As the Ravens make their final preparations for the 19th draft in team history, General Manager Ozzie Newsome along with John Harbaugh, Assistant GM Eric DeCosta and Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz met with the media on Wednesday for their annual pre-draft press conference.
While little insight was given as to who the Ravens will covet in the 76th Annual NFL draft which begins on May 8, they did shed a little light on process and how they approach the draft.
For any NFL team the draft process is anything but easy and quick. For the Ravens, who do things a bit differently than many other NFL organizations, the process consists of 19 full-time members of the personnel department.
As the Ravens NFL Draft information guide points out, the team does not belong to the National Football Scouting group.
Instead the Ravens opt for a different approach. “We make our own list, and that means we look at all players on a college roster,” DeCosta stated in the guide.
“Baltimore’s personnel department includes six area scouts, two pro personnel evaluators, who focus on college talent and additional support staff to handle the load. We do a lot of cross-checking.”
The 2014 draft class could be deeper than any other draft in recent history. DeCosta, when asked how many players in the class the Ravens consider “draftable,” said, “Some years it’s 140 or 150; this year, 180.”
Of the 145 draft picks the Ravens have made since 1996, the school with the most Ravens selections has been Oklahoma (7), followed by the University of Miami (6) and Alabama (6). The Ravens, as history proves, also believe in talent from smaller schools.
“We believe in it,” DeCosta stated when asked about whether the Ravens looked at smaller schools again this year.
While the cat and mouse game was in full tilt today, the insight provided as to the reaches the Ravens take to achieve a successful draft class were certainly informative.
And with the 17th overall pick, the Ravens select…????
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