Ravens get defensive on Day 2 of draft

Ravens get defensive on Day 2 of draft
April 26, 2013, 11:45 pm
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Ravens target areas of need with first three picks

The Ravens made no doubt about their focus on the second day of the draft, selecting an inside linebacker and a defensive tackle less than 24 hours after opening the draft by taking safety Matt Elam.

The Ravens traded up six spots in the second round to grab Kansas State inside linebacker Arthur Brown, and then used their third-round pick on defensive tackle Brandon Williams out of Missouri Southern State.

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome pointed out that back at his season-ending news conference after the Super Bowl, “We talked about getting stronger up the middle. And over the past two days, the picks have definitely addressed the middle of our defense.”

The Ravens defense ranked 17th overall last season, a departure from a unit that has historically ranked among the top defenses in the NFL. It has also undergone a transformation this offseason, with the retirement of Ray Lewis, the free agency departures of Ed Reed, Cary Williams, Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe and the release of Bernard Pollard.

The Ravens have brought in several defensive free agents -- linebacker Elvis Dumervil, safety Michael Huff and defensive linemen Marcus Spears and Chris Canty -- and used their top three draft picks this year to further strengthen the defense.

“We have really bolstered our front seven big time,” coach John Harbaugh said.

The Ravens still have seven picks remaining in the draft’s final four rounds, which begin Saturday at noon. They dealt away one fifth-round pick (No. 165) and a sixth-rounder (No. 199) in the trade with Seattle.

The Ravens still have two fourth-round picks (Nos. 129 and 130), one fifth-round pick (No. 168), two sixth-round picks (Nos. 200 and 203) and two seventh-rounders (Nos. 238 and 247).

“We hope to draft an offensive player at some point,” assistant general manager Eric DeCosta joked. “I think (offensive coordinator Jim) Caldwell would like that.”

DeCosta added that the Ravens still see areas of need along the offensive line and at wide receiver, and said “you can never have enough cornerbacks.”

“We lost a lot of good players after the season, and we are just trying to restock and build more depth and have good competition at all positions. That’s really what this whole thing is about.”