Ozzie Newsome loves acquiring draft picks.
He’s known for meticulously maneuvering around the draft board, especially when he can slide back a few spots to add a later pick and still get the player he covets. The Ravens have traded their first-round pick in five of the last eight seasons – they traded back in three of those drafts – and this could be a prime year to wheel and deal.
Many general managers and front office executives think this is one of the deepest draft classes in recent memory, so those additional picks carry even more value.
In a draft loaded with talent, will the Ravens try to trade back from No. 17 and acquire more picks?
“I think it will be difficult,” Owner Steve Bisciotti said. “I think we’ll probably find ourselves staying where we are.”
The challenge with trading back in a deep draft is that other teams are using the same approach. More teams are looking to add picks and slide back, meaning the Ravens won’t get much in return for dealing their first-round pick.
“[General Manager] Kevin Colbert from Pittsburgh said that because this is a very deep draft, everybody feels that way, that trading out is not going to be an option, that you’re not going to get good value,” Bisciotti said. “Everyone wants to accumulate more picks in a deep draft. His feeling was that trading back this year is going to be harder than it ever was.”
Even if the Ravens don’t end up trading back in the first round, they still have a good collection of draft picks thanks to the four compensatory selections they were awarded earlier this week. The Ravens have eight picks, including four selections in the top 100.
The other consideration is that the Ravens want to get an NFL-ready player with their first-round pick, and they have their highest pick since 2008. Newsome has a great track record of getting stars in the top half of the draft, and this is just the fourth time since 2001 the Ravens have a top-20 pick.
“To sit at No. 17, since I’ve been involved with the team, we’ve been at that level with just [Terrell] Suggs, [Haloti] Ngata and Joe [Flacco],” Bisciotti said. “This is just our fourth time that we’ve had [a pick] under 20 and we’ve come across pretty well on those picks.”