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Evaluation Of 2013 Ravens Rookie Class

Posted Jan 10, 2014

Head Coach John Harbaugh provided his take on each of the Ravens rookies.

The Ravens are widely considered one of the best in the business when it comes to the draft. That’s the lifeblood of a franchise.

But Baltimore General Manager Ozzie Newsome said the progress that players make from their first year to their second year is “all about us having a successful football team.”

“We’ve had a year to find out what their strengths and weaknesses are,” Newsome said.

Here’s what the Ravens perceived with their rookie class, with quotes from Head Coach John Harbaugh, in draft order:

FS Matt Elam (Round 1)
16 games played, 15 starts
77 tackles, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery
“Matt Elam should be a really, really good safety in this league. He’s fast, he’s physical and he’s going to understand the expectations a little more. He’s going to anticipate checks a little better. He’s going to understand what it means to stay deep when you’re supposed to stay deep – not to stop your feet when you’ve got a vertical receiver running up on you and you’re a deep-third or deep-half player. Those are things that sometimes you learn from experience the hard way. He didn’t make too many mistakes for a guy who played that many repetitions as a safety, so it’s a good start for him.”

ILB Arthur Brown (Round 2)
14 games, 0 starts
15 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble
“Art Brown did a really good job in our nickel packages. Art is a guy who’s learning a lot of football. He bounced [between defensive positions] a little bit in college. And football, understanding the complexity of defensive schemes in this league – at this level – is going to take him to a starting role. He’s going to compete for a starting job. He’ll be competing for that WILL linebacker starting job. I expect him to win the job, but he’s got to go win the job.”

DT Brandon Williams (Round 3)
7 games, 0 starts
6 tackles, 1 sack
“Brandon Williams should be in the rotation at least as a defensive tackle. He proved that he can play. We had a lot of depth there this year. He had a little maturing to do, and he should be in the mix.”

OLB John Simon (Round 4)
7 games, 0 starts
4 special teams tackles
“John Simon – nobody practices harder, works harder than John Simon. I think he’s just going to make himself into a player. He’ll find a way to get on the field, one way or another. He’s got some pass-[hyphen]rushing talent.”

FB Kyle Juszczyk (Round 4)
16 games, 0 starts
5 special teams tackles
“Kyle played great on special teams. [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.”

OT Rick Wagner (Round 5)
16 games, 2 starts
“We’ve got two linemen in the fifth and sixth round. You don’t know about these guys – developmental guys – between Ryan [Jensen] and Rick. These guys are potential starters in this league. They could be starting for us next year if they earn the job.”

DE Kapron Lewis-Moore (Round 6)
0 games (injured reserve – knee)
“Kapron Lewis-Moore, who practiced for three weeks for us … [He’s] got a chance to be a starting five- technique or be in the rotation for sure in that three weeks of practice.”

C/G Ryan Jensen (Round 6)
0 games (foot injury)
“We’ve got two linemen in the fifth and sixth round. You don’t know about these guys – developmental guys – between Ryan [Jensen] and Rick [Wagner]. These guys are potential starters in this league. They could be starting for us next year if they earn the job.”

WR Aaron Mellette (Round 7)
0 games (injured reserve – knee)
“Aaron Mellette, who showed a lot as a deep-ball wide receiver and a red-zone threat in preseason, hurt his knee. Aaron is going to be a guy who’s going to be in the mix, too.”

CB Marc Anthony (Round 7)
0 games (cut in training camp)

WR Marlon Brown (undrafted)
14 games, 12 starts
49 receptions, 524 yards, 7 touchdowns
“You saw it. Marlon has to improve on some catch radius things and seam routes and nine-ball routes. Here’s a guy who’s already a red-zone threat, played really well in the slot and can play inside or outside. Marlon is going to compete for a starting job, and he’s right there already.”

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