Ravens were planning running back additions before Rice’s arrest


Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome said Wednesday that he has received calls from teams interested in moving up to the 17th pick in the first round.

If they do strike a deal, some of the compensation might be used to add a running back to the roster.

During his pre-draft press conference, Newsome also answered questions about running back Ray Rice. Rice is facing a third-degree aggravated assault charge that could lead him to miss time during the season, but Newsome said on Wednesday that Rice’s status wasn’t going to factor into their draft plans because running back was already a position they wanted to upgrade.

“We feel like we needed to add some depth at that potion coming out of the 2013 season,” Newsome said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com.

You can understand why Newsome felt that way based on the 2013 performance turned in by Rice and Bernard Pierce, who had shoulder surgery after the season. They signed Justin Forsett as a free agent, but there’s definitely room for improvement and increased competition can only help provide it.