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Re-grading the Baltimore Ravens' 2013 draft

4/24/2015

All week the Baltimore Ravens blog will look back and grade the past five drafts. Let's continue with 2013:

Coming off a Super Bowl title, the Baltimore Ravens were looking to replace Ray Lewis and Ed Reed with their first two picks in the 2013 draft.

It didn't happen.

Safety Matt Elam, a first-round pick, struggled as a rookie and lost his starting job in the middle of his second season. Inside linebacker Arthur Brown, a second-round pick, has yet to start a game and has been buried on the depth chart behind undrafted players like Albert McClellan and Zach Orr.

What has saved this draft is the development of nose tackle Brandon Williams (third round) and offensive tackle Rick Wagner (fifth round) into starters. Both are among the best young players at their positions. The Ravens also got good value out of fullback Kyle Juszczyk (fourth round), who played 42 percent of the offensive snaps last season.

In total, five picks from this class (John Simon, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Ryan Jensen, Aaron Mellette and Marc Anthony) have contributed a combined two snaps on offense or defense in two seasons. When evaluating this class, it should be pointed out that the Ravens drafted at the bottom of each round because they were defending Super Bowl champions.

First round: S Matt Elam. He failed to make plays as a rookie and was the ninth-worst safety in the NFL last season, according to Pro Football Focus. His biggest problems are wrapping up ball carriers and getting beat deep on pass plays. Elam is expected to be a backup this season because the Ravens will likely go with Will Hill and Kendrick Lewis as their starters. Grade: D.

Second round: LB Arthur Brown. What makes this pick even more disappointing is the fact that the Ravens traded two additional picks (in the fifth and sixth rounds) to move up in the second round to get Brown. He went from playing on passing downs as a rookie to not playing a defensive snap last season. The Ravens reportedly tried to trade him last year. Grade: F.

Third round: NT Brandon Williams. General manager Ozzie Newsome said Williams is "probably as good a nose tackle as there is in the league right now." A first-year starter last season, Williams dominated against the run, finishing with 48 tackles, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Grade: A.

Fourth round: LB John Simon. He had trouble playing in space, and the Ravens cut him before the 2014 season began. Simon also didn't contribute on special teams. Grade: D.

Fourth round: FB Kyle Juszczyk. He was a solid role player, and only San Francisco's Bruce Miller played more snaps at fullback last season than Juszczyk. The one disappointment was his less-than-expected 19 catches. Grade: B.

Fifth round: OT Rick Wagner. He proved to be the biggest surprise of the 2014 season for the Ravens. Wagner replaced Michael Oher last season and started 15 games before suffering a season-ending foot injury. He was the third-best right tackle in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. Grade: A-minus.

Sixth round: DE Kapron Lewis-Moore. He sat out his rookie season while recovering from major knee surgery, and he missed last season after a season-ending Achilles' injury in training camp. Grade: Incomplete.

Sixth round: G-C Ryan Jensen. He's played a total of two snaps in two seasons. Jensen spent most of last season on the practice squad before being promoted to the active roster in December. He has potential as an interior lineman. Grade: C-minus.

Seventh round: WR Aaron Mellette. He missed his rookie season after undergoing knee surgery, and he was cut last June after he failed to recover from it. Grade: F.

Seventh round: CB Marc Anthony. The Ravens needed cornerbacks in 2013, and they still cut him despite only having four corners on the roster. Anthony was cut by the Buccaneers and Titans before the 2014 season. Grade: F.

Overall grade for Ravens' 2013 draft: D.