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Let's Look Back At What Was Said At Last Year's Pre-Draft Presser


Ravens brass will meet with the media Wednesday for the team's annual pre-draft press conference.

This is the one time before the draft that General Manager Ozzie Newsome, Head Coach John Harbaugh, Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta and Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz all step on stage together to address media and fans.

Secrecy naturally surrounds the pre-draft process because no team wants to tip its hand, so this press conference can often be filled with smokescreens. But it can also provide a glimpse into what the team thinks of certain prospects and how it is approaching this year's draft.

It's just difficult to decipher exactly what's true.

With that in mind, here's a look back at what Baltimore's decision makers said about some of the most pressing questions during last year's pre-draft presser.

On whether Notre Dame's Ronnie Stanley could be a day one starter at left tackle for an NFL team:

"Yes, sure," Hortiz said. "When you watch the film on him, he's big, he's long, he's athletic. He's an easy mover. He's really developed over his career. He's done a good job of it. He toyed with the idea of coming out last year, and I think coming back [to Notre Dame] really helped him just hone his game up, in terms of fundamentals, play strength. You can see the improvement with how he played last year versus this year. Athletically, he is certainly talented enough to play left tackle. He's a competitive kid. He does a good job of working with his fellow linemen on blocks. Certainly, I think he's capable to challenge right away and to step in."

What happened in the draft:The Ravens drafted Stanley with the No. 6 overall pick.

On how the Ravens evaluate pass rusher Noah Spence, who had multiple off-the-field drug issues:

"We look at everything, every piece of information that we get, good or bad," DeCosta said. "We have people here that help us make decisions, support staff here that can help us make decisions* *as well. We consider everything differently. In Noah's case, we've interviewed him at length, we've studied him and we'll continue to do that up until the draft and make the best decisions we can for the team."

What happened in the draft:The Ravens passed up opportunities to take Spence by trading back twice in the second round. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Spence with the 39th-overall pick, and the Ravens then drafted linebacker Kamalei Correa at No. 42.

On whether the Ravens have to address pass rusher with an early pick:

"I think there's some depth at that position," Hortiz said. "There's pass rushers as five-techniques, and there's pass rushers as outside 'backers. Between the two positions, I think you can find value in the later rounds, if you don't strike early."

What happened in the draft:The Ravens took Correa in the second round, and then followed that up by taking outside linebacker Matthew Judon with their fifth-round pick. Judon was exactly the kind of late-round value pick that Hortiz mentioned, and finished the season third on the team with four sacks.

On the possibility of trading the No. 6 overall pick:

"If the phone rings or doesn't ring, we'll be prepared to pick at the sixth pick," Newsome said. "Will we be open to listen? Yes. But, you have to be prepared to pick, and we will be prepared to pick at No. 6."

What happened in the draft:The Ravens engaged in trade talks with the Dallas Cowboys about the possibility of moving up to the No. 4 pick. The trade reportedly fell through because the Cowboys insisted on getting Baltimore's third-round pick in return, but the Ravens were only willing to part with a fourth rounder. The Cowboys held onto their pick and selected running back Ezekiel Elliott, while the Ravens then took Stanley at No. 6.

On the impressions of UCLA linebacker Myles Jack:

"He's a great athlete," DeCosta said. "I think athletically, he can cover probably as well as most guys you'll ever see at the linebacker position. He's gifted that way. He's a little bit undersized, [but] he's a good run defender. He's an excellent blitzer. He's a guy that can do a lot of different things; he's a talented player. But there are a lot of other talented players at the top of the draft as well. He happens to be one of those guys."

What happened in the draft:The Ravens passed on Jack in the first and second round, and he ended up getting selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the No. 36 overall pick.

On the impressions of Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, and whether size is a concern with him because he is under 6-feet tall:

"No, size is not a concern," Hortiz said. "He's got really good ball skills. He can play the ball in contested situations. He's a really good athlete and he's a coach's son. His father coached at Miami, South Florida, I think he's at Arkansas now. So, the kid has grown up around ball, he's been on the field down at the U [University of Miami] since he was a toddler, probably doing backpedaling transitions. He's very schooled, and you can see it in his play. Athletic kid, he understands fundamentals of the position, he's got instincts. Yes, he's a little undersized – everyone wants a 6-foot, 6-1 corner – but, he's certainly fast enough and his instincts and ball skills make up for his lack of size."

What happened in the draft:The Ravens passed on Hargreaves in the first round in favor of Stanley, and the Buccaneers ended up drafting the cornerback with the No. 11 pick.

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