Here's what a collection of other media outlets are saying about the Ravens' selection of Florida safety Matt Elam at No. 32 in the first round:
** Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com explains why he thinks the Ravens picked Elam over Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and others.
Why I think the Ravens went with Elam is his knack for making big plays at crucial moments, which is a trait that has always ranked high with the franchise. With two safeties off the board (Kenny Vaccaro to New Orleans and Eric Reid to San Francisco), Baltimore selected Elam, who is the first safety taken by the Ravens in the first round since Reed in 2002.
** For the pick, Hensley gives the Ravens a 'B' grade.
Elam fits the Ravens' defensive profile: He's aggressive, intense, tough and finds a way to make plays. While some will say Elam is a replacement for Ed Reed, he is also an upgrade from Bernard Pollard, who was cut by Baltimore. Elam can make the violent hits like Pollard but he has more ball-hawking skills. The drawback is his lack of size (5 feet 10) and length, which could become a problem in defending tight ends like Eifert. In the end, the Ravens chose Elam over Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o. Both Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay had Te'o rated higher than Elam, and Te'o would've also filled a need for the Ravens.
** USA Today's Nate Davis talks about Elam's comparison to Bernard Pollard, and he thinks the Ravens might make a trade on Friday.
The Ravens retool at safety rather than opting for Te'o or a wide-bodied nose tackle. Elam will probably leave the ball-hawking to newly-signed Michael Huff, but the rookie could replicate some of the hard-hitting play Bernard Pollard provided the past two seasons. And with 11 picks still in his holster, Baltimore GM Ozzie Newsome is well-equipped to make a bold move Friday if he chooses.
** Jonathan Bales of The New York Times thinks the pick of Elam is a bit surprising.
With the final selection in the first round, the Baltimore Ravens selected Florida safety Matt Elam. Competing with a variety of second-tier safeties to come off the board in the first round, Elam, at 5-9, is a somewhat surprising pick. Nonetheless, the choice makes sense for a Baltimore squad looking to somehow replace Ed Reed.
** SI.com's Chris Burke gives the Ravens a 'B+' for picking Elam.
Talent-wise, there were not many players on the board that could match Elam. The Ravens might have needed more help at other spots, but this is a solid pick at No. 32.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun