It’s the part of the NFL calendar every football fan eagerly awaits. The lead-up to and three days of the NFL Draft. For the Ravens front office, now is the time for organizing their draft boards and rating the best college prospects.
“(We’re) having two more sets of meetings. The board is not really set,” said Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome.
The 2017 NFL Draft begins with the first round on April 27. Rounds two and three will be held on April 28. Rounds four through seven will take place on April 29.
The club’s top decision makers held their annual pre-draft press conference at the team facilities on Wednesday. The upcoming draft is believed to be rich in talent, a deep pool to select from.
“There’s definitely some good players,” said Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta. “We’re in a good spot at 16 to get a very good player for us.”
They own the 16th pick in the first round and four of the top 78 selections after yesterday’s trade of defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan and the 99th overall pick to Philly in exchange for pick number 74. The ability to move up 25 spots in that third round was part of the thinking behind the GM sending Jernigan up I-95.
“The strength of the draft was one reason. To move up that far, what we did with Timmy, we got the value of what we thought Timmy was worth,” said Newsome.
Newsome said he has already had some phone calls from other teams who are trying to trade for the 16th overall pick.
One position of need the Ravens could be focusing on in the first round is wide receiver. They need a game-breaking weapon to help quarterback Joe Flacco.
“Mike Williams (Clemson), he’s a guy that is probably going to go in that range somewhere,” said DeCosta. “John Ross, from Washington, is an explosive playmaker. He’ll be probably a consideration”
What about selecting Flacco’s heir apparent? What about taking a quarterback later this month.
“If we get to a point that the best player is a quarterback, even though we may have needs in another area, we’re mandated by Steve (Bisciotti), our owner, to take the quarterback,” added Newsome.
For the Ravens, they’ll take the best player available when they’re on the clock. They also say they’ve learned over the years to keep their cool from round one through seven.
“Just don’t panic,” said DeCosta. “Just take your time and consider everything. Don’t rush the process.”