Closing in on draft day

Yesterday was a pretty big day in the Baltimore sports world.

The Ravens held their annual pre-draft luncheon, the 2011 regular season schedule was released, and the Orioles snapped a losing streak with an 11-0 beat down of the Twins.

Not too shabby, if you ask me.

Prior to us learning last night that the Ravens will have five prime-time games this season, including one on Thanksgiving (apparently I’ll be sharing turkey and stuffing with the rest of the Ravens media corps at M&T Bank Stadium this year), the Ravens-centric updates of the day came out of an afternoon sitdown with general manager Ozzie Newsome, head coach John Harbaugh, director of player personnel Eric DeCosta and director of college scouting Joe Hortiz.

No real news ever is released at the yearly pre-draft press conference, both because those in the Ravens’ front office are incredibly guarded about their views on players. While they hope they have a pretty good idea how the draft will play out, they obviously have no real idea what other teams are thinking and where players will come off the board.

Still, it’s always interesting to sit with the team’s decision-makers,and pick their brains on prospects, trends and what we might see unfold over the now-three-day event.

One piece of information that Newsome was willing to let slip yesterday related to the Ravens’ plans for year’s wide receiver class.

“We’re looking to add to our receiving corps,” he said. “We’ve done a good job of stacking the board with some guys that have some size, some guys that have some unique quickness about them. Some guys have just got flat-out speed. It’s a very good board for receivers this year, and I do foresee, unless something changes, of those nine picks we have, probably one of them will be a receiver.”

Of course, that’s not exactly a shocking revelation. Free agents T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Donte’ Stallworth will likely not return next season, leaving a fairly large gap in the Ravens’ wide receiving unit behind Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason.

The question is: When will that wide receiver be selected? It almost certainly won’t be in the first round, as there don’t appear to be any receivers behind A.J. Green and Julio Jones worthy of being selected when the Ravens will be on the clock at No. 26.

It could, however be on Day Two (rounds two and three) of the draft. I’ll have more on two possible wide receiver options that could come off that board in that area a bit later on.

Meanwhile, I’ll get to pretend I’m Newsome for about 10 minutes this morning, as I’ll be calling in to the Rob Long Show on Fox1370 at about 9:30 a.m. and making the Ravens’ selection as part of the show’s media mock draft.

Listen in to hear who I have coming to Charm City in the 1370 mock, and then jump back here or head to my Twitter page, and tell my why I’m an idiot and should have picked someone else.

blog comments powered by Disqus