Did the Ravens almost pull the trigger in free agency to acquire Julian Edelman?
In an unprecedented move the Ravens opted to trade a 2015 sixth-round draft to the Browns in order to get back into the the seventh round to select WR Michael Campanaro.
During a Q&A put on by PressBoxOnline.com Tuesday night at Mother’s Federal Hill Grille, Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta made an interesting comment when addressing why the team decided on the move to get the Demon Deacon.
“There was a guy that I really wanted us to draft, we just didn’t have enough picks,” DeCosta recalled.
“I had seen this guy at the Senior Bowl and when I saw him at the Senior Bowl, I was thinking to myself ‘you know we were considering paying $5 million a year this year for a slot receiver in free agency’. This guy is going to be that guy in two to three years.”
Campanaro, the Columbia, Maryland native truly excited DeCosta.
“In my opinion he’s a bit of a sleeper. We were trying to get him as a free agent. We probably might have gotten him as a free agent but we believed he would be drafted late,” DeCosta stated.
“In fact I think there was a chance New England was going to draft him. I’m not sure about that but I think there was a chance and we wanted the guy and made the decision to get back in.”
Campanaro certainly fits the bill of a Edelman type player and one the Ravens obviously coveted.
“He’s a shifty player. He’s going to be really good in the slot.” DeCosta exclaimed.
“We invited him to Baltimore a week before the draft to work him out and it was probably one of the most impressive receiver workouts that I have seen in a long time at our facility. He’s a very very sudden guy, a little bit undersized, has an extremely good change of direction and strong hands.”
DeCosta even went as far as comparing Campanaro to Edelman and of course Wes Welker and sees the similarities in them all.
“If you think about guys like Edelman, Welker even Davone Bess, a lot of these type of guys are late round draft picks and all might lack one quality, it might be size, it might be speed but they have the ability to get open inside and make the tough catches and move the sticks.” DeCosta stated.
“I think Michael Campanaro is going to be one of those type of guys. I’m really excited and kind of was a sleeper for me throughout the entire process. I kept telling the scouts I like this guy, I like this guy and then I saw the workout and liked him even more.”
No one even DeCosta is expecting Campanaro to be the Edelman type player in year one, it would be naive to even think he will be.
If DeCosta is on the money about Campanaro, the Ravens will finally have that shifty, speedy player they haven’t had in the slot in quite some time.
And monetarily speaking, he looks like a “blue light special” when mentioned in the same breath as Edelman.
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