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Fourth-Round Picks Will 'Make Or Break' Ravens' Draft


For fans, so much attention is paid to the first-round pick.

Who will the Ravens take at No. 6? That's the question countless mock drafts are trying to predict.

Ravens Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta seems rather content, however, with whoever Baltimore gets at No. 6. It's going to be a very good player no matter what.

The picks that DeCosta has his eyes set on the most are the Ravens' four fourth-round selections.

"If we look back on this draft five years from now, we're going to say this draft was either made or broken by the fourth-round picks. We've got four fourth-round picks and we've got to nail them. Our challenge will be to get four starters in those picks."

The Ravens have the sixth pick in the fourth round (No. 104 overall), then the final regular pick in the round (No. 130), which they got in a trade with the Denver Broncos last year for Gino Gradkowski. Baltimore then has a pair of compensatory selections at Nos. 132 and 134.

That's three picks in a span of five selections and comes out to a total of seven picks in the first four rounds.

"We've got to nail them," DeCosta said.

The Ravens have done well in the fourth round over the years. Here are some notable picks:

  • 1999: WR Brandon Stokley, OL Edwin Mulitalo
  • 2001: LB Edgerton Hartwell
  • 2002: P Dave Zastudil
  • 2003: DE Jarret Johnson, FB Ovie Mughelli
  • 2005: OL Jason Brown
  • 2007: FB Le'Ron McClain
  • 2010: TE Dennis Pitta
  • 2013: FB Kyle Juszczyk
  • 2015: RB Javorius Allen

Allen rounded into a starter last year, in part because of injuries, but Juszczyk is the only regular starter the Ravens have drafted in the fourth round since Pitta in 2010. Outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith was a fourth-round pick last year and could still develop into a starter, but wasn't as a rookie.

DeCosta isn't too worried about grabbing starters before the fourth round. It's the meat in the middle that provides depth and quality to the roster to supplement the stars. "I know we're going to do that with the first three, but the fourth round, looking back, that will be the value of this draft for us," DeCosta said.

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