The Ravens wrapped up the three-day NFL draft with nine players (four on defense, five on offense). Members of The Baltimore Sun's staff take a moment to grade the draft overall for the Ravens as they prepare for the upcoming season.
Jeff Zrebiec, reporter
I was reminded of the risk of immediately grading draft picks when baltimoresun.com put up PDF files of past post-draft editions and the 2002 version was decidely lukewarm on the Ed Reed selection. You just never know. I loved the picks of linebackers C.J. Mosley and safety Terrence Brooks and see both being immediate starters. I also liked the Ravens' aggressiveness in trading for a seventh-round pick to select wide receiver and Howard County native Michael Campanaro, a shifty slot receiver the team has lacked. But there are too many red flags on second-round pick Timmy Jernigan for my liking and taking tight end Crockett Gillmore in the third round was a little curious. The lack of a wide receiver in the early or middle rounds didn't bother me one bit as I viewed it as a luxury item. But getting a cornerback and an offensive tackle were musts and the Ravens' failed to do either.
Aaron Wilson, reporter
The Ravens got stronger on defense by landing one of the top linebackers in the draft in C.J. Mosley and another probable starter in free safety Terrence Brooks. Brooks is one of the fastest players at his position and represents a value pick in the third round. Where this draft could transform from merely a solid one now into an outstanding one later is if defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan emerges as an impact player and if massive former Canadian hockey player Brent Urban, all 6-foot-7, 295 pounds of him, develops into a viable starter in the next few years. The obvious knock on their draft is how they failed to pick an offensive tackle to address their vulnerable right tackle situation. But the Ravens didn’t have a lot of draft-pick ammunition, with four compensatory picks that can’t be traded, and there was a run on tackles that prevented them from getting one. Big tight end Crockett Gillmore was picked a bit earlier than expected and lacks ideal speed. Fourth-round running back Lorenzo Taliaferro is a hard-nosed, tackle-breaker with good hands. At the very least, he should be valuable in short-yardage situations.
Mike Preston, columnist
The Ravens got defensive help, but they didn’t get much needed muscle for the offensive line. Safety Terrence Brooks, out of Florida State, might end up being the best of the Ravens' draft class.
Peter Schmuck, columnist
Ravens apparently got very good value with their first two picks -- and reaffirmed that defense is still king in Baltimore -- but failure to draft O-lineman in the first four rounds is a head-scratcher.
Ron Fritz, sports editor
I was fine with the C.J. Mosley pick, especially after the Ravens drafted Terrence Brooks in the third round. I thought safety was the bigger need, but when watching Alabama's games, you always see No. 32 around the ball, making plays. The Ravens' defense was decent last year, but didn't cause enough turnovers. These two picks should help in that area as they will fly to the ball. I thought the Timmy Jernigan pick was a real reach. I can't get the image of him sucking wind in the bowl game out of my mind. He looked fat and out of shape. The Ravens then made up for the reach by getting Brent Urban from Virginia in the fourth round. That will look like a steal. Ultimately, he might be better than Jernigan. Loved the John Urschel pick. It was really smart (see what I did there). Maybe his arrival means some of the dead wood on the interior line is sent packing. I was stunned they didn't take a tackle, though. I had the overall draft at a C+, but moved it up when the Ravens traded for Michael Campanaro. Not only is he a local kid, but he's the tough, hard-nosed receiver the Ravens were lacking last year. Is it fair to think a seventh-rounder can make a difference? Probably not, but I'm rooting for him.
Monique Jones, Ravens editor
The Ravens didn't address one of the major concerns with their offensive line in this draft, but did well to beef up their defensive unit with linebacker C.J. Mosley and safety Terrence Brooks. The Ravens must think highly of River Hill grad Michael Campanaro to give up a future pick for the wide receiver, who could end up being a steal as a seventh-round pick.
Jon Meoli, blogger/reporter
When the drafted ended, it was alarming how the Ravens had ignored some of their needs like offensive tackle and cornerback. But those were addressed after the draft to some extent, and the reality is that in C.J. Mosley and Terrence Brooks—and possibly even Timmy Jernigan—the Ravens have two players who could start on defense for a decade. It wasn’t a flashy draft, but it could prove fruitful.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun