So, the Ravens traded three draft picks to make sure they acquired athletic, undersized
Trading up six spots with the
"He's a guy that we coveted," Ravens assistant general manager
Brown was a large part of the Ravens' main ambition this offseason: upgrading the interior of their defense after finishing 20th against the run last season.
Besides drafting hard-hitting Florida safety
"When we talked after the
Brown is expected to immediately compete for a starting job at inside linebacker.
Although Brown is lighter than ideal at 6-foot, 242 pounds, he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.58 seconds and was a two-time team captain at Kansas State.
The native of Wichita, Kan., has drawn high grades for his athleticism and tackling skills. He literally plays sideline to sideline, chasing people down for 218 career tackles, 17 for losses, and three interceptions.
"Honestly, I really never figured myself to be a smaller linebacker," Brown said during a conference call after being picked. "I know to some it may matter, but you can never measure the heart of a man. It really is just about your willingness to put it all out there. I play with my heart and my passion and my love for the game. You really can't put a size on that."
Brown has drawn several comparisons to Lewis primarily because of his relentless, emotional approach to the game. Much like Lewis when he was drafted in the first round by the Ravens during their inaugural draft in 1996, the main question mark surrounding Brown is his lack of size.
"Honestly, it's an honor to even be mentioned in the same sentence as him," Brown said of Lewis. "I have a lot of respect for Ray. Just have an opportunity to fulfill what he was able to accomplish throughout his time frame, is a great honor."
By drafting Brown, the Ravens are clearly trying to upgrade their speed on defense.
During a highlight that flashed across
Director of college scouting Joe Hortiz even mentioned
"Really instinctive player who plays hard every snap, finds his way to the ball," director of college scouting Joe Hortiz said. "So, he can really run. He has great lateral range. He's just a leader, great kid. He's passed every test along the way. He's a little undersized. He's fast, and he's instinctive and tough."
Brown was a Parade Magazine All-American in high school, a blue-chip recruit faster than most running backs who didn't find success after enrolling at the University of Miami after considering LSU, USC and Florida.
"Truthfully, during that time, I was really in need of just the support and my family," Brown said. "My father thought it would be best for me to come back home in regards to just the opportunity that lies there, and initially I didn't want to. I eventually followed through with his advice and made well during my time and my career at Kansas State."
Over the past two seasons, Brown definitely put his stamp on the Kansas State defense with a combined 201 tackles.
He returned one of his two interceptions last season for a touchdown and had three career sacks.
"Definitely, a player that possesses great instincts, the athletic ability and the heart to elevate those natural skills," said Brown, whose brother,
Brown met with the Ravens at the
The Ravens demonstrated just how much they liked Brown by executing a trade to get him.
"I appreciate them because it shows that they believe in me as a player and as a person," Brown said. "Picking me where they did just shows me that they believe in me, and I am definitely ready to be a big part of this team."
Williams is a Division II All-American who's slated to compete with
"He looks great," Harbaugh said of Cody. "He feels really good.'
Williams excelled at the small-school level with 182 career tackles and 25 sacks, opening scouts' eyes by how he competed against elite offensive linemen at the Senior Bowl.
The 6-foot-1, 335-pounder bench pressed 225 pounds 38 times at the NFL scouting combine where he met informally with the Ravens.
"He's a big man, he's in really good shape," DeCosta said. "It's tough to find these types of body types to play in the 3-4 defense. We think he's a really good fit for us. When you're looking at a small-school prospect, that's one thing that you want to see: a guy that dominates in a game."
Williams visited the
"I was like, 'I would love to be a Raven, I would love to be on that defense,'" Williams said. "I know how nasty it is, I know how physical it is. That's exactly what I feel like I am, and I definitely wanted to be a Raven."
The draft starts up again today at noon. The Ravens have the following remaining picks: fourth (129th, 130th), fifth (168th), sixth (200th, 203rd) and seventh (238th, 247th).