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Ravens Defense Restocked With National Champions


Ravens first-round inside linebacker C.J. Mosley brought a friend with him to the Under Armour Performance Center during his first visit – a very shiny friend.

Mosley was rocking one of his Alabama national championship rings, a clear sign that he's a winner.

He's not the only one accustomed to bringing home hardware.

Baltimore drafted three NCAA national champions with its first three picks. Mosley won two titles at Alabama and second- and third-round picks Timmy Jernigan and Terrence Brooks, respectively, took last year's championship home to Florida State.

"I definitely think it's a value," Jernigan said. "We all knew what it took to get to the National Championship – and not just getting there, but winning those types of games. It takes a lot. It takes a lot of sacrificing, and it takes a lot of preparation.

"So, I feel like we're definitely going to come in and be able to blend in well with the vets. They're not really going to have to hold us by the hands too much. We can come in and keep up with the pace."

The Ravens' Super Bowl XLVII champions disappeared fast.

Ray Lewis. Ed Reed. Bernard Pollard. Dannell Ellerbe. Paul Kruger. They were all instrumental in delivering the 2012 season's Lombardi Trophy, and they were all gone by the next season.

The starting defense last year for their final regular-season game had eight former Ravens Super Bowl winners on it. So this year's draft re-stocked some of that winning tradition.

After the draft ended, General Manager Ozzie Newsome said the Ravens didn't aim for national champs.

"We stack the board based on the way the guys played on tape and all the information that we had," he said. "We were just fortunate enough to get three players that have come out of National Championship teams in the last two or three years. We're just fortunate that it happened that way."

With the Ravens coming off an 8-8 season and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2007, they could use an injection of players that are accustomed to winning. The rookies will help.

"They missed the playoffs. They've got some guys that are a little bit upset with that. The community is upset with that," Mosley said of Baltimore.

"At Alabama, we expect to win the championship every single year, so when we don't, it's like we're starting the process over. Just like Coach [Nick] Saban would always say, 'We're starting the process over.' The atmosphere that I'm coming into, I'm used to that every day at Alabama, so I know guys are going to be fired up and ready to be great, and I'm just trying to be that next player to come in and help this team win and help the defense be great."

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