May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; C.J. Mosley (Alabama) stands for photos with his jersey after being selected as the number seventeen overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the Baltimore Ravens at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie Impact Projections: Baltimore Ravens

As teams get closer and closer to the action in the National Football League, I continue to take a look at the potential impacts rookies will have this season across the league for their respective franchises. The next team up is the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens struggled with injuries and a championship hangover last season that led them to miss the playoffs. The Ravens knew they needed to add some serious depth to this team and rebuild there once feared defense. Every pick of the Ravens will be rated on a scale of one to ten, one being little no impact at all this season, a ten being an immediate high impact player. The Baltimore Ravens made nine selections in the 2014 NFL Draft.

C.J. Mosley (Linebacker) – 1st round (Pick 17)

Mosley is the definition of a football player and Ravens linebacker. This kid is mechanically sound, an incredible athlete, and will start day one in the middle. He is terrific at ranging from sideline to sideline and has a nose for the ball carrier. You are looking at the real successor to the almighty Ray Lewis.  Mosley will go through some small growing pains but expect him to be a stud this year and into the future.

Impact Projection: 9 out of 10

Timmy Jernigan (Nose Tackle) – 2nd round (Pick 48)

Jernigan was a highly touted prospect being pegged as a sure-fire first rounder for much of last season. Injury, weight, and dedication concerns popped up and the Florida State product saw his stock fall. He landed with the perfect team that will not rush him into a pivotal role right away with star lineman Haloti Ngata manning the position. Expect Jernigan to rotate and provide rest for Ngata and to be used particularly in run stuffing situations which is important in the run heavy AFC North. Jernigan provides solid depth and a backup plan in case the Ravens lose Ngata.

Impact Projection: 4 out of 10

Terrence Brooks (Free Safety) – 3rd round (Pick 79)

The Ravens dipped back into the Florida State market when they nabbed safety Terrence Brooks. Brooks is very versatile in his ability to play against both the run and the pass. However his ball skills and ability to generate turnovers leaves something to be desired. He does a great job of finding the play and getting himself in position to stop it, but he often leaves the ball on the field. Expect him to compete for the starting free safety job, and you will undoubtedly see him on special teams.

Impact Projection: 5 out of 10

Crockett Gillmore (Tight End) – 3rd round (Pick 99)

Gillmore is a very intriguing prospect. He isn’t quite the athlete we have been seeing coming out at tight end these days, but he possesses many other fundamental attributes. Crockett is a solid blocker who plays with some attitude against defenders. He does a superb job at catching the ball in traffic as well as gaining yards after initial contact and could be a great second option at tight end. I expect the Ravens and quarterback Joe Flacco to really utilize him early and often this season.

Impact Projection: 6 out of 10

Brent Urban (Defensive Tackle) – 4th round (Pick 134)

Urban is an another interesting prospect. He is listed as a defensive end on the team roster, and is likely to be a rotational player at best. Urban had just three career sacks in college, and doesn’t posses the aggressive attitude seen by most football players. However his size(6’7”, 297 lbs) and presence can’t be ignored, he just has to be groomed on technique and playing style.

Impact Projection: 2 out of 10

Lorenzo Taliaferro (Running Back) – 4th round (Pick 138)

Taliaferro is a sneaky good prospect. He gets pegged with the small school tag (played at Coastal Carolina) but this guy has some potential. He is a downhill runner who doesn’t possess breakaway speed, but will break tackles and bowl defenders over. He is a stout pass protector and solid short yardage and goal line back. If incumbent Ray Rice struggles to stay healthy Lorenzo could earn the gig in his absence. I expect him to contribute in the red zone often and he will be an interesting name to watch this season.

Impact Projection: 4 out of 10

John Urschel (Guard) – 5th round (Pick 175)

An incredibly intelligent player on and off the field, Urschel’s success will all depend on his physical growth and use of fundamentals as a player. He is undersized with short arms, and that often leads to him being over run by defenders. However he is a great leader, and has sound mechanics at the position. He will likely push for a back up role, and could even slide to center where he could flourish. This guy has great upside if he can bulk himself up. However this season don’t expect much from him, unless there is an injury up front.

Impact Projection: 2 out of 10

Keith Wenning (Quarterback) – 6th round (Pick 194)

Wenning was a four-year starter at Ball State University, and is a good team leader. He led ten fourth quarter comebacks during his time, and is a typical pocket passer style quarterback. He doesn’t possess great arm strength or athletic ability in or out of the pocket. He will likely fight for a roster spot and try to beat out incumbent back up Tyrod Taylor.

Impact Projection: 1 out of 10

Mike Campanaro (Wide Receiver) – 7th round (Pick 218)

Campanaro is a competitive but undersized player who doesn’t have next level speed or athleticism. He makes some plays in open space, but won’t break away for a big gain. He will struggle to beat bigger corners and could struggle to stay healthy given his small frame. He will likely fight for a roster spot, and if he lands he would likely be listed as a 5th or 6th receiver.

Impact Projection: 1 out of 10

The Baltimore Ravens and general manager Ozzie Newsome have done an incredible job of drafting successful long-term players for the franchise. This year they were able to grab a high impact starter in C.J. Mosley, who will likely man the middle for years to come. They were also able to grab some very promising backup players in guys like Jernigan, Gillmore, and Taliaferro. While you may not hear all of their names often this year, this Ravens class is bound to be making plays soon enough and could blossom into stars for the franchise. Only time will tell.

Look forward to the Buffalo Bills rookie projections soon! Joe Kleine is also co-host of the finsradio.com show The Direct Snap, alongside fellow Phin Phanatic and Rant Sports writer Tyler McMullen. Please check out our facebook at www.facebook.com/theofficialdirectsnap or check us out on Twitter at the handle, @Direct_Snap.

 

 

 

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft NFL Rookies

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