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2013 NFL Draft: Matt Elam goes No. 32 to Baltimore Ravens

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The Baltimore Ravens lost one of the greatest safeties in NFL history in the offseason. So they picked Matt Elam in the NFL Draft.

USA TODAY Sports

With the 32nd pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, and the final pick of the first round, the Baltimore Ravens selected Florida safety Matt Elam late Thursday night.

Elam was regarded as a fringe first-round prospect, but panned by some for his lack of height. Fortunately for the hard-hitting safety, Baltimore needed a safety badly, with Ed Reed departing the only NFL team he'd ever known and the aging Bernard Pollard getting cut, and word broke on Twitter that Elam would be a Raven a few picks before the selection was announced.

Elam could hardly have asked for a better situation: The Ravens are obviously the defending Super Bowl champions, but they also have a defense stocked with good players year after year, and John Harbaugh in charge of a team that values its defense deeply.

It's also a reunion for Elam with Teryl Austin, his former defensive coordinator and position coach at Florida. Austin was Florida's defensive coordinator in 2010, and worked with defensive backs; after Urban Meyer's "retirement" at the end of the 2010 season, Austin headed to Baltimore as the secondary coach.

Elam may not be Reed or Pollard, but he certainly seems likely to lay a lick or two on the rest of the AFC North, and his abilities as a playmaker fit right in on an NFL roster.