Wake Forest fans everywhere now know that Michael Campanaro was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens. We caught up with Jason Butt, who is an editor of the SB Nation's Baltimore Beat Down, to find out how Campanaro will fit with the current Ravens' roster.
What was your initial reaction to the selection of Michael Campanaro? Were you okay with trading away next year's 6th round pick to move up and select him?
With the Ravens and Campanaro being linked for some time, I thought for sure the team was drafting him in the sixth round. Then they took Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning. But the second the Ravens traded into the seventh round, I think most people that follow the team knew Campanaro was the reason why. It seems like an unbelievable value pick since he was seen as a potential fifth-round receiver prior to this past weekend. And therefore, giving up a sixth-rounder in 2015 is probably an appropriate price.
What do you believe are Camp's biggest strengths and weaknesses?
Based on what I've seen and read, Campanaro sounds like he's a guy that has a great hands and can exploit zone coverages. Maryland fans hated him after he tore up the Terps' secondary this past college season. In the NFL, with teams often zoning underneath, that's a trait the Ravens would covet in a receiver. By no means am I trying to compare Campanaro to Anquan Boldin, but Boldin is exceptional against zone defense, with his biggest games as a Raven coming against those coverages. If Campanaro can provide that kind of production, he'll find a niche or role in this offense.
What do you expect from the Ravens' receiving corps this year? What's your assessment of the current group of receivers on the team?
It's a pretty solid group with a lot of contributors. Torrey Smith has become a true No. 1 receiver and has the speedy Jacoby Jones and veteran Steve Smith accompanying him. Marlon Brown stepped up big as a rookie last year, too. Then the tight end duo of Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels should provide more reliable targets for Joe Flacco to throw to. With Baltimore improving this unit, it will be tough for Joe Flacco not to throw for 4,000 yards, which he hasn't done in a single season the past six years.
How do you see Campanaro fitting in with the Ravens?
I'd have to think Campanaro has a spot on the 53-man roster, based on the fact the Ravens traded a 2015 sixth-round pick. The organization values draft picks and wouldn't trade one for nothing. That said, I'd think Campanaro would be inactive for most games as a rookie based on the depth chart. But if injuries occur, he could be someone that could work his way into the rotation as a third-down receiver to move the chains.
How would you grade/asses the Baltimore Ravens' 2014 NFL Draft?
I'd give it a B-plus. The Ravens got some quality players, though there were some players that slipped through since the team didn't have enough tradeable picks to ensure getting some key guys. The defense is getting stockpiled with playmakers as the Ravens continue to get back to their dominant ways. It's been a few seasons since the NFL has seen a Baltimore defense that stifled opponents week in and week out.