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Mailbag: Is a Trade Up or Trade Down More Likely?

GM Eric DeCosta
GM Eric DeCosta

Mink: The Ravens are more likely to trade down from No. 30. That's their general m.o. as they love stockpiling picks. If there's a cluster of players at positions of need when the Ravens are on the clock at No. 30, it wouldn't surprise me at all if they moved back a little. They could still grab a tackle (maybe Jordan Morgan, Kingsley Suamataia, or Patrick Paul), a wide receiver (maybe Xavier Worthy, Xavier Legette, or Ricky Pearsall) or EDGE (maybe Darius Robinson) a little later than 30.

However, I don't think we should rule out a modest trade up. The Ravens have nine picks and General Manager Eric DeCosta said himself that there isn't as much depth overall in this year's draft. If an offensive tackle the Ravens covet were slipping into the mid-20s and Baltimore could package a Day 3 pick to move up, that would be tempting.

Brown: I believe Iowa cornerback Cooper DeJean could fall to Baltimore, even though he's probably a top-20 talent. Teams wary of moving DeJean around the secondary to take advantage of his instincts at both safety and corner may pass on him. NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah mocked DeJean to the Ravens last month, saying, "Baltimore has a knack for watching tough, smart and versatile players fall into its lap."

Here's another player who could fall to No. 30 - Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins. If DeJean and Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry are selected before Wiggins, he's a talented player who could improve Baltimore's depth at a key position.

Mink: Given the news of Rashod Bateman's contract extension through 2026, I would be highly surprised if the Ravens take a wide receiver at No. 30, two spots ahead of Kansas City. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of the Ravens taking a wide receiver at all (they still have Odell Beckham Jr. to replace), but I would expect it to come on Days 2 or 3. This year's draft is deep at wide receiver, and the Ravens will surely find some tempting options.

Brown: That's an interesting question. Retooling the offensive line remains their most important task, so if forced to choose, I'd say they're leaning more toward offense. I expect them to draft at least two offensive linemen. They could also draft a wide receiver, perhaps as early as Day 1 or 2.

However, the Ravens have a talented roster on both sides of the football, and they don't have to reach for players to target specific positions. They'll stick to their board, then reassess their biggest needs on offense and defense once the draft is over.

Last year, they didn't sign Jadeveon Clowney, Kyle Van Noy, Ronald Darby or Aaron Maulet until well after the draft. Undrafted rookie Keaton Mitchell was added to the roster after the draft, and all those players helped the Ravens on their run to the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Ravens will have a deeper team following this weekend's draft, but building the roster on both offense and defense will continue throughout the spring and summer.

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