The Baltimore Ravens selected Matt Elam with the final pick of the first round of 2013 NFL Draft. It looks like a really good deal for the Ravens — a team that lost Ed Reed this off-season.
Given the loss of Reed, the Ravens were in need of a replacement and Elam fits that bill to perfection. During his junior season at Florida, Elam had 76 tackles, four interceptions and two sacks. Elam was considered amongst the top safeties in the draft next to Kenny Vaccaro, who went No. 15 overall earlier in the evening.
There were plenty of rumors going around prior to Thursday night’s first round that the Ravens could be among the potential suitors for Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o. However, the Ravens made the decision to replace Reed’s position with Elam, instead of looking for a potential replacement for Ray Lewis. Elam is a solid pick for the Ravens, especially at No. 32. He fills a need and brings a sense of toughness to the Ravens, which is obviously a quality that the team has been known for over the course of the past few seasons.
Elam will come in and immediately get the opportunity to start even despite the Ravens decision to sign Michael Huff. Baltimore also made the decision to re-sign James Ihedigbo. Elam stands at 5-foot-10, which may not be the ideal size for an NFL safety, but he is able to make up for it with his quickness and overall awareness.