The Baltimore Ravens had a top-20 pick in this year’s NFL Draft for the first time in six years as a result of their disappointing 8-8 record last year. Their general manager, Ozzie Newsome, played his college football at the University of Alabama under legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, and he went back to the proverbial well in Tuscaloosa to draft another defensive player.
The Ravens selected Crimson Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley with the 17th pick in the first round of the draft. Mosley was a two-time defensive captain for Nick Saban, and he had 108 total tackles (61 solo) last year. He was named a first-team All-American and first-team all-Southeastern Conference. Mosley was the winner of the Butkus Award as the best linebacker in major college football.
Baltimore took a pair of players from the national champion Florida State Seminoles with their next two picks: defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan in the second round (48th overall pick) and safety Terrence Brooks in the third round (75th overall.) Jernigan was an early entry into the draft, as he decided to leave Florida State following his junior season. He had 44 tackles and found and a half sacks last season. Brooks had 48 tackles, a sack and two interceptions. He posted a time of 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. With their second pick in the third round (99th overall pick), the Ravens selected tight end Crockett Gilmore of Colorado State. Gilmore caught 47 passes for 577 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Rams last season. It’s a good thing for the Ravens that he has very big hands (10.25 inches.)
In the fourth round, the Ravens took defensive tackle Brent Urban from the University of Virginia with the 134th overall pick, and four picks later, selected tailback Lorenzo Taliaferro out of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina. Urban had 40 tackles and a sack for the Cavaliers last season, while Taliaferro ran for 1729 yards and 27 touchdowns for the Chanticleers. He added 153 yards and two touchdowns receiving out of the backfield. With their fifth-round pick, the Ravens selected guard John Urschel from Penn State. Quarterback Keith Wenning from Ball State was drafted by the Ravens in the sixth round, and in the seventh round, Baltimore used its final draft pick to select wide receiver Michael Campanaro out of Wake Forest. The Ravens got the pick by trading their sixth-round pick in next year’s draft to Cleveland.
In other draft news, the Chicago Bears selected cornerback Kyle Fuller of Virginia Tech with the 14th pick. Fuller went to high school at Mount St. Joseph in Southwest Baltimore. Last season, Fuller had 24 tackles and two interceptions. He is one of three Baltimore-area players who were drafted this year. The others are Campanaro (played at River Hill High School), and running back Terrance West (Towson University and Northwestern High School), who was taken by Cleveland in the third round. West ran for a Football Championship Subdivision-record 2,509 yards and 42 touchdowns as he helped lead the Tigers to a 13-3 record and the FCS Championship Game, where Towson lost to North Dakota State.