When the second round of the NFL Draft opened Friday night, linebackers Myles Jack and Noah Spence were two of the most discussed players still left on the board. Both defenders had been linked to the Ravens in mock drafts over the last few months, with some even suggesting Baltimore could target them with the sixth-overall pick.
But when the Ravens were on the clock with Jack and Spence still available, General Manager Ozzie Newsome decided to make a pair of trades to move back in the second round and allow other teams to take the two players.
The first trade happened with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who gave the Ravens an extra fifth-round pick (No. 146) to move up two spots and take Jack. Newsome then worked out a deal with the Dolphins to move back four more spots in exchange for an additional fourth rounder (No. 107).
The Ravens ultimately took Boise State outside linebacker Kamalei Correa at No. 42. Newsome explained that the decision to pass up Jack and Spence just came down to their board.
“[Spence] was in play, but [Correa] was higher on our board,” Newsome said.
Jack tumbled out of the first round because of a knee injury that cost him most of last season. Newsome said the Ravens didn’t remove Jack from their draft board, but they weren’t willing to take him with No. 36 pick.
“There was a point between tonight and tomorrow that we would have taken Myles Jack,” Newsome said.
In moving back in the second round, the Ravens still got a highly graded player and also added two more draft picks. Baltimore now has five fourth-round picks and eight total picks Saturday.
“To be honest, the guys that we had started out the day that we wanted to pick, all but one were still on the board when we made the trades. That leads you to make trades,” Newsome said. “You can acquire picks and still be able to get the one or two players that you had picked at the beginning, so that’s why we did it.”
The Ravens were in a trading mood Friday, and Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta joked that the Ravens might try to trade the rest of their picks to rack up a couple dozen selections in next year’s draft.
They could also try to go the other direction and package some of their picks to move up in the fourth round. The Ravens tried to trade some of their later picks to get back into the second round Friday after selecting Correa at No. 42, but they couldn’t find any takers. They also tried to get back into the end of the first round Thursday night, but didn’t work out a deal either.
As Newsome and the Ravens prepare for the final day of the draft, the Ravens general manager hinted that more trades could be coming. The Ravens hold some valuable assets, and that may entice teams around the league to make some deals.
“I will say that because we have all those picks, our phones will be ringing again,” Newsome said. “Whether we’ll use all five picks, I don’t know. The opportunity to take some of those picks and roll it into 2017 could present itself.”