The Ravens-Steelers rivalry doesn't sleep.
Baltimore ended Pittsburgh's season in last year's AFC divisional round. Now the Ravens may have stolen a player the Steelers were targeting, tight end Maxx Williams, in the second round.
The Steelers were in the market for a tight end considering starter Heath Miller will turn 33 years old this season and don't have much depth behind him.
The Ravens were in a similar position with Owen Daniels gone in free agency and Dennis Pitta (hip) still on the mend. Baltimore has Crockett Gillmore and Phillip Supernaw, who have a combined one NFL start between them.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Mark Caboly, the Steelers tried to move up to take Williams but couldn't work out a deal. The Ravens beat them to the punch, moving up three spots from No. 58 to No. 55 – one spot ahead of Pittsburgh – and snagged Williams.
"Wasn’t happy when Ravens picked him," Caboly tweeted.
Williams is a big, physical pass-catching tight end who should fit well in the AFC North. The 21-year-old sophomore caught 36 passes for 569 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He was considered the top tight end in the draft and the first off the board.
With Williams suddenly gone, the Steelers took nearly their entire seven allotted minutes to make a decision and selected 5-foot-9 cornerback Senquez Golson out of Ole Miss.
Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome said he wasn't specifically trying to move ahead of Pittsburgh. Sitting next to him, Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta flashed a big grin.
"We get to a point where we feel it's time to go get a player, we wait through three or four picks, and then I get a little antsy," Newsome said. "When you've got ammunition, you just go and get the player. It wouldn't have mattered who was picking at that spot for us to move up and get the guy."
Part of draft strategy is trying to figure out who other teams will pick, though Newsome indicated it isn't easy with rivals.
"I'm very good friends with [Texans General Manager] Rick Smith in Houston and Eric is very good friends with [Jaguars General Manager] Dave Caldwell. We have no ideas what those two guys are doing," Newsome said. "So I have no idea what Pittsburgh is doing."
The Ravens may have gotten a little payback from the first round.
Newsome had his eye on Kentucky outside linebacker Bud Dupree as he slid down the board Thursday night. The Ravens GM was considering trading up, but didn't find a good deal. When Pittsburgh grabbed Dupree at No. 22, four spots ahead of Baltimore, Newsome "cringed."
Baltimore still got a player it coveted in the first round with wide receiver Breshad Perriman, bringing great relief to those in the Ravens' draft room.
The Ravens still had nine picks in the final two days, giving them the ability to get players they coveted and surprise others along the way.
"One of the best things that we have going for us is having additional picks," Newsome said. "That's why we try to have a lot of picks in each draft so if we get in a situation where we feel like we have to move up a couple spots to get a player we really want, we're able to do it."