decided not to interview after Kubiak's name officially entered the Broncos' search. No one wants to be second choice.

@jamisonhensley: If it's a surprise, I probably shouldn't tell you, right? Well, if you really want to know, my prediction for the most surprising move is landing a bona fide No. 1 receiver like free agent Demaryius Thomas. It's going to take a lot of cap room, and the Ravens don't currently have it. And the Ravens aren't known for making a big splash in free agency. I just get the feeling that the Ravens want to capitalize on the momentum of this offensive upswing, and big targets are needed in this version of the West Coast offense, which the Ravens will continue to run with or without Kubiak. Every team in the division has a big playmaker at wide receiver: A.J. Green, Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon. Maybe that's why coach John Harbaugh hinted at Steve Smith coming back in a role where he wouldn't be an every-down receiver.

@jamisonhensley: Actually, the Ravens should want to keep Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele. I would advocate signing both starting guards to extensions, because they are entering the final years of their contracts. Don't be surprised if rookie fifth-round pick John Urschel is the Ravens' starting center in 2016. The Ravens are essentially married to center Jeremy Zuttah for another season, which would open the door for Urschel the following year. Urschel practiced at center this season, and there is no question he's smart enough to handle the position.

@jamisonhensley: It's still cornerback. The Ravens' biggest needs are: cornerback, wide receiver, running back, safety and tight end. Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb are the projected starters, especially if the Ravens can get Webb to take a pay cut. But no one can have any confidence either one will hold up for an entire season based on their injury histories. Sure, you have Asa Jackson, Rashaan Melvin and Danny Gorrer in the mix, but the Ravens need to upgrade if they want to fix the secondary. Aaron Ross has played four games the past two seasons because of injuries. With Steve Spagnuolo gone, there is little chance that Ross will be back. The Ravens need more quality depth at cornerback, and they need to groom another young cornerback behind Smith and Webb. They should take a cornerback in one of the first three rounds.

@jamisonhensley: I was surprised that Marlon Brown didn't play a bigger role in the red zone. Last season, Brown had seven touchdown catches inside the 20-yard line, which more than doubled every player on the Ravens' roster. This season, he wasn't targeted once in the red zone. That's right. No passes in Brown's direction inside the 20-yard line. Brown did struggle in training camp catching the ball, and he doesn't get much separation. But he seemed to come down with most of the passes that Joe Flacco threw at him, especially in the second half of the season. Brown isn't a top-three receiver on this team. The Ravens, though, didn't use him enough, because he does have a role on the team. As far as Torrey Smith's future goes, a lot depends on whether the Ravens target other receivers in free agency.

@jamisonhensley: I'm not sure if the starting strong safety is on this team. You're right that the Ravens want Will Hill, who is a restricted free agent, to win the free safety job. Even though he struggled at times tackling, he is a starting-caliber safety in this league. The Ravens were hoping Matt Elam would have developed into a starting strong safety, but he is too much of a liability in tackling and defending the deep pass. Rookie Terrence Brooks looks like he is going to need another year before he battles for a starting job. And Darian Stewart, who started the most at strong safety, is adequate. But the Ravens want to be more than just adequate in the secondary.

@jamisonhensley: The Ravens have used the franchise tag often in their history, but I don't see it happening this year. The Ravens' top unrestricted free agents are wide receiver Torrey Smith, running back Justin Forsett and linebacker Pernell McPhee. Smith isn't worth the projected one-year, $12.8 million tag for a wide receiver. The same goes for Forsett and the one-year, $10.9 million tag for running backs. And even though McPhee played well this year, the Ravens can't invest a one-year, $11 million tag on him..

Ravens LT Eugene Monroe is doubtful

December, 26, 2014
12/26/14
3:35
PM ET
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe is doubtful with an ankle injury, which could lead to two rookies starting in Sunday's must-win game against the Cleveland Browns.

Monroe
Monroe was injured late in last Sunday's loss at the Houston Texans, and he didn't practice all week. This injury is compounded by the fact the Ravens put right tackle Rick Wagner (foot) on injured reserve this week.

When the Ravens were without both offensive tackles at the end of last Sunday's game, James Hurst played at left tackle, Marshal Yanda moved from right guard to right tackle and John Urschel stepped in at right guard. Hurst and Urschel have combined to start six games in their rookie seasons.

"Both of those guys have done it already and played, been out there. They’ve done it well," coach John Harbaugh said. "It gives us a lot of confidence that they can play very well.”

Yanda hasn't started a game at right tackle since 2010.

"We're very confident we’re going to put a good offensive line out there one way or another," Harbaugh said.

Linebacker Terrell Suggs (back and thigh) and defensive end Chris Canty (ankle and thigh) both missed practice all week. But they played last Sunday despite missing practice with similar injuries.

Running back Fitzgerald Toussaint is listed as questionable with injured ribs. He was added to the injury report Friday after being limited in practice. Toussaint received the second-most snaps at running back last Sunday behind starter Justin Forsett.
The Baltimore Ravens' season is only a little over halfway complete, and this year's rookie class has already distinguished itself as the most immediately productive in coach John Harbaugh's seven seasons.

No other group of rookies have been on the field more than this year's one. Seven first-year players have logged at least 95 snaps this season. How special is that? The previous six rookie classes have never had more than four players contribute that much for an entire season, much less the first 10 games of a season like these current rookies.

Inside linebacker C.J. Mosley is the leading candidate for NFL defensive rookie of the year, and Timmy Jernigan is a big part of the defensive line rotation. Crockett Gillmore is the team's No. 2 tight end, safety Terrence Brooks is getting more playing time in passing situations and Lorenzo Taliaferro has been the backup running back for most of the year. Offensive tackle James Hurst and guard John Urschel formed the left side of the Ravens' line for two games.

[+] EnlargeC.J. Mosley
Patrick Smith/Getty ImagesRavens rookie C.J. Mosley is the top contender for NFL defensive rookie of the year.
The Ravens have made bigger splashes under Harbaugh. The first draft class under him brought in a franchise quarterback (Joe Flacco) and the eventual No. 2 rusher in team history (Ray Rice). The Ravens have found a handful of starters in certain years. Four starters on this year's team were drafted in 2013: safety Matt Elam, nose tackle Brandon Williams, fullback Kyle Juszczyk and offensive tackle Rick Wagner.

But no recent Ravens rookie group has been as deep as this year's one.

"This year probably has been one of our best years," coach John Harbaugh said. "It’s a good group of young guys. They‘re very motivated. They work really hard. They love football. I don’t see their heads in a lot of different places. I see them thinking about football every single day, and those are the kind of guys you want to bring in.”

Here's a look at this year's rookie class player by player:

ILB C.J. Mosley (first round): His 90 tackles rank fourth in the NFL and are 22 more than any other rookie in the NFL. Mosley has a great chance to become the Ravens' first NFL defensive rookie of the year since Terrell Suggs in 2003.

DT Timmy Jernigan (second round): His ability to disrupt goes beyond his 11 tackles and one sack. Jernigan is the second highest-rated rookie defensive lineman, according to Pro Football Focus.

CB Terrence Brooks (third round): It's been an up-and-down rookie season. Brooks' best play was his knockout hit of Titans tight end Delanie Walker last Sunday. His worst came last month when he gave up a 53-yard reception to Mohamed Sanu on third down, which led to Cincinnati's winning touchdown.

TE Crockett Gillmore (third round): He's the 13th-best run blocking tight end, according to Pro Football Focus. His six receptions rank fifth among rookie tight ends.

RB Lorenzo Taliaferro (fourth round): After losing a critical fumble in Pittsburgh, Taliaferro dropped behind Bernard Pierce on the depth chart last Sunday. His 257 yards rushing rank ninth among rookies and his four touchdowns are tied for third.

G John Urschel (fifth round): He started two games at left guard in October (both wins), moving ahead of Gino Gradkowski on the depth chart. Urschel also played one snap at center last Sunday when Jeremy Zuttah left briefly with an injury.

WR Michael Campanaro (seventh round): He was starting to find his niche as the team's slot receiver, recording a season-high 40 yards receiving at Cincinnati. But a hamstring injury has sidelined him the past two games.

OT James Hurst (undrafted): He became the first rookie to start at left tackle for the Ravens since Michael Oher in 2009. Hurst struggled in his four starts, committing four penalties and giving up three sacks. Still, this was a lot to ask of an undrafted rookie.

ILB Zachary Orr (undrafted): He's primarily a special teams player who has played in all but one game. Three penalties in four games led to him sitting one week.

NOTE: DE Brent Urban (fourth round) is on injured reserve after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament, and QB Keith Wenning (sixth round) is on the practice squad.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- One of the more underrated reasons why the Baltimore Ravens are in first place in the AFC North is the immediate contributions made by their young players.

The Ravens' rookies have played a total of 1,295 snaps in the first seven games of the season. That ranks as the eighth-most in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Of those seven teams ahead of the Ravens, only two (the Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers) drafted after the Ravens in the 2014 draft.

Mosley
Inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, a first-round pick, is a leading candidate for NFL defensive rookie of the year and is the only defender in the league to record at least 60 tackles, an interception, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (second round), safety Terrence Brooks (third round) and tight end Crockett Gillmore (third round) are playing at least 20 snaps each in supporting roles.

Guard John Urschel (fifth round) has started the past two games in place of the injured Kelechi Osemele, and others have had their moments as well. Running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (fourth round) gained 91 yards rushing in Week 3, and wide receiver Michael Campanaro (seventh round) scored a touchdown on his first career catch two weeks ago.

The only players from this year's draft class who haven't played a down for the Ravens are defensive end Brent Urban (fourth round), who is on injured reserve, and quarterback Keith Wenning (sixth round), who is on the practice squad.

It's not just the draft class that is making an impact. Two undrafted rookies -- offensive tackle James Hurst and linebacker Zachary Orr -- have stepped up for the Ravens, too.

Hurst became the first undrafted rookie to start at left tackle in Ravens history, filling in for the injured Eugene Monroe for the past four weeks. Orr has been one of the Ravens' core special-teams players. Of the Ravens' 18 special-teams tackles this season, seven have come from rookies. The Ravens have had an undrafted rookie make their season-opening roster in 11 consecutive years, which is tied for the third-longest current streak in the NFL.

In last Sunday's victory over the Atlanta Falcons, nine of the 46 players who suited up for the Ravens were rookies. In comparison, there were a combined nine players from the 2012 and 2013 draft classes who played last Sunday.

For the season, rookies have accounted for 12.9 percent of the snaps on offense and defense.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Starting left tackle Eugene Monroe returned to practice Thursday, a day after left guard Kelechi Osemele came back for the Baltimore Ravens. But those two starters still might not be available for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Monroe
Osemele
Monroe practiced for the first time since having a procedure on his knee, which has caused him to miss the past three games. Osmele was sidelined last Sunday with a knee injury.

"(Monroe) and KO, we're trying to get them back on the field," offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said. "Obviously, KO is a little further along than he is right now. We've got to get those guys back healthy."

In the big picture, it's more important for the Ravens to have Monroe and Osemele back for next Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Not only could that game be for first place in the AFC North, but the Ravens can't afford to get swept by the Bengals because of tiebreaker purposes.

If Monroe and Osemele are sidelined Sunday, the Ravens would go with two rookies on the left side for a second straight week. Undrafted rookie left tackle James Hurst and rookie fifth-round guard John Urschel each only allowed one quarterback hurry in last Sunday's win in Tampa, and helped the Ravens rush for 169 yards.

Asked if he ever had two rookies start on the left side like that, Kubiak said, "I've never been around that. That was something else. But boy, you have to be proud of them. They've worked really hard. I think the guys around them played hard. Usually when you have a young guy step in, it's about everybody else playing a little bit better. So, you got to give the whole group credit the way they've stepped up."

The Ravens face a Falcons defense that ranks 28th against the run and 29th against the pass.

RAVENS INJURY REPORT

DID NOT PRACTICE: DE Chris Canty (wrist), DT Christo Bilukidi (ankle), TE Owen Daniels (not injury related) and LB Daryl Smith (not injury related).

LIMITED PARTICIPATION: OT Eugene Monroe (knee), WR Kamar Aiken (concussion), G Kelechi Osemele (knee).

FULL PARTICIPATION: WR Marlon Brown (pelvis), DT Timmy Jernigan (knee).
The Baltimore Ravens blog won't be giving out a report card until the regular-season opener, but our friends at Pro Football Focus are handing out grades for the Ravens' third preseason game against Washington ...

HIGHEST-GRADED RAVENS

Brandon Williams (4.2): The starting nose tackle was a factor in both the run and pass games. Williams tied for the team lead with five tackles, including two for loss, and delivered a quarterback hit. These aren't the types of numbers you'd expect from a nose tackle.

Rick Wagner (2.1): When watching the game the first time, it looked like Wagner was manhandled by Pro Bowl linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. Upon further review, Wagner actually held his own except for one sack. For the season, he's the highest-graded starting offensive lineman for the Ravens.

Elvis Dumervil (1.9): The outside linebacker was around the ball, making three tackles and a sack in just 16 snaps. Dumervil is known for getting to the quarterback, but he showed good pursuit in the run game.

Nicholas DiMarco (1.8): This was all for naught. DiMarco, who signed after a minicamp tryout in June, is reportedly among the first cuts by the Ravens.

Anthony Levine (1.8): This rating is even more impressive when you consider this was Levine's first game at cornerback. Levine made the switch from safety because the Ravens are shorthanded at corner. His best play was running stride for stride with Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson.

LOWEST-GRADED RAVENS

Parker Graham (-3.5): It was a disaster when Graham had to fill in for Jah Reid at right tackle with the second team. This comes after Graham was the lowest-rated Ravens player in the second preseason game.

Crockett Gillmore (-2.5): The third-round pick slipped and was unable to make the catch on a long throw from Joe Flacco. He also got beat to the inside in pass protection, which led to Flacco getting hit.

Terrence Brooks (-2.3): After a strong opening drive, the rookie third-round pick made two big mistakes in the fourth quarter. Brooks was penalized for pass interference and then allowed a touchdown five plays later.

Lorenzo Taliaferro (-2.3): The NFL's leading rusher after two preseason games, Taliaferro struggled to gain 25 yards on 11 carries (2.3-yard average). His longest run was 5 yards.

John Urschel (-1.7): The fifth-round pick is battling Ryan Jensen for one of the last spots on the team. He was graded as the second-worst run-blocker against the Redskins.

Bernard Pierce (-1.7): It was a rough night even before Pierce suffered a head injury. He finished with minus-3 yards on four carries. Pierce also continues to be a liability in pass protection.
A look at how the Baltimore Ravens' 2014 draft class has fared halfway through the preseason:

Mosley
C.J. Mosley, inside linebacker: After an impressive preseason opener, the first-round pick took a step back in Week 2. Mosley was sluggish in coverage and missed a couple of tackles while defending the run. For the most part, Mosley has been strong in training camp, showing athleticism and good instincts. He leads the Ravens with 10 tackles this preseason.

Timmy Jernigan, defensive tackle: The second-round pick has been among the top rookies in camp. He has repeatedly broken through the line and got penetration up the middle. That hasn't translated to the two preseason games. Jernigan doesn't have a tackle in 47 snaps.

Terrence Brooks, safety: The third-round pick has moved up the depth chart, playing nickelback with the starters and free safety with the second-team defense. Brooks hasn't broken up a pass in the preseason, but he has a quarterback hit off a blitz.

Gillmore
Crockett Gillmore, tight end: The third-round pick hasn't stood out in training camp. He has just one catch for three yards in the preseason. Gillmore's role could be expanded if Owen Daniels' legs can't hold up for the season.

Brent Urban, defensive end: The fourth-round pick tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on July 30 and is out for the season. Urban was expected to back up defensive end Chris Canty.

Lorenzo Taliaferro, running back: The fourth-round pick leads the Ravens with 130 yards rushing this preseason. His physical style of running has caught the coaching staff's attention. Taliaferro is looking to be the primary backup to Bernard Pierce when Ray Rice is serving his two-game suspension.

John Urschel, guard: The fifth-round pick delivered a key block in Taliaferro's touchdown run Saturday in Dallas. Urschel has moved up to the second-team offense, replacing Ryan Jensen at right guard and increasing his chances of landing one of the final spots on the 53-man roster.

Keith Wenning, quarterback: The sixth-round pick has improved in camp, although it was hard to tell by his performance in the second preseason game. He was 2 of 4 for 23 yards, fumbling on his first pass attempt (which led to a touchdown). Wenning is expected to go on the practice squad as the No. 3 quarterback.

Michael Campanaro, wide receiver: The seventh-round pick finished camp strong and is in position to make the final roster. His quickness and route-running make him perfectly suited for slot receiver. Campanaro could develop into a productive returner as well.

Ravens Camp Report: Day 12

August, 9, 2014
8/09/14
6:30
PM ET
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Baltimore Ravens training camp:
  • Joe Flacco carried the momentum from a great season opener with a sharp practice. He continually found holes in the San Francisco 49ers zone, dropping in passes to his receivers. His best pass was a 50-yard completion to wide receiver Marlon Brown after Flacco rolled to his left and threw off his back foot.
  • There were no fights in the first joint practice with the 49ers. There were a few close calls, especially with guard Kelechi Osemele and linebacker Pernell McPhee. My guess is the players were warned about throwing punches after what the head coaches said before practice.
  • Jimmy Smith was the only cornerback who held up well for the Ravens. Smith set the tone in the one-on-one drill against Anquan Boldin, knocking the ball down in front of the former Ravens receiver. When Smith spoke to owner Steve Bisciotti during practice, I couldn't help thinking about the size of the check that Bisciotti will be writing Smith in a couple of years.
  • Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor didn't run in team drills for the first time in recent memory. The only way the Ravens can evaluate how he's progressed as a pocket passer is if he stays in the pocket. Taylor rushed his reads early and had several passes batted down when he tried to dump the ball off. He did finish with two deep throws, hitting Steve Smith (who had to dive for the ball) and Michael Campanaro.
  • Like he's done for most of camp, Osemele was crushing defensive linemen. Osemele knocked 49ers defensive tackle Tank Carradine to the ground three times during one session of team drills.
  • One of the more anticipated matchups didn't go the Ravens' way as Terrell Suggs couldn't get past 49ers left tackle Joe Staley. On the other side, Elvis Dumervil had his way with backup right tackle Jonathan Martin.
  • Cornerback Chykie Brown struggled again after putting together some decent practices. He was faked out early and often, allowing too many easy catches to 49ers receivers.
  • The Ravens started rotating rookie fifth-round pick John Urschel in with the second team at guard. This comes after Ryan Jensen got pushed around in the preseason opener. Jensen missed time in practice after injuring his left knee, but he returned after getting checked out by trainers.
  • Schedule: The Ravens hold their second joint practice with the San Francisco 49ers at noon Sunday.
  • Injury wire: This is the healthiest the Ravens have been since the start of camp. Only four players didn't practice. ... CB Lardarius Webb (back) missed his 10th straight practice. He last practiced July 25. ... G Will Rackley (head) also didn't practice. ... NT Terrence Cody (hip) is on the physically unable to perform list. ... DE Brent Urban (torn ACL) is out for the season.
Four days after the NFL draft ended, the Baltimore Ravens nearly have half of their draft class under contract.

The Ravens have signed four of the nine players drafted: tight end Crockett Gillmore (third round), guard-center John Urschel (fifth round), quarterback Keith Wenning (sixth round) and wide receiver Michael Campanaro (seventh round). All the picks agreed to four-year deals.

Only the Chicago Bears, who have signed six draft picks, have made quicker work of their rookie deals. The rookie wage scale implemented by the 2011 collective bargaining agreement between the league and players’ union simplified and quickened the process of signing draft picks.

In 2012, the Ravens had their entire draft class under contract before the start of rookie minicamp. Last year, the Ravens had all but one draft pick signed by early June. The only exception was safety Matt Elam, the Ravens' first-round pick who negotiated his deal without an agent and signed a week before training camp.

The Ravens will likely sign more draft picks before the start of their three-day rookie minicamp on Friday.

DRAFT PICKS SIGNED

TE Crockett Gillmore (third round): four years, $2.906 million contract, including a $606,376 signing bonus

G-C John Urschel (fifth round): four years, $2.364 million, including a $144,560 signing bonus

QB Keith Wenning (sixth round): four years, $2.324 million, including a $104,072 signing bonus

WR Michael Campanaro (seventh round): four years, $2.287 million, including a $67,500 signing bonus

DRAFT PICKS UNSIGNED

ILB C.J. Mosley (first round)

DT Timmy Jernigan (second round)

FS Terrence Brooks (third round)

DT Brent Urban (fourth round)

RB Lorenzo Taliaferro (fourth round)
Mel Kiper Jr. gave the Baltimore Ravens a B in his post-draft marks. Now, let's give a grade for each of the Ravens' nine draft picks, based on value, fit, immediate impact and overall projection:

FIRST ROUND

C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama: He was rated among the top 10 players in this year's draft by the Ravens, and their board has been more right than wrong over the years. Mosley has Pro Bowl potential and can anchor the Ravens' defense for years. The only drawback is that this wasn't a glaring need. Grade: A-minus.

SECOND ROUND

[+] EnlargeTerrence Brooks
AP Photo/G.M. AndrewsTerrence Brooks will compete with Darian Stewart for a starting safety job.
Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State: There's no question that he has first-round talent and is an impact player when he's on the field. The questions with Jernigan are his endurance and his fit in a 3-4 defense. At the very least, he'll be a major part of the defensive line rotation as a rookie. Grade: B.

THIRD ROUND

Terrence Brooks, FS, Florida State: At no other point in the draft did need meet value better for the Ravens. Brooks is the type of athletic, rangy free safety that the Ravens have been looking for all offseason. Sure, he doesn't have great hands. But no one would have argued if the Ravens picked Brooks a round earlier. Grade: A.

Crockett Gillmore, TE, Colorado State: This was the biggest reach in the draft for the Ravens. He was No. 165 on Todd McShay's prospect rankings, and the Ravens selected him No. 99 overall. Tight ends are a big part of Gary Kubiak's offense, and the Ravens needed a third one behind Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels. It's just surprising that the Ravens went with a developmental tight end this early. Grade: C.

FOURTH ROUND

Brent Urban, DE, Virginia: His size and athleticism make him a perfect fit as an end in the Ravens' 3-4 defense. There's a little bit of a risk because he's raw and is coming off injury. Still, he has the burst and length to be a future starter. Grade: B-plus.

Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Coastal Carolina: A lot of one-cut runners like Taliaferro have had success in Kubiak's ground game. His size (230 pounds) will improve the Ravens in short-yardage and goal-line situations. But his small-school status and lack of burst make you wonder whether he'll ever be more than a role player. Grade: B-minus.

FIFTH ROUND

John Urschel, C-G, Penn State: Everyone will bring up his intelligence, and it's a fact that Urschel was the draft's smartest player. He's also a solid technician who plays with power. There is potential here, and center could end up being his best position. Grade: B-plus.

SIXTH ROUND

Keith Wenning, QB, Ball State: He's a developmental passer but you can see he has the physical tools to be a legitimate No. 2 quarterback in this league. His poise and toughness stand out, especially late in games. Wenning won't dazzle anyone with his throws deep downfield, and he's at his best working the underneath, timing routes. Grade: B.

SEVENTH ROUND

Michael Campanaro, WR, Wake Forest: The Ravens wanted him so much that they traded a sixth-round pick in next year's draft to get Campanaro in the seventh round this year. It was a surprise to see him last this long in the draft. He isn't the biggest or fastest receiver, but he is a savvy route runner who is exciting to watch after the catch. Durability is a concern. Grade: B-plus.
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.
NFC wrap-ups: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South


OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- A wrap-up of the Baltimore Ravens' draft. Click here for a full list of the Ravens' draftees.

[+] EnlargeC.J. Mosley
AP Photo/Dave MartinCan rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley become the heir apparent to Ray Lewis for the Ravens?
Best move: Sticking with their board. The Ravens' middle of their defense was significantly upgraded because the team took the best player available instead of addressing a more pressing need at offensive tackle and safety. The result: the Ravens landed a top-10 prospect (Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley) at No. 17 overall and a first-round talent (Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan) in the middle of the second round. Mosley and Jernigan are two of the best in this draft in shedding blocks and stopping the run. The Ravens could've taken Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round and Virginia offensive tackle Morgan Moses in the second if they were trying to fill holes. But the Ravens haven't finished in the top 10 in defense since 2011, and Mosley and Jernigan are impact players who can get this defense back to its traditionally strong level.

Riskiest move: Not taking an offensive tackle. The Ravens showed a lot of faith in Rick Wagner when they didn't draft a tackle with any of their nine picks in this year's draft. Wagner, a fifth-round pick from a year ago, is now penciled in as the starting right tackle. Even though Michael Oher never lived up to expectations, this is a downgrade on the right side of the line. If Wagner struggles, the Ravens could start Ryan Jensen, a sixth-round pick from a year ago, at left guard and move Kelechi Osemele to right tackle. Another option is signing veteran free agent Eric Winston, who played six years under Gary Kubiak in Houston. While it's a risky move not to draft an offensive tackle, it's difficult to argue with their strategy. The top four tackles were gone before the Ravens were on the clock in the first round, and it would've been a reach to take Moses or North Dakota State's Billy Turner in the second round. An offensive tackle just failed to fall to them this year.

Most surprising move: Drafting a blocking tight end in the third round. This was the one head-scratcher of the Ravens' draft. Colorado State's Crockett Gilmore is a blocking tight end who's only played the position for three years. ESPN's Todd McShay rated him as the 165th prospect in this draft, and the Ravens selected him at No. 99. By the time the Ravens picked again, five running backs (Florida State's Devonta Freeman, Boston College's Andre Williams, Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey, Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas and Wisconsin's James White) and two other players previously linked to the Ravens (Clemson wide receiver Martavis Bryant and Utah cornerback Keith McGill) were gone. Tight ends play a major role in Kubiak's offense, and the Ravens underscored their importance by taking Gilmore on Day 2.

File it away: The future starting center of the Ravens may have been drafted in the fifth round. John Urschel started at right guard the past two years at Penn State, but he can play all three spots on the interior of the line. There's no question he's smart enough to handle the center position. Urschel won the William V. Campbell Trophy, also known as the academic Heisman, and he has a master's degree in math. The Ravens don't need a center right now after trading for Jeremy Zuttah, but no one should be surprised if Urschel finds his niche there in a few years.

Ravens' Day 3 picks roundup

May, 10, 2014
5/10/14
4:55
PM ET
Here's a roundup of what the Baltimore Ravens did on Day 3 of the NFL draft:

FOURTH ROUND

Brent Urban, DL, Virginia (No. 134 overall): The Canadian native is a potentially exciting pick for the Ravens because of his size (6-foot-7) and athleticism. Urban can be used at different spots along the line and could develop into a starter, according to director of college scouting Joe Hortiz. He had ankle surgery and may miss all of the offseason spring workouts.

Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Coastal Carolina (No. 138): The small-school back is the type of bruising, big runner the Ravens have wanted for the past couple of years. A one-cut runner who is a good fit for Gary Kubiak's offense, Taliaferro doesn't have a great burst but he provides insurance behind starter Ray Rice (who could face an NFL suspension) and backup Bernard Pierce (who won't suit up until training camp because of offseason shoulder surgery).

FIFTH ROUND

John Urschel, G Penn State (No. 175): The two-time All-Big Ten guard has excelled in the class room, winning the William V. Campbell Trophy, also known as the academic Heisman. He can play all their interior positions on the line, and his football intelligence could translate to being a center down the road.

SIXTH ROUND

Keith Wenning, QB, Ball State (No. 194): A four-year starter who threw for more than 4,000 yards with 35 touchdowns and 10 fourth-quarter comebacks. He will likely serve as the No. 3 quarterback this year and get a chance to become Joe Flacco's primary backup in 2015, when Tyrod Taylor is a free agent.

SEVENTH ROUND

Michael Campanaro, WR, Wake Forest (No. 218): The Ravens traded a 2015 sixth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for a seventh-rounder this year, which they used on the Columbia, Md., native. Campanaro is a shifty slot receiver and returner who really sold the Ravens with an impressive private workout.

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