Ozzie Newsome says he made a mistake.
The Ravens GM admitted today that he should have drafted Anquan Boldin back in 2003, but was blinded by the Florida State wide receiver's "measurables" - a reference to Boldin's horrific 4.71 40-yard dash time.
Seven years later, Newsome got a chance to correct his draft day error, trading third and fourth-round picks to the Cardinals for Boldin and Arizona's fifth-round selection.
"When Anquan came out in the draft, he was the subject of a lot of discussion in our war room, and not too many times do you get a chance to recover from a mistake," Newsome said today at Boldin's introductory press conference. "I think I made a mistake in that draft, [worrying] more about measurables than the football player. And what Anquan is is a football player.
"Regardless of how long you've been in this league, I think that you become a fan at some point. Anytime I've had the opportunity to watch 'Q' play, whether on tape, or during a game after one of our games on Sundays, I've always enjoyed watching him.
"The way he approached the game and the way he played the game is something that I enjoyed watching, and now I have the opportunity to watch him, but watch him playing for us here in Baltimore."
To put Boldin's 4.71 40 in perspective, it was nearly half a second slower than the fastest wide receiver at the Combine this year (Jacoby Ford), slower than five defensive linemen, and only a tenth of a second faster than Maryland offensive tackle Bruce Campbell.
That 40 time dropped Boldin into the second-round, and dropped him off the Ravens' board.
If that's not a warning about how overly-hyped 40 times are, I don't know what is.
"We have some standards that our set in our room on measurables," Newsome explained. "One of the first players I ever went against that with was Ray [Lewis]. Ray did not fit our measurables, but I saw the football player. I think in this situation, I got blinded a little bit and didn't appreciate the football player as much as I should have.
"It took me seven years but I finally got it right."