Ozzie Newsome: You May Be Surprised at Who We Pick -- If We Pick at 16


Ozzie Newsome is no stranger to maneuvering around the board on draft weekend.

He's made plenty of draft-day trades during his 22-year run heading up Baltimore's personnel department, and he'll once again consider trade options as he heads into his final draft as general manager.

"You may be surprised at who we pick at No. 16 – if we pick at 16," Newsome said Wednesday during the pre-draft press conference.

While Newsome has made some big first-round trades in his career – most notably in 2008 when he moved back from No. 8 to No. 26, and then up to No. 18 to take quarterback Joe Flacco – the Ravens have stayed put in recent years. The last time he dealt a first-round pick was in 2012 when the Ravens traded back into the second round and ended up taking outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw with the No. 35 pick.

Newsome reminded reporters that he has come close to making first-round trades in recent years, and the Ravens nearly traded both up and then back last draft.

"It could go either way," Newsome said about this year.

The Ravens are in an intriguing spot in the middle of the first round. A perception exists that it will be tough to move back because there is not a big discrepancy in the quality of players available at No. 16 compared to later in the first round.

But Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta doesn't necessarily buy that logic.

"You can trade picks anywhere in the first round because there's an emotional aspect to it," he said. "Teams trade up for a guy, trade back for a guy, it doesn't really matter where the other team is. If you have a specific player that you want, you just come up and get him. We've made some of those trades where we've gone from the 20s up to 15, 16, over the years. Also, there have been a lot of trades where we've traded back as well."

What will likely dictate Baltimore's trade options is the quarterback market. This year's quarterback class is considered one of the best overall groups in recent years, and teams often reach up the board to get their desired signal callers.

Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson could all come off the board before the Ravens are on the clock, but if one of them is available,then that could prompt a call from a quarterback-hungry team looking to move up the board.

"We're right there in that sweet spot at 16 where we might get a great player, or we might get a lot of action of other teams wanting to come up," DeCosta said. "We may have a chance to go up and get a great player. There are all of these different combinations."

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