The NFL draft is a day away, and this is an important one for the Ravens as they’re in a period of transition.
Baltimore has 12 picks in this year’s draft, with their first-rounder coming in at No. 32 overall. It’s logical to speculate about how the Ravens will use that selection. Will they take a linebacker? A wide receiver? An offensive lineman? A safety?
No one will know, not even Ravens brass, until it happens.
But we can wonder whether they’ll make the pick at all. Baltimore is in an interesting roster situation with number of players under contract and so many selections that it could be in position to move up, trade for picks next year or something else.
Baltimore has 68 players under contract and if it uses all of its picks, it will have room for just 10 undrafted free agents, and that’s an area the organization has always mined some gems.
The Ravens have one selection in each of the first three rounds, two fourth-rounders, two fifth-rounders, three sixth-rounders and two seventh-rounders.
“Having the additional picks allows you to move up, move back, to do some things if we feel the need to do it,” general manager Ozzie Newsome said. “And then, we have eight picks that we can actually trade; the compensatory (picks), we can’t move those. So it will allow us, if we choose to do it, to be able to move up to get a player or stay where we are.”
Assistant general manager Eric DeCosta also commented on the possibility of moving around in the draft, perhaps to nab players attractive to the Ravens past the first round.
“I think our options are always open. We’ve made trades, I think, two of the last four years in the first round,” he said. “We’ve made a lot of trades over the years in the second round. We’ve traded up in the first once or twice - not too often - but a couple of times.
“So we’re always open, and what we try to do is come up with a bunch of different scenarios based on all the different things that could happen so that we’re ready to make a pick or trade, if that happens. The phone lines are open, and I think we do a good job. (Vice president of football administration) Pat Moriarty handles all the trades for us. He does an awesome job, and I think we’re in good shape.”
So just how likely is it that the Ravens try to move some picks? Very. Whether that means they move up in the first, second, third or fourth round remains to be seen. Whether that means they deal for a pick in 2014 will be worth watching.
But this could be a draft where Baltimore is one of the more active teams as it looks to rebuild from the bottom up.