Monday, May 12, 2014
Grading Ravens' 2014 draft pick by pick
By Jamison Hensley
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:
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.
Terrence 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.