Ravens players keeping tabs on upcoming NFL Draft while remembering their own

When the NFL prospects become picks there will be more than fans watching... their future teammates will be following along as well
Roquan Smith Drafted
Posted at 4:08 PM, Apr 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-22 16:08:18-04

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — According to the National Football League over 54 million people tuned in to watch last year’s NFL Draft. We can expect a number similar to or more than that in 2024.

Part of the viewing audience will be those on the current Ravens roster.

"I love watching the draft, watching the guys come into the league to finally get an opportunity to see their dreams come true," said Derrick Henry. Baltimore's new running back was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in 2016.

"It’s a fun thing to watch. I remember back when I got drafted. It’s an exciting time and a new chapter in guys’ lives, so it’s a pretty special event; I’ll probably turn it on," said center Tyler Linderbaum. He was drafted 25th overall by the Ravens in 2022.

Linebacker Roquan Smith will be following along.

"I'll probably have some alerts on my phone or something. When I was a kid and then high school, then my first year or two in the league, I was watching the draft throughout – from the first pick to ‘Mr. Irrelevant.’ So, I was one of those type [of] guys," he said.

Watching prospects officially become picks will have Smith thinking back to his draft night in 2018 when he was selected eighth overall by the Chicago Bears. He doesn’t even have to jostle his memory. He can just read about it first-person.

"I’d never really done it, [but] I was journaling out in Dallas throughout the draft because I knew it just was a really special moment and I wanted to definitely cherish and remember every single moment," said Smith. "So, I was writing the things down, but having my name called, walking across the stage, it felt very surreal."

As for Henry, it wasn’t a draft night. It was draft nights. He was picked in the second round, 45th overall eight years ago.

"It was a little different for me. I had a draft party on the first night, the first round. I didn’t end up [getting drafted], so [I] had to go home and watch [the later rounds] from the couch. When I finally got that call, it was a surreal moment, a moment I’ll never forget, for sure," he said.

Every player’s draft journey is different. But they are always unpredictable and memorable.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook