General Manager Eric DeCosta has been with the Ravens since the beginning in 1996, and he has built strong bonds with many people in the organization.
One of his favorites was former Ravens scout Ron Marciniak, who was the team's Southwest Area Scout in the early 1990's and 2000's. Marciniak, who coined the phrase "Play Like a Raven," died last month at the age of 87.
On Thursday, DeCosta led the team's annual "red star" meeting, a Ravens tradition that was started by Marciniak. Checking in with fans from his house later in the day, DeCosta said afterward that he was dedicating this year's draft to Marciniak.
"He was a special guy, a great scout, a great evaluator, awesome people skills, funny, humble, just a great football man and very special," DeCosta said. "The red star meeting is really a tradition we have in Baltimore where our scouts are able to pick one player in the draft that they want their reputations tied to. It's got to be a guy that's clean off the field, it's got to be a guy that has character, durability, intelligence, and he's got to be a great football player. Those are the kind of guys that really make your team.
"That tradition really does go back to Ron Marciniak. I'm going to dedicate this draft to good ole Coach Ron who taught me so much, a special man, huge heart. I know he's watching the Ravens right now and he's going to bring us some luck tonight."
DeCosta said he spent part of Thursday morning on the phone discussing possible trades, but he was confident the Ravens were in strong place to help themselves if they remained at No. 28.
"Quiet day today," DeCosta said. "Spoke to a couple of teams about trades, either going back up or going back down. We love the board. We're in a great position."