Baltimore Ravens Must Draft Elon Wide Receiver Aaron Mellette

John Jenkins@jjenksIIContributor IIIApril 4, 2013

Aaron Mellette could be a steal for the Ravens in the later rounds.
Aaron Mellette could be a steal for the Ravens in the later rounds.Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The mass exodus of players from the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl winning roster has been well documented.  The Ravens have gone a long way to fill the holes in their roster through free agency by adding players like Elvis Dumervil, Chris Canty, Marcus Spears and Michael Huff. 

In some ways, the Ravens are in position to improve their roster but everything is riding on the 2013 NFL Draft.  They still have holes at middle linebacker, safety, left tackle and wide receiver. 

Most of the players the Ravens have been linked to have been defensive players to fill the remaining needs.  We have all seen them—Matt Elam, Manti Te'o, Kevin Minter, Jonathan Cyprien, and so on and so on. 

If the Ravens draft any of these players in the first round they would not be wrong.  All of these players and the many others that they are linked to would fill a major need and most likely help the team in a big way.

The issue is the Ravens have more than just one void to fill, so finding impact players in the later rounds is imperative, almost a requirement.

Anquan Boldin was traded to the 49ers for a sixth-round pick primarily for salary cap reasons.  He was productive in the regular season and in the postseason.  Much has been made about rebuilding the defense, but Boldin's production needs to be replaced.  Elon wide receiver Aaron Mellette could be a draft day steal and possibly step into the Boldin's former role.

Mellette recently visited the Baltimore Ravens, which could mean they are interested in the small school prospect.  Of course, it could also be a smoke screen meant to confuse other teams' front offices.

The Elon product is listed at 6'3", 217 pounds.  He also possesses decent speed; he recorded a 4.45 second 40-yard dash.  Mellette was also extremely productive in his college career.  In four years he caught 304 passes for 4,254 yards and 44 touchdowns.

Mellette is projected to be drafted in the fifth or sixth round by  Considering their position in the draft, this means the Ravens would possibly need to draft Mellette in the fourth round.

His projection is so low, at least in part, because of the small school that he played for and that his football experience is limited.  The North Carolina native did not start playing football until his sophomore year of high school, which is why he ended up in Elon.

Although he mostly played small school competition, he performed well against Division I competition when given the opportunity.  In a game against Vanderbilt, he caught 11 passes for 180 yards.

Mellette is not a finished product, but his reliable hands and adequate speed could make him productive in the slot—especially with speedsters Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones stretching the field.