Ravens play it close to the board

The Baltimore Sun

It is pure folly trying to predict exactly what Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens braintrust will do in the draft, and that remained true while they were mocking the mock drafts for the past three days.

They certainly had me fooled, since I was convinced that they would use their early picks to further upgrade Gary Kubiak's offense. Instead, they used their first pick to reel in Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, took Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan in the second round and added Florida State free safety Terrence Brooks with their third overall pick.

Maybe that shouldn't be so surprising considering the Ravens' rich defensive legacy, but if you had told me they would draft two defensive linemen --Jernigan and Virginia defensive end Brent Urban -- before they selected their only offensive lineman (Penn State's John Urschel), I would have given you longer odds than a mule running against California Chrome next Saturday.

Obviously, Newsome has more faith in his current crop of OT candidates than anybody suspected, because about half of the mocks had the Ravens going for a tackle with the first pick. Of course, the guy everyone pointed toward was Notre Dame's Zack Martin, who went to the Cowboys right before the Ravens picked, so there's no way to know if he would have been their man if they had won the coin toss that broke the draft priority tie with the Cowboys.

This was just another example of the Ravens being the Ravens. Newsome is usually true to his board and takes the best player available. Team officials claimed after the first round that Mosley was actually No. 10 on their board, which -- along with his college affiliation -- made him hard to resist.

The Ravens finally shifted into offensive mode with the selection of Colorado State tight end Crockett Gillmore with their second pick in the third round and added a running back (Coastal Carolina's Lorenzo Taliaferro) in the fourth, Urschel in the fifth, Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning in the sixth and Wake Forest wide receiver Mike Campanaro in the seventh. Campanaro is a local kid out of River Hill High School in Clarksville.

Now, we just have to wait three or four years to see how it all turns out.

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