Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome said this afternoon that he’s extremely confident a player he likes a lot will be there with the 29th overall pick in the draft — but he’s not as confident that the Ravens will stay at 29, and he’s already talking to other teams about potential trades.
“The board is set, and we’re comfortable with all the work that went into it,” Newsome told the team’s website this afternoon. “We’ve identified nine players we believe could be there at 29. We’ve taken those nine players and did some extra study on each. We had each of our scouts look extensively at these players. We then matched up all of these against the others and played the game of: ‘If this player and that player are there, who do we select and why. That’s a real good discussion and takes some time. We get the coaches involved. We get matchups of this offensive player versus this defensive player. We go through as many possibilities that we can think of.”
Newsome said that in addition to researching players, the Ravens think they’ve done enough research about what other NFL teams are planning to do that they can be certain all nine of their favored players won’t be gone by the time the 29th pick is on the clock.
“Not going to happen,” Newsome said of potentially missing on all nine of his guys. “I’d be surprised if there aren’t four or five of these players still there at 29. We have a lot of information about the players and the leanings of the teams in front of us. We’ve done our homework.”
If the Ravens are confident that four or five guys they like will be there at 29, the best move might be to trade back into the early second round — if they can find a trading partner. Newsome is open to that and has already talked about trading down, but he has also talked about trading up.
“I’ve already heard from three teams ahead of us and two teams behind us who have some interest in moving,” Newsome said.
Given Newsome’s draft-day track record, Ravens fans can be confident Newsome will make the right call.