As far as
The Ravens drafted 10 players, a rookie class headlined by a pair of All-American defensive players: first-round safety
"I thought it was a grade A draft," Kiper, a Jarrettsville resident, said during a conference call. "I gave them an A-minus because I had to take a little off being the homer that I am for Baltimore. I had to drop it from an A to an A-minus. Seriously, I think they did a great job. I don't think anybody could argue with that. Everything fell right."
The Ravens opted not to draft Notre Dame linebacker
"The passing on Te'o, I questioned that, but that was before they got Arthur Brown," Kiper said. "Once they got Arthur Brown, I'm OK with that."
In the third round, the Ravens drafted
"I thought was one of the best non-[Football Bowl Subdivision] players in this draft," Kiper said. "He had a great Senior Bowl week. He was a dominant presence at the small-college level, which has to happen. If you're not at the major college level, you need to dominate the lower level of competition, which he did."
Kiper praised gritty fourth-round outside linebacker John Simon's motor. Simon was the
For pass-catching fourth-round
Kiper said fifth-round offensive tackle Ricky Wagner "had a high grade going in. I don't think he's a left tackle. I think he's a right tackle or a guard."
And Kiper opined that sixth-round Notre Dame defensive end Kapron
"They can redshirt Kapron Lewis-Moore," Kiper said.
He thought the Ravens got Elon wide receiver Aaron Mellette at the right spot in the seventh round, as well as seventh-round California cornerback Marc Anthony.
"I would say eight players have a future with the Ravens," Kiper said. "I wouldn't be surprised if all of these guys make the team at some point. This was a great draft. For a
"Plus, the Ravens had a bad defense anyway. It was the 17th-ranked defense. The defense had a lot of issues in a number of games. Now, they get free-agent acquisitions. I think they did a great job of building back this team to be right in contention again.
Here's my quick-hit take on the picks:
First round - Matt Elam, S, 5-10, 210, Florida
The All-American defensive back and younger brother of NFL safety Abram Elam should provide toughness and range to a secondary that lost Ed Reed to the Houston Texans and cut Bernard Pollard. He's expected to immediately compete for a starting job at strong safety, but will also cross-train at free safety.
Second round - Arthur Brown, LB, 6-0, 241, Kansas State
Brown has drawn comparisons to a young Ray Lewis because of his lack of ideal size, speed and emotional, relentless style of play. The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year figures to immediately start at one of the inside linebacker spots in the Ravens' 3-4 scheme.
Third round - Brandon Williams, DT, 6-1, 335, Missouri Southern
Anchor style nose guard and Division II All-American who bench pressed 225 pounds 38 times at the NFL scouting combine. Athletic for his size and can do a handstand and walk, performed well at Senior Bowl and will challenge Terrence Cody for nose guard playing time.
Fourth round - John Simon, OLB, 6-1, 257, Ohio State
Fourth round - Kyle Juszczyk, FB, 6-1, 248, Harvard
Fifth round - Ricky Wagner, OT, 6-6, 308, Wisconsin
All-Big Ten Conference tackle has played left tackle for past two seasons after playing right tackle. Former prep basketball player isn't an elite athlete, but could also get a look at guard.
Sixth round - Kapron Lewis-Moore, DE, 6-4, 298, Notre Dame
Accomplished player tore his right anterior cruciate ligament in national championship game loss to Alabama. Figures to be a medical redshirt as a rookie, essentially, since he just had surgery three months ago.
Sixth round - Ryan Jensen, C, 6-3, 317, Colorado State-Pueblo
Seventh round - Aaron Mellette, WR, 6-2, 217, Elon
Imposing small-school standout could provide red-zone threat immediately. Mellette caught 11 passes with one touchdown against Vanderbilt and played in the Senior Bowl.
Seventh round - Marc Anthony, CB, 5-11, 196, California