What they're saying about the Ravens' draft class

Baltimore RavensSportsFootballRay LewisTelevision IndustryBernard PollardBrandon Williams (football, linebacker)

Here is what five national NFL analysts are saying about how the Ravens did in the 2013 NFL draft.

--- Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN gave the Ravens an A-minus grade and said they did a good job addressing needs.

“The Ravens needed to come out of this draft with an inside linebacker and a safety, and with their first two picks, they got two really good players at those positions. Matt Elam has played high-level football at Florida, can move around (particularly up to the line of scrimmage) and make hits. ... Baltimore used its pile of picks to move up and take Arthur Brown, a player the Ravens really liked. He's a steal at No. 56 overall and takes over the void left by Ray Lewis,” Kiper wrote. “The Ravens had another excellent draft because they needed starters at some key spots and pulled it off. That's not easy to do when you're slotted in at No. 32.”

--- Jason Cole of Yahoo graded the Ravens as a solid B.

“The Ravens are an unflappable organization built on a consistent approach to the draft. So even after losing Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Anquan Boldin, Paul Kruger and Bernard Pollard, Baltimore patiently waited to rebuild through the draft rather than pay retail prices in free agency,” Cole wrote. “The result is that the Ravens picked at least two guys (Elam and Brown) who should start right away and three or four other players who could be significant contributors. In particular, Elam has a chance to be an excellent player, as long as fans aren't expecting the second coming of Reed. This is the kind of approach that has kept long term success sustainable in Baltimore.”

--- Pete Prisco of CBS Sports also gave the Ravens a B.

“I love second-round linebacker Arthur Brown. He is a perfect Ravens style of player. He will step in and start right away,” Prisco said. “Here is another team that does a great job of making picks. It's why they don't need to worry about the losses they had. Getting Matt Elam (first) and Brown will really amp up the defense. Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta hit again.”

--- Peter Schrager of FOX Sports gave the Ravens an A.

“Brown may never be Ray Lewis, but he can help in addressing the hole left by Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe in the middle of Baltimore’s defense,” Schrager wrote. “Brown is a sideline to sideline guy who many teams had listed as a first-round pick, but slipped to 56. Elam is going to be an upgrade from Bernard Pollard and Brandon Williams -- a small-school prospect if there ever was one -- can help the offensive line.”

--- Bucky Brooks of NFL.com didn’t hand out grades. He instead went with tiers and put the Ravens in the “nothing flashy, but solid" category.

“Ozzie Newsome and Co. rarely deviate from a tried-and-true strategy of picking the best available player,” Brooks wrote. “The Ravens executed their game plan flawlessly by patiently waiting for safety Matt Elam to fall into their lap at pick No. 32. Newsome switched gears in the second round by moving up to get Arthur Brown, an athletic linebacker with superb instincts. The rest of the draft provided the team with plenty of opportunities to fill minor holes on a championship roster, with the Ravens adding standouts at nose tackle (Brandon Williams) and fullback (Kyle Juszczyk). Overall, Baltimore added another solid class of players who should help the club stay in contention for years to come.”

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Baltimore RavensSportsFootballRay LewisTelevision IndustryBernard PollardBrandon Williams (football, linebacker)
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