Ravens' draft review: Arthur Brown

The Baltimore Ravens blog will take a look at the team's top five draft picks in 2013 and how they fared as rookies:


Position: Inside linebacker

Drafted: Second round, 56th overall (selected 10 spots after Bills LB Kiko Alonso and just before Texans S D.J. Swearinger)

Key stats: 14 total tackles (three on special teams), a half sack and one forced fumble

His 2013 season: Brown was a situational player when they needed him to be a starter. A sports hernia injury in the offseason slowed his development. He had surgery after rookie minicamp, which made him a spectator for the spring workouts. Brown never seemed to catch up after that in terms of learning the entire defensive scheme and lost the starting job in the preseason to Josh Bynes, who was undrafted a couple of years ago. As a result, Brown replaced Bynes and Jameel McClain on passing downs. He ended up playing 22 percent of the defensive snaps this season. Even though it didn't show in the stats, I liked how Brown was able to get pressure on the quarterback with the blitzes up the middle.

Forecasting 2014: The perfect scenario is teaming Brown with Daryl Smith at inside linebacker. Smith would need to be re-signed in free agency. But that would pair a young striker in the middle with an experienced veteran.

What the Ravens are saying about Brown: "Art Brown did a really good job in our nickel packages. Art is a guy who’s learning a lot of football. He bounced [between defensive positions] a little bit in college. And football, understanding the complexity of defensive schemes in this league -- at this level -- is going to take him to a starting role. He’s going to compete for a starting job. He’ll be competing for that [weak-side] linebacker starting job. I expect him to win the job, but he’s got to go win the job." -- Head coach John Harbaugh