Ravens add several intriguing players on draft's final day

OWINGS MILLS - Question marks remain at left tackle and wide receiver, but the Baltimore Ravens did come out of the third and final day of the NFL draft Saturday with the consensus top-rated fullback, a highly regarded pass rusher, added depth along the offensive line and an intriguing small-school wide receiver.

They also took a flyer on an injured defensive lineman and added a cornerback with their final pick who some had projected to go much earlier as recently as two months ago.

"We feel very, very good about what we've added to our football team for the 2013 season," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said.

The fourth-round selection of Harvard fullback Kyle Juszczyk was particularly intriguing, though.

The 6-foot-1, 248-pound Juszczyk was widely considered to be the clear-cut top fullback in this year's draft.

He's highly regarded as a blocker, and he impressed as a blocker at the Senior Bowl in January, but he's also proven to be a weapon as a pass-catcher.

Juszczyk caught 125 passes for 1,576 yards and 22 touchdowns during his career at Harvard, including 52 passes for 706 yards and eight scores as a senior last season.

Baltimore already has a Pro Bowl fullback in Vonta Leach, but Leach is set to count $4.33 million against the salary cap this season and there's been speculation that he may be released if he doesn't take a pay cut. Newsome emphasized Saturday, though, that the Ravens aren't in a rush to make any decision on Leach.

"Could there be a place for both of them? Yes, there could be," Newsome said. "Because as [coach] John [Harbaugh] and I try to put our 53-man squad together, we want to keep the best 53 players."

The Ravens used their other fourth-round pick on Ohio State pass rusher John Simon, adding another pass rusher into the mix to go along with Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil and Courtney Upshaw.

Simon played defensive end in college but will transition to outside linebacker with the Ravens.

Simon was a player Baltimore displayed strong interest in at the Senior Bowl in January, enough so that Simon said of the Ravens at the NFL Scouting Combine in February that "they do sound interested, and I'm interested in Baltimore."

The 6-foot-1, 257-pound Simon is described as a hard-nosed, high-motor, blue-collar-type player and has been compared some to former Ravens outside linebacker Jarret Johnson.

Simon was a three-year starter at Ohio State, a two-year team captain and was the Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year as a senior with the Buckeyes last season. He had 97 tackles, including 30.5 stops for a loss and 16 sacks during his last two years at Ohio State, including 14.5 tackles for a loss and nine sacks as a senior.

"[The Ravens] are a tough, hard-nosed team and that's how I feel I play the game," Simon said during a conference call with Baltimore media shortly after being selected.

Baltimore used two of its next three picks on offensive lineman, selecting Ricky Wagner (Wisconsin) in the fifth-round and Ryan Jensen (Colorado State-Pueblo) with the second of its two sixth-round picks.

Wagner was a three-year starter at left tackle for Wisconsin, but he may be moved inside to guard with the Ravens.

The 6-foot-6, 308-pound Wagner is regarded a strong run blocker and was praised by Baltimore assistant general manager Eric DeCosta at the Ravens' pre-draft luncheon last week.

Wagner was a first-team All-Big 10 selection as a senior last season after being named honorable mention All-Big 10 as both a sophomore and a junior.

"He offers some positional flexibility for us," DeCosta said Saturday, later adding, "We think he's going to be a great depth guy for us initially with a chance to emerge."

As for Jensen, he was a four-year starter at left tackle at CSU-Pueblo, but he's expected to make the transition to center with Baltimore and the team is expecting him to immediately push 2012 fourth-round pick Gino Gradkowski for the starting job.

"He is a good athlete," Ravens college scouting director Joe Hortiz said of Jensen. "He played really well, obviously, at his level of competition, but then he went to the Texas vs. The Nation [All-Star Game], played tackle in that All-Star game and did a really good job through the week of practice. ...

"I think it was [assistant director of pro personnel] Chad Alexander who was [scouting the] O-line there, and he was his No. 1 offensive lineman out there during the week. He played well in the game. ... Good athlete - gets up to the second level. He can run. Smart kid and tough kid."

With its other sixth-round pick, Baltimore took a flyer on talented but injured Notre Dame defensive lineman Kapron Lewis-Moore.

Lewis-Moore was a four-year starter at Notre Dame and had 40 tackles and six sacks last season, but he tore the ACL in his right knee during the National Championship game in January and it's unclear if he'll be able to play at all this season.

"He's a guy that we're going to bring along and rehab, and if we get something out of him in 2013 it's a plus," Newsome said. "But more or less, we're just looking at him to the future."

In the seventh round, the Ravens selected Elon wide receiver Aaron Mellette and California cornerback Marc Anthony.

Mellette was rated as one of the top small-school players in this year's draft, and many projected him as a possible mid-round pick, but he slipped to the Ravens at pick No. 238.

Mellette has good size (6-foot-2, 217 pounds), decent speed (4.54 40-yard dash), was extremely productive at the FCS level and many feel he has the potential to develop into a solid possession receiver in the NFL.

He had 296 catches for 4,137 yards and 42 touchdowns during his final three years at Elon. He had 113 catches for 1,639 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior in 2011 and then 97 catches for 1,398 yards and 18 scores as a senior last season.

Hortiz said that Mellette also impressed Baltimore with a strong showing at the Senior Bowl.

Anthony had a lackluster showing the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in February (4.63), but he was a three-year starter at California. who, prior to the combine, was projected by some as a middle-round pick.

He had 52 tackles and two interceptions as a senior at California last season.

Said Newsome: "You throw in the receiver [Aaron Mellette] that we got, who was highly, highly productive ... and then, there's one thing that we never have enough of, and that's corners, so to finish up with Marc Anthony as a corner, in our mind, it's been a very productive three days.

"We like all of the guys that we have brought into this class, and we're just looking forward to now getting them here and letting John and his staff work with them."