What can save Ravens' 2013 draft class

Only half of the members of the Baltimore Ravens' 2013 draft class are part of the team's 53-man roster. That's just 17 months after drafting those players.

The initial reaction is that this class has been underwhelming. There's only one established starter (safety Matt Elam) among those 10 players drafted, and two of the first four picks are either buried on the depth chart (second-round pick Arthur Brown) or on the practice squad (fourth-rounder John Simon).

What can save this draft class is the expected emergence of a handful of starters this season. There are four projected starters from the remaining five players from this draft class: Elam, nose tackle Brandon Williams, fullback Kyle Juszczyk and right tackle Rick Wagner.

Getting that many starters out of a draft class is a strong accomplishment when you consider the number of multi-year starters from the Ravens' draft classes in 2009 (two, Michael Oher and Lardarius Webb), 2010 (three, Ed Dickson, Dennis Pitta and Arthur Jones), 2011 (two, Jimmy Smith and Torrey Smith) and 2012 (two, Courtney Upshaw and Kelechi Osemele).

When evaluating this class, it should be pointed out that the Ravens drafted at the bottom of each round because they were defending Super Bowl champions. The Ravens also did well after the draft, picking up undrafted receiver Marlon Brown, who tied a team rookie record with seven touchdown catches.

Let's go pick-by-pick in the Ravens' 2013 draft:

SS Matt Elam: The first-round pick didn't immediately live up to expectations of being the third safety taken in the 2013 draft. Elam finished with 76 tackles (fourth on the team), but he made only one interception and broke up three passes. He also missed 11 tackles and gave up two touchdowns. The Ravens are hoping Elam plays better after moving to strong safety, which is his more natural position.

ILB Arthur Brown: The second-round pick isn't close to becoming a starter anytime soon. Although he plays fast, Brown too often gets gobbled up by big-bodied guards. He got on the field last year in passing situations, but that may not happen with the addition of first-round pick C.J. Mosley. This isn't exactly what the Ravens envisioned when they traded three picks to move up to get Brown.

NT Brandon Williams: The third-round pick was inactive for six of the final eight games last season. There are heightened expectations for Williams this season. He is a first-year starter who made big plays in the preseason when the Ravens' defense was backed up. Williams doesn't want to be a space-eater inside. He wants to be a difference maker.

LB John Simon: The fourth-round pick was cut Saturday and later signed to the practice squad. He could eventually return to active roster, but he's had trouble playing in space.

FB Kyle Juszczyk: The second fourth-round pick wasn't able to handle the fullback job last season, which is why the team re-signed Vonta Leach. If the preseason is any indication, Juszczyk is primed for a breakout season. He led the team with 10 catches this preseason.

OT Rick Wagner: The fifth-round pick struggled mightily when he was forced to fill in for an injured Michael Oher in last year's opener. Wagner steadily improved throughout his rookie season, and he's been solid in his first preseason as a starter. He was the Ravens' highest-graded offensive lineman this preseason, according to Pro Football Focus.

DE Kapron Lewis-Moore: An injury sidelined the sixth-round pick for a second straight season. He was placed on injured reserve last week after being earmarked as the top backup to Chris Canty this season.

OL Ryan Jensen: The sixth-round pick took a step back and lost his roster spot to rookie John Urschel. Jensen was the Ravens' lowest-rated guard this preseason.

WR Aaron Mellette: The seventh-round pick spent last season on injured reserve and was released in June after failing a physical.

CB Marc Anthony: The Ravens' last pick in this draft was waived in the final major cutdown and spent last season on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' practice squad. Anthony was cut by the Tennessee Titans and Buccaneers this summer.