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John Harbaugh: We Won't Chase Needs

The Ravens have maintained a consistent message throughout this year's pre-draft process.

They will not target a particular position – at least not one that they'll admit publicly – and they could go in a number of directions with the No. 26 pick. General Manager Ozzie Newsome even shied away from identifying particular needs like he has in the past, instead saying the Ravens "want to build that really, really strong 53-man squad."

Head Coach John Harbaugh reiterated that attitude in a recent interview where he stressed that the Ravens won't use the draft to simply fill the remaining holes on the roster.

"The key thing is not chasing needs," Harbaugh said. "You can't chase a need."

The most dissected areas where the Ravens could look to spend an early draft pick are at wide receiver, tight end, cornerback and pass rusher. The Ravens need depth and playmakers at all of those spots, but team brass won't go after the position while giving up on talent.

"What's really important is to make sure that we add a really good player," Harbaugh said. "We can't afford to say, 'Check off the box in April,' and then be disappointed in September, which happens in the draft sometimes.

"The most important thing is that whoever we take, we get a good player."

The message this year jives with Baltimore's long-held philosophy to take the best player available. That was evident last year when the Ravens drafted inside linebacker C.J. Mosley with the 17th-overall pick, despite having other more dire roster needs. The Ravens said at the time that Mosley was the highest player on the board, and he ended up becoming a rookie Pro Bowler.

The Ravens look poised to take that same approach into this year's draft.

"If you're saying we're going to pass up these 15 other players who we know are better, to go after this hole that we have to fill, that's not a recipe for success," Harbaugh said.

"If two guys are close, we're probably going to take the need guy, for sure. Now, we have to make those decisions. What's close? Who would we take over who in what circumstance? That's what we have to work out in the next few weeks."

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