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Campanaro goes from Ravens fan to player

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Growing up, wide receiver Michael Campanaro went to all of the Baltimore Ravens' playoff games, cheering on Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Jamal Lewis.

But Campanaro and the rest of his family had written off any chance of getting drafted by the Ravens toward the end of this year's sixth round, when the team used its last pick on quarterback Keith Wenning.

"My girlfriend is a huge Ravens fan, so she started talking crap about the Ravens," Campanaro said. "She was sitting with my mom, and she was like, ‘I can’t believe the Ravens didn’t [pick you].'"

Imagine the surprise when the Ravens traded a 2015 sixth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns to acquire a seventh-round pick this year and selected Campanaro.

The Ravens have never drafted a Baltimore player in their 19-year history, so this is as close as they've come in taking a hometown prospect. Campanaro played at River Hill High School in Columbia, Maryland, which is 23 miles from M&T Bank Stadium.

Campanaro's family, like most of that area, is split down the middle with fans for the Ravens and the Washington Redskins.

"I think after the draft, it’s 100 percent Ravens," Campanaro said.

Where Campanaro won over the Ravens was in a pre-draft workout. They put him and another wide receiver prospect through some intense drills and made them run every single route imaginable.

Campanaro took every single rep, while the other receiver pulled up midway through with a hamstring injury.

"It was impressive," assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said. "In my mind, that sort of tilted the scales a little bit to him really being considered to be a good prospect for us. And it seems like every year, we’re always looking at these slot receivers on other teams, and their really good guys are always sixth-round picks, seventh-round picks, undrafted free agents who develop. And we think Mike can be one of those guys. We’re excited about him.”

Campanaro is looking to make the Ravens as their fifth receiver and backup returner. At Wake Forest, he finished as the school's all-time leader in receptions (229) and ranked third in career receiving yards (2,506).

He's already hitting the playbook to learn as much as he can about the Ravens' offense. Campanaro is also taking notes from Steve Smith, one of the best slot receivers over the past decade.

"[When] I go out there and I’m with the receivers, Steve and I are definitely the smallest, shortest guys there," said Campanaro, who is 5 feet 9, 192 pounds. "He is a Hall of Fame receiver. He’s gotten it done for so many years. So, having a guy like that who I can learn from him and see the little things he does preparing with his game, it’s going to help out a ton.”



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I don't see an issue with last yrs draft. Elam played OK but out of position. Brown needed time I think. Williams looked good. Simon was OK. Lewis-??? had the ACL. Whats his face from Elon was playing well but had the knee. I don't judge drafts right out of the gate. I will grade one but it means D for at least 3 yrs.

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I am down in general on this draft because I think they failed at the RT spot more than anything else. I like who they drafted in general but if the OL is not solved it means little.

I have to agree. The fact that they didn't come away with an RT is serious. I considered FS and RT to be equal priorities in the draft. But, Oz believes in BPA. I'm still not in agreement with that when you have huge holes on your team. But, the FO knows more than I do. Maybe Rick Wagner is better than I thought. Maybe Hurst starts at RT. I don't know. It's still disappointing.


I will say the defense is in good shape for now and the foreseeable future.


Maybe Oz can trade for a RT if we don't find one on the roster. It would be worth a middle round draft choice. But I don't know who might be available and what the cap consequences would be.

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I don't see him giving up more picks on players. Look how it limited hymn this yr. I agree with him on not reaching for a player but move around the board to put yourself in position for positions that need dealing with. There were guys I thought the Ravesn could have drafted all around the draft. They never pulled the trigger. Take the RB they grabbed. He was one of the ones I liked but I think they reached on him. One of the other RB's I liked was James Wilder from FSU. I liked what he could do and he was undrafted. Cincy has signed him. 2 picks after the Ravens picked Lorenzo the Pats picked the Stanford OT Flemming.

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I will side with Ozzie and his results. I understand you guys questions. I thought for sure that we'd draft an OT but when we didn't, I assumed that they were good with it. It's reported that Hurst was a projected 3rd or 4th rounder before injury. So that's the competition. It's not as if we haven't succeeded when we seemingly had a hole before. I think it's going to work out. I could be wrong. Last yr I thought we would be division winners.

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