OWINGS MILLS - The Baltimore Ravens addressed arguably their primary area of concern Friday night, trading up six spots in the second round to select former Kansas State inside linebacker Arthur Brown.
The acquisition of Brown not only fills a pressing need for the Ravens at inside linebacker, but his selection also came represented a significant value for Baltimore.
Brown was regarded by many as a first-round talent but slipped to the latter part of the second round likely because of a lack of prototypical size for the position. He's 6-foot, 242 pounds.
But, despite the question marks about his size, Brown is a player highly regarded for his athleticism, motor and physicality and was considered by most to be one of the most adept linebackers in this year's class at dropping into pass coverage.
Brown was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-American at Kansas State as a senior last season.
"We're excited to get Arthur Brown here to Baltimore," Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said. "He's a guy that we coveted and he's a guy that was one of the best inside linebackers in this year's draft. We had the chance to see him a lot this fall and also had the chance to spend some time with him at the Senior Bowl and he's one of our favorite players. ...
"The coaches like him. The scouts like him. He's a guy that plays relentless football. ... He's good in coverage and we think he's a four-down linebacker who can play in passing situations, play the run and also play on special teams."
Brown is a former prized recruit who started his college career at Miami before transferring to Kansas State after two seasons.
He had 101 tackles, including 9.5 stops for a loss and two sacks as a junior in 2011 and then 100 tackles, including seven for a loss as a senior last season.
He was a team captain each of his two years at Kansas State.
Baltimore director of college scouting Joe Hortiz said Brown's skill set is comparable to San Francisco 49ers Pro Bowler Navorro Bowman.
"He's just a really instinctive player that plays hard every snap," Hortiz said of Brown. "He finds his way to the ball and shows very good speed. ... He can really run. He's got great lateral range. And he's just a leader, a great kid and he's passed every test along the way."
The Ravens, of course, entered the draft with a glaring need at inside linebacker following Ray Lewis' retirement, Dannell Ellerbe's departure as a free agent and with Jameel McClain still in the process of recovering from the spinal cord contusion that ended his season last year.
DeCosta said Baltimore considered taking Brown in the first round and then didn't want to miss out once he began to slip in the second.
The Ravens dealt their second-round pick (62nd) along with a fifth-round pick and sixth-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks to move up six spots and select Brown.
"Fortunately, we have some compensatory picks, which allowed us to deal a couple picks later in the draft and go up and get him," DeCosta said. "We started to sweat a little bit as we started to see some good players come off the board. And the idea of not getting him was pretty scary, so we decided to make the move."
Brown is expected to immediately challenge for one of the two starting jobs at inside linebacker.
"He's going to compete," DeCosta said. "Coaches are going to play the best guys, but he's going to have an opportunity to compete. ... He's a motivated guy, a mature player, a very talented player and he's going to have a chance to compete and play."