Baltimore Ravens Rookies Forecast

By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

Solid Starter

C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama – Round 1
Ozzie Newsome couldn’t help himself with this pick. He loves drafting linebackers and players from Alabama, so taking the Crimson Tide’s leader from the past three seasons was impossible for him to pass up. Baltimore had a need for a young inside backer to pair with Arthur Brown, but the Ravens had more pressing needs considering they have a good veteran in Daryl Smith for the short-term. Still, Mosley is a great scheme fit and should become a leader on the Ravens defense. He’s projected to start immediately next to Smith.

In 2013, Mosley totaled 102 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and five passes broken up. Mosley (6-2, 234) is a good pass defender that improved his run defense over his final two seasons. He was quiet at times during his senior year and sources said that was because Alabama put too much on Mosley in terms of making all the calls, audibles and checks for the Crimson Tide defense. That weighed Mosley down mentally and he didn’t play as free. Mosley made a lot of big plays for Alabama’s 2011 and 2012 National Championship teams.

I think that Mosley will be a good but not great linebacker for the Ravens. Many teams projected Mosley to the second round as they viewed him as having shaky health after taking on a big physical load in college. Other playoff teams needing linebacker help preferred other linebackers to Mosley. In the NFL, Mosley should at least be a solid starter for Baltimore, but expecting him to be equivalent to future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis isn’t fair and shouldn’t be demanded by the fan base. It would be a surprise if Mosley didn’t become a solid starter for the Ravens.

Most Likely To Bust

Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State – Round 2
Some 3-4 defenses like to have a smaller nose tackle for the middle of their defense and that is the role that Jernigan could play in Baltimore. Jernigan doesn’t fit as a 3-4 five technique defensive end as he doesn’t have the length to play on the edge, but having another nose tackle candidate allows Baltimore to move Haloti Ngata to the outside and that was a goal for Baltimore.

Jernigan totaled 63 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 11 tackles for a loss in 2013. He steadily became more and more effective throughout the season. Jernigan improved his pass-rushing skills and was a tough run defender for the Seminoles. The 6-foot-2, 299-pounder is strong and stout at the point of attack.

I don’t think Jernigan was horrible pick but Baltimore, but there were a few reasons that looks like this could be the most likely to bust from this draft class. Jernigan isn’t a great fit in a 3-4 defense and he may not earn playing time over Terrence Cody. A lot of undersized nose tackles don’t workout for a 3-4 defense. Jernigan’s best fit came in a 4-3 as a nose guard and three technique. There also were some off the field concerns as Jernigan had a positive drug test before the draft. A few years from now Jernigan may not be a complete bust, but he might not validate being selected in the top 50 of a very good 2014 draft class.

Potential Boom Pick

Terrence Brooks, S, Florida State – Round 3
The Ravens needed a free safety to pair with Matt Elam and Brooks is a great fit. The 5-foot-11, 198-pounder Brooks has great speed to play in the deep part of the field and prevent teams from making big plays over the top. He has the speed to get to the sidelines and help his cornerbacks while also being a safety that can physically punish wide receivers.

Brooks had 56 tackles with two interceptions, five passes broken up and two forced fumbles in 2013. He played well for the Seminoles while showing good instincts and a nose for the football. The season before Brooks led a talented Florida State secondary in tackles while recording 51 tackles, two interceptions, four passes broken up and one forced fumble. Walter Football knows a few safety needy teams that had Brooks on their short list of players for day two, and graded him above some of the other first round safeties of Deone Bucannon and Jimmie Ward.

Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome singled out safety as a position to improve this offseason and Brooks was the main acquisition. Brooks will get every opportunity to pair with Elam as the future duo for Baltimore. With his speed and athleticism, Brooks could be another draft day steal for Newsome.

Future Depth Player

Brent Urban, DE, Virginia – Round 4
Urban (6-7, 295) was a sleeper prospect that stood out when watching Virginia. He was strong at the point of attack and caused disruption behind the line of scrimmage. Coming from Canada, Urban is somewhat raw and needs development. However, with his natural length and strength he is an ideal five technique candidate. Urban many not develop into an every down starter, but he could become a nice rotational player for Baltimore’s defensive line.

Walt’s 2014 NFL Draft Grades:

17. C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama: C Grade
I hate to question Ozzie Newsome, but I’m not a fan of this pick. Trusted sources who wouldn’t smokescreen us told us that they had C.J. Mosley in the second round because C.J. Mosley was damaged goods. We actually spoke to two teams that thought Mosley would be available in the second round. The pick makes sense for need purposes, and Mosley could pan out, but this selection has a very high bust rate.

48. Timmy Jernigan, NT, Florida State: C+ Grade
Timmy Jernigan is apparently going to play nose tackle because he makes no sense as a five-technique in Baltimore. The Ravens actually wanted to add a nose tackle to challenge Terrence Cody so they could move Haloti Ngata outside, so this does make sense as a scheme fit, despite what Todd McShay said during ESPN’s telecast. It just wasn’t expected – and I thought Jernigan would drop because of his failed drug test. We spoke to a couple of teams that took Jernigan, Zach Mettenberger and the other players who tested positive off their board. Baltimore may have been able to obtain Jernigan in the third round.

79. Terrence Brooks, S, Florida State: A- Grade
The Ravens were considering Calvin Pryor in Round 1, but passed on him. They liked Jimmie Ward, but couldn’t get him in Round 2. They finally found their safety in Round 3. Terrence Brooks could have gone toward the end of the second frame, so Baltimore is getting pretty good value while filling a need. Very good pick.

99. Crockett Gilmore, TE, Colorado State: C Grade
The Ravens would have drafted Eric Ebron if he fell to them at No. 17. I could understand that, given Ebron’s talent level. This makes less sense, however, as Crockett Gilmore could be the third tight end on the roster for a while. I know Gary Kubiak loves his tight ends, but I wish Baltimore went in a different direction. I don’t hate this pick though, as Crockett Gilmore fits the range and could see some playing time if the fragile Owen Daniels gets hurt.

134. Brent Urban, DE/DT, Virginia: B Grade
I heard that the Ravens wanted to fix their defensive line in the draft, so I’m not surprised that they’ve taken two players up front. Brent Urban was considered to be a fourth-round prospect, so he is a logical pick at this juncture.

138. Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Coastal Carolina: C+ Grade
This is a bit earlier than I thought Lorenzo Taliaferro would go, and there are better running backs available. The Ravens are at least filling a huge need in the wake of Ray Rice’s issues.

175. John Urschel, G, Penn State: B+ Grade
The Ravens are set at guard, but they needed some depth at the position. John Urschel fits the range as a fifth-round prospect, so this is another logical choice by Ozzie Newsome.

194. Keith Wenning, QB, Ball State: B Grade
Keith Wenning was expected to go somewhere in the final two rounds. The Ravens were also expected to find a backup quarterback at some point. This is a logical choice.

218. Michael Campanaro, WR, Wake Forest: B+ Grade
How did the Ravens not choose a receiver until this point? It was one of their biggest needs, and this was a great wideout class, yet they ignored the position. Better late than never, and I like Michael Campanaro at this point, but still.

2014 NFL Draft Team Grade: C . Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.

Baltimore Ravens Season Preview

Fantasy Football Rankings - May 23

2025 NFL Mock Draft - May 21

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

NFL Picks - Feb. 12