OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens Director of Player Personnel Joe Hortiz on Monday shared a little bit more on what the team liked about this year’s draft class and why they selected each player where they did. After holding a film session with reports and breaking down all of the picks Hortiz spoke about the players.
Regarding 27th overall pick Rashod Bateman, a lot of it comes down the receiver’s readiness for the NFL. His polish. Hortiz said Bateman’s pro day put him over the top.
"When I came out of the pro day, I called [General Manger] Eric [DeCosta] and I called [Head Coach] John [Harbaugh] and I was like, ‘Hey man you got to watch his pro day, like, you can definitely feel the speed’. Because John will ask that question: Could you feel the guy’s speed? Could you feel his power? With him you really felt it, his ability to just get in and out and show that twitch and strength and can transition into the burst and explosion," said Hortiz.
There is less shine on 31st overall selection Odafe Oweh, but there is uber potential. The big knock on the edge rusher - no sacks last season. No biggie said Hortiz.
"You go into it with like, wait a minute, this guy has no sacks and we have these types of grades on him? And then you put the film on and you’re like, 'Wow, this guy is really … God, he’s so powerful and explosive and holy cow'. If he was literally not even a fraction of a second sooner it’s a sack, forced fumble," Hortiz said about Oweh.
In the film breakdown a positive trait that jumps out with potential prospects is whether they can process the mental side of the game at an elite level.
"Mental is extremely important in our process - a player’s ability to learn," said Hortiz. "Identify players that can, regardless of how they can, whether it’s through reps, all on the field, through the board, watching tape. There’s different ways to learn for all of us."
That learning started two weekends ago during rookie minicamp. It will continue on Tuesday with day one of the first of four sets of voluntary organized team activities.
How many players show up to that session is a mystery. Ravens players, through the players union, announced last month that they will skip the OTA’s this year.