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Round 7: Ravens Trade To Grab WR Michael Campanaro


Just when it looked like the Ravens' 2014 NFL Draft had concluded, they traded back in to grab a local boy.

Baltimore shipped a sixth-round pick in the 2015 draft for the Cleveland Browns' seventh-round pick this year. With pick No. 218 overall, the Ravens selected wide receiver Michael Campanaro out of Wake Forest.

Campanaro played high school football just outside of Baltimore at River Hill High School in Clarksville, Md. He was a standout and two-time Maryland state champion and The Washington Post's All-Met Offensive Player of the Year.

Now he's coming back home.

"It's a dream come true for me," Campanaro said.

Campanaro had a party with about 70 people at his parents' Maryland house. He said his family was split 50/50 between the Ravens and Redskins, "but now it's 100 percent Ravens."

"I don't know that he knows he's been drafted," General Manager Ozzie Newsome joked. "I had him on the phone and it was too loud. I go, 'Are you still there?' and he did not answer me. There's a party going on somewhere in Baltimore right now."

Campanaro is a shifty 5-foot-9, 192-pound slot receiver and special teams returner.

He's a hard-nosed, gritty and highly productive player who has short-area quickness and can separate in short-to-intermediate routes. He emulates Denver's Wes Welker and Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown.

"I'm going to come in and just put in the work," Campanaro said. "I think I can come in and help in the return game, I feel very comfortable in the slot position and I think I can be that guy on third downs to help move the chains and keep drives going."

Campanaro thrived in Wake Forest's spread attack, finishing with a school-record 229 career receptions and 2,506 receiving yards (third in school history). He missed three games last year because of a broken collar bone.

The Ravens have been looking for a slot receiver for some time. They signed Brandon Stokley last season, but injuries kept him off the field for much of the year and he retired in the offseason.

Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta was sold on Campanaro at the Ravens' local pro day workout. When another receiver pulled his hamstring, Campanaro took nearly all the reps.

"He had a very, very impressive workout," DeCosta said.

"It seems like every year, we're always looking at these slot receivers on other teams, and the really good guys are always sixth-round picks, seventh-round picks or undrafted free agents who develop. We think Mike can be one of those guys."

Campanaro will learn behind Steve Smith, Sr., another small-frame, tough wide receiver who has experience in the slot. Another local product, Torrey Smith, reached out to Campanaro right after he was picked. The two have the same agent.

"He was just congratulating me and he was excited for me to be a part of the team," Campanaro said. "He was just saying to come ready to work."

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