The Ravens added their first wide receiver of the 2013 NFL Draft with their first seventh-round pick, nabbing Elon’s Aaron Mellette at No. 238 overall.
Mellette was an extremely productive receiver at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). He led the FCS in receptions (113) and receiving yards (1,639) in 2011. Last year, Mellette logged 97 receptions for 1,398 yards and 18 touchdowns.
While that production came playing in the FCS, Mellette played against some strong teams while at Elon, including North Carolina, Vanderbilt and Appalacian State.
"Against Vandy, I think he had 180 [receiving yards] and two touchdowns last year," Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz said. "So, he has always stepped up. He has torched [Appalachian State] for over 500 yards in the past three years, so big competition doesn’t bother him."
Despite playing in the FCS, Mellette isn't worried about a tougher transition to the NFL.
“To me it’s going to be an equal transition for any receiver drafted,” he said. “I’ve got to come in and learn the playbook and figure out new ways to get open because what we did in college more than likely isn’t going to work in the NFL.”
Mellette has good size at 6-foot-2, 217 pounds, and is a reliable possession receiver who frequently wins in traffic and on jump balls. He’s not afraid to go over the middle.
Mellette ran the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds at the NFL scouting combine, putting to rest some of the concerns about his speed. Hortiz called him a subtle route runner and very smooth.
It's impressive considering Mellette didn’t play football until he was a high school sophomore, growing up more as a basketball player.
“I do a little bit of everything,” Mellette said. “I beat people deep, go across the middle, break tackles, go up and get the ball. I’m a versatile guy, that’s how I look at myself.”
Many pundits thought the Ravens would draft a wide receiver high after trading wide receiver Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers this offseason.
But the front office and Head Coach John Harbaugh have consistently said they are happy with a competition between young receivers already on the roster:
“When Mr. Newsome called me with the great news I told him, ‘Stop playing with me!’” Mellette said. “God has a plan for everybody and I’m glad I was able to land with the Ravens.”