Even though he’s now the one making the final call, General Manager Eric DeCosta will still let Ozzie Newsome sit at the head of the Ravens’ draft table this year.
DeCosta gave Ravens reporters a tour of Baltimore’s renovated draft room on the day before the draft began.
A lot has changed. The room is significantly larger. There are now massive video boards on two walls that used to have every prospect’s name on a magnet.
DeCosta used to get a lot of exercise getting up from his chair to rearrange those magnets when stacking the board. Now he can shuffle them at the click of a button.
But one thing will stay the same, sort of like a head nod to the past.
Ozzie Newsome, the man DeCosta replaced earlier this year as the Ravens’ second general manager in team history, will still sit in the same spot – at the head of the table. DeCosta will sit immediately to Newsome’s right.
“I’ve been in that seat for a long time,” DeCosta said.
DeCosta said one reason he doesn’t want to move is that he doesn’t want to have to crane his neck or turn his chair around to see the Ravens’ main board of draftable players (which he said reaches 205 players this year when it’s usually around 150).
That is true, but there’s also definitely some sentimentality to the decision as well.
“The other reason is Ozzie doesn’t like change a lot,” DeCosta said. “He still gets his hair cut on Friday, he’s on a treadmill three times a day. He only started using an iPhone about six months ago. No, that’s not actually true.
“But he definitely doesn’t like change, and I just feel like if we moved his seat, he’d be really flustered.”
The transition between general managers has been as smooth as it possibly could be in Baltimore. DeCosta has stacked the Ravens’ draft board for a very long time. He admitted he hasn’t been able to watch as much tape this year.
Instead, without as many of the day-to-day duties of a general manager, Newsome has been able to watch more tape than ever this year. This weekend, they’ll both be back at it as huge parts of the Ravens’ draft process.