The Ravens entered the NFL Draft with a need at tackle.
They also left the NFL Draft with a need at tackle.
But in a move that proves his principles outweigh his pragmatism (and why he’s good at his job), Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome said he wasn’t going to draft one if the value wasn’t right where he was picking.
“The way the board was stacked, you could see that three or four went right away at the top of the first round,” Newsome said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “So, it wasn’t stacked very well in that case. We were not going to just reach down and just take a player at the tackle position.”
Four tackles were drafted in front of their first pick, and a thinned-out crop at the position left the Ravens with no tackles chosen among their nine picks.
They gave up two of those picks for left tackle Eugene Monroe last year, but lost right tackle Michael Oher in free agency and didn’t choose an immediate replacement last weekend. They have some in-house kids, and could move guard Kelechi Osemele to right tackle. But a glaring need was unmet, because they weren’t willing to reach.
Panthers G.M. Dave Gettleman employed a similar strategy, even though he doesn’t have a left tackle either. It’s a risky play, and takes a confident executive to be willing to slow-play a process when too many are going for immediate gratification.