Aug 15, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens safety Matt Elam (26) looks on during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft Rumors: Baltimore Ravens targeting a safety


 

The Baltimore Ravens selected Florida Gators’ safety Matt Elam in the first round of last year’s draft.

Elam had a disappointing rookie season, but the Ravens still have high hopes.

Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com believes the Ravens will target a safety early in the draft for the second consecutive season.

Darian Stewart, a free agent from the St. Louis Rams, is the fallback option. His one-year, $1.3 million contract reflects that. Stewart brings more athleticism than James Ihedigbo, last year’s starter, but Stewart is less reliable. He gets hurt too much, and he has a history of hamstring problems. This is why the Ravens should draft a safety in the first or second round. If the rookie struggles, the Ravens can always turn to Stewart, who has made 19 career starts and has ties with secondary coach Steve Spagnuolo. So, the Ravens understand there’s a possibility that Stewart will be a starting safety this year. He just wouldn’t be their top choice.

Hensley lists Calvin Pryor of the Louisville Cardinals and Jimmie Ward of the Northern Illinois Huskies as potential options and believes Ward, who he calls “the best cover safety in the draft” is the better fit for the Ravens.

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Baltimore Ravens Calvin Pryor Jimmie Ward Matt Elam NFL Rumors