In drafting Florida junior safety Matt Elam with the last pick of the first round, the Ravens bypassed Notre Dame middle linebacker Manti Te'o.

Although Te'o was the Heisman Trophy runner-up and one of the most high-profile players in the draft, he remains available heading into the second day.

The teams that passed on him included the Minnesota Vikings, who drafted defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, cornerback Xavier Rhodes and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson in the first round rather than acting on their rumored strong interest in Te'o. The Chicago Bears were another team seemingly in need of an inside linebacker having not retained Brian Urlacher, but they went with Oregon offensive guard Chris Long.

So, why did the Ravens draft Elam instead of Te'o? That's simple, general manager Ozzie Newsome says.

"Matt was the higher-rated player between the two of those guys," Newsome said.

The Ravens also chose Elam instead of Florida State pass rusher Tank Carradine, Florida State offensive tackle Menelik Watson, LSU middle linebacker Kevin Minter, Florida International safety Johnathan Cyprien and Cal wide receiver Keenan Allen.

After fielding exploratory calls about moving up or retreating out of the first round earlier Thursday, Newsome said no teams called when the Ravens were on the clock with the 32nd overall selection.

Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta struck an upbeat stance regarding the remaining available players heading into the second and third round Friday. The Ravens have a pick in each round.

"We're never really surprised because a lot of times teams will just draft players that we don't expect," DeCosta said. "In general, there are a lot of good players still available. We will come back in the morning and meet with the scouts and restack the board, come back with a new order of players.

"There's probably 20 players, 30 players that we would be excited to get at the end of the second round. I think we have the potential to help this team, a lot of good players at a lot of different spots. I think luck will fall in our way again."

awilson@baltsun.com
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