2014 Draft Class Set Bar High For 2015

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ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper has released his re-grade of every team's 2014 draft.

The Ravens already had a solid B grade, but after seeing their rookie results, Kiper bumped Baltimore up to a B-plus. Only three teams got better marks.

Baltimore had gone five drafts without selecting a Pro Bowler. That ended this year as first-round pick, inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, was named to the Pro Bowl in his rookie season. Mosley had a dominant year, notching 133 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions.

He wasn't the only standout of the group, however.

Second-round defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan dealt with a pair of injuries, but was highly effective when he was on the field, notching five sacks, including the playoffs.

Third-round tight end Crockett Gillmore played in nearly every game, fourth-round running back Lorenzo Taliaferro was a valuable backup and short-yardage option, fifth-round guard John Urschel started five games, including the playoffs. Undrafted left tackle James Hurst started seven total games.

As of now, it looks like one of the Ravens' best drafts in recent memory.

With that in mind, Baltimore's scouting department is setting out to try to improve on those results.

"I don't think it turns up the heat. It sets the bar high," Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz said at the Senior Bowl.

"Yeah, we feel like we had a good draft last year. And we want to have an even better one this year."

Hortiz said that mentality starts at the top with Owner Steve Bisciotti, General Manager Ozzie Newsome, President Dick Cass and Head Coach John Harbaugh.

"I think when you look at our organization, from department to department, we're always setting the bar high," Hortiz said. "We're always trying to beat what we've done in the past and accomplish more and greater goals."

The Ravens have stressed different parts of scouting over recent years. A couple years ago they tried to dig deeper into getting more information on small-school prospects. This year, Head Coach John Harbaugh suggested intelligence may be a higher priority.

Hortiz was asked whether the Ravens have any new components to scouting this year.

"Nothing in particular or worth mentioning," he said with a smile. "We feel like we are constantly trying to come up with ideas to improve the scouting process through different avenues. … I feel good about the things we do and I like keeping them close to the vest."

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