Ravens address pre-draft options

Ravens top prospect pickers share thoughts on upcoming NFL Draft
Ravens Pre-Draft
Posted at 6:01 PM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-05 18:45:01-04

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — It is once again Eric DeCosta’s favorite time of year: draft time.

"For us the draft will always be, as long as I’m here, really the foundation of what we do," said the Ravens general manager.

DeCosta, head coach John Harbaugh and director of player personnel Joe Hortiz held court Tuesday talking all things NFL Draft. The Ravens currently own the 14th overall selection as well as numbers 45, 76 and 100. They also have six selections on day three of the draft. They own five in the fourth round. They anticipate making the most of them.

"My mindset is every guy we take in the fourth round this year better be playing for us. That’s why we’re taking them. That’s our expectation from day one," said DeCosta.

Ravens Draft Picks as of April 5, 2022
Ravens 2022 draft picks as of April 5, 2022

Among their needs is offensive line help, especially at center.

"We see four, five guys that we like that might not be first round-type picks. They might be second, third, fourth round guys that we think would be good players at center this year," said the G.M.

They could also potentially need more depth at left tackle. DeCosta said the team isn’t sure how Ronnie Stanley will rebound from another ankle surgery.

"We feel that there is an opportunity in the draft to address the tackle spot at some point, whether it's in the first round or the fourth round," he said. "There are good players all throughout this year. It’s a very, very deep position class."

As is another area of need: edge rusher.

"I’d say it’s a deep class and we’ll have targets in each round early on, pretty much early through day three," said Hortiz.

What about the local prospects? Like every year there are plenty of players with Maryland ties turning pro. Tight end Chig Okonkwo and safety Nick Cross are both Maryland Terrapins and both expect to hear their names called in the second or third rounds.

"So, with Chig, he’s a probably a little undersized. Not your 6’5” tight end. But, I think he offers some versatility especially how we are creative with our tight ends," said Hortiz. "With Nick, another guy with excellent size for the position at the safety position. Really great range, a physical player."

Of course one must not delve too much into any pre-draft comments. It is always tough to tell what is fact and what is fiction as the Ravens brass tries to play mind games with other teams around the league.

The NFL Draft gets underway with the first round on April 28th and runs through April 30. You can watch the entire draft live on WMAR.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook