Ravens looking for more picks

Team has just five selections in next week's draft

April 13, 2010|By Jamison Hensley | The Baltimore Sun

General manager Ozzie Newsome was asked at Tuesday's pre-draft luncheon whether it bothered him that the Ravens have by far the fewest picks of any AFC North team in next week's draft.

"Does it bother me that they probably don't have as good of players as we have in Baltimore? No," Newsome said, which drew the most laughter during the hourlong news conference.

Newsome added, "I'm better off with [wide receiver] Anquan Boldin than I am to be sitting here with six picks. You'd probably see some sweat on my brow."

Still, the heat will be on the Ravens in eight days. In one of the deepest drafts in recent memory, the Ravens have five picks, tying the fewest they've ever had entering a draft.

With the 25th overall pick, the Ravens could have the chance to draft one of these highly rated prospects: Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham, Penn State defensive lineman Jared Odrick, Georgia Tech wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson and Rutgers cornerback Devin McCourty.

But there might be some extreme temptation to trade down -- possibly even out of the first round entirely if they could pick up an additional second-round pick and still selected a coveted player. Some players who likely will be available early in the second round are: Alabama cornerback Kareem Jackson, Alabama nose tackle Terrence Cody, USC offensive tackle Charles Brown and Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski.

"We've never done it. But never say never," director of player personnel Eric DeCosta said about moving out of the first round. "We'll consider every single option. A lot of it has to do with the players that are available. It's a value-driven process for us."

This year, there could be some major value in acquiring more picks. The Ravens only have two selections in the first round rounds because of the Boldin trade (the Ravens sent Arizona their third- and fourth-round picks in exchange for Boldin and a fifth-rounder).

That number is dwarfed by the rest of the division: Pittsburgh has 11 picks, Cleveland has 10 (five in the first three rounds) and Cincinnati has nine (six in the first four rounds).

"You can have a lot of picks, but it's what you do with those picks," Newsome said. "That will be interesting to see."

Another way of accruing more picks is trading players. There has been speculation that the Ravens would be willing to deal offensive tackle Jared Gaither (perhaps for a second-round pick) and running back Willis McGahee (if they were able to draft a running back).

Newsome said he hasn't received any calls from teams inquiring about a trade for any of his players.

"When it comes to making trade for our players, we put a value on what a player is worth," Newsome said. "When John [Harbaugh] and I go about building this team, we look at it and say, 'These are our players up until someone comes and offers something that is really, really enticing."

There will be more time for teams to entice the Ravens. Instead of a two-day format, the draft will be spread over three days. The first two days (the first round is April 22 and the second and third rounds are April 23) are in prime time, which gives a lot of time for teams to wait and talk.

But Newsome doesn't anticipate more trades because of this schedule change.

"In the end, I think people are just going to pick," he said. "Sometimes, too much time can be a detriment, too. It can work against you having too much time also."

DeCosta is taking a wait-and-see approach.

"We simply don't know how it will shake out," he said. "It'll be exciting. Teams that are well prepared will have an opportunity to do some great things in this draft."

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