More Time Than Ever To Evaluate Draft

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General Manager Ozzie Newsome created a bit of buzz when he was spotted at East-West Shrine Game practices this week.

"No wonder the Ravens draft so well," tweeted Tony Pauline of draftinsider.net. 

It's usually not an event that Newsome attends. Usually he's busy at the Under Armour Performance center watching the Ravens get ready for playoff games. 

This year, however, Newsome, the Ravens scouting department and coaches have more time than ever to prepare for the draft. Combine the Ravens not making the playoffs with the draft moving back two weeks, and Baltimore has five months and a week to prepare. 

"It gives us more time to prepare," Newsome said at the State of the Ravens press conference last week. "It will allow our coaches to have more time to get involved in the draft because of the two additional weeks." 

The Senior Bowl, which begins today, is the next step for the Ravens scouting department. The NFL Scouting Combine begins Feb. 19 and the draft is scheduled for May 8-10. 

This is an especially crucial year for the Ravens as they'll have their highest first-round pick (either No. 16 or No. 17) since 2008, when they had the No. 8 pick before trading back (and then back up) to grab quarterback Joe Flacco at No. 18.

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