Having written a summary article on the Baltimore Ravens draft class of 2013, this is the third of round-by-round individual looks at each of the players after a season with the team. The first article in this series was on first-round pick Matt Elam, whereas the most recent previous piece was on second rounder Arthur Brown.
Today we will look briefly at third-round selection Brandon Williams. Playing more consistently in 2014 would be a big step up for this defensive tackle who was drafted #94 overall out of the D-2 program Missouri Southern State.
Williams played in a total of seven games, seeing 93 snaps, while making five tackles and a sack. The 6-1, 330-pounder was a bit lost in the defensive line depth in 2013, but that may not be his experience this next year. Williams was also set back with a foot injury at the end of the preseason that kept him out of the first three games.
But again, like so many parts of the Ravens team, the defensive line is likely changing with uncertainties about returning players. Harbaugh said that Williams should at least get a good long look, “He proved that he can play. We had a lot of depth there this year. He had a little maturing to do, and he should be in the mix.”
The defensive line has two veterans in place in Haloti Ngata and Chris Canty. But the Ravens may not be able to keep Arthur Jones and Terrence Cody who are both free agents. In particular, Jones (2010 fifth-round pick from Syracuse) had a breakout season, and the economics may not come together for the Ravens to retain him … and to a lesser extent, the same with former second-rounder Cody (2010 selection from Alabama).
Other possibilities to step in would be DeAngelo Tyson. This seventh-round selection in 2012 from Georgia had 10 tackles, two sacks and an interception. Also in house is last year’s sixth-round pick, #200 overall, defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore of Notre Dame. The 6-4, 298-pounder was out last year with a torn ACL.
The Ravens really need several of these guys to step up in the fashion of Arthur Jones and become established players.