Don’t be surprised if the Ravens move around the board again in this year’s draft.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome said he’s already received calls from teams that want to move to the No. 16 spot in the draft, and Baltimore will also consider the possibility of trading up itself in the first round.
“We will evaluate that when we get to the pick,” Newsome said during Wednesday’s pre-draft press conference. “It’s always based on the player that’s there, and then what’s being offered and how far we want to go back. So all of that comes into play and we’ve had some calls already about teams that are willing to move up to our spot. But they always qualify by saying, ‘If our player gets there.’”
Newsome is no stranger to wheeling and dealing on draft weekend. He has made at least one trade in every year of the Ravens’ existence, except for 2001, and the Ravens have traded in the first round in four of the last 11 years.
Baltimore also engaged in trade talks with the Dallas Cowboys last year about the possibility of moving up in the first round to select cornerback Jalen Ramsey, but the two sides couldn’t agree on a deal and Baltimore ultimately decided to stick with the sixth-overall pick.
“The other thing we found out last year is that there may be an opportunity to move up, to go and grab a player, and give up one of our resources because we feel like we can take some of the other picks that we have, move back and gain what we gave up,” Newsome said. “So I think we’ll be open [to trade].”
The Ravens have some flexibility when it comes to tradeable assets.
By dealing defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan to the Eagles Tuesday, the Ravens now have four of the first 78 picks in this year’s draft. Newsome explained that part of the reason the Ravens traded Jernigan is they now have ammunition to trade up in the first round, or to slide back in the middle rounds and acquire more value.
What Newsome and the Ravens end up doing will all depend on how the board plays out.
“I think we have to be prepared to pick at 16, and pick at 47, 74 and 78,” Newsome said. “We have to be prepared for that. But as we will start to move forward on the day of the draft, we will have a plan that if we move back five spots, who do we have a chance to get?”