Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Don’t expect the Ravens to reach for the stars in the 2007 NFL Draft. Teams have learned that in the salary cap era, the best way to remain competitive is to take the best players available. Well at least some teams have learned that.

And while the Ravens want to improve their offensive line, they will not take an offensive lineman at No. 29 if they’ve rated him lower than the 29th best player in the draft. They could move back in the draft and attempt to pick up another pick and then take a lineman provided he is then the best player on their board.

The Ravens believe that to pick for need is faulty and they regularly point to Todd Heap, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs as cases in point. None of those players was a need pick yet when it was their turn on the clock, the Ravens selected these players because they were the best on their board at the time. “Eventually”, as Eric DeCosta regularly points out, "those players become a need."

And as we’ve seen, each of those players picked on merit and not need have spent time in Hawaii representing the Baltimore Ravens.

Trading back is a strategy that DeCosta welcomes given the right set of circumstances and to determine the value of picks, many in the industry use Jimmy Johnson’s Trade Value Chart as a barometer to achieve equity in trades. Today, that chart seems flawed. In this salary cap era, picks are more valuable to teams than they were when Johnson created the chart. Especially to guys like DeCosta who proudly proclaim that they are in “the pick business.”


MB Genius said...

I sometimes think the Ravens reach in the second and third round as evidenced by their lack of success historically in those rounds. I do think they've learned from their mistakes particularly after staring at Dwan Edwards and Devard Darling for the past 3 seasons.

Stick to the board and may the best man become a Raven!

Anonymous said...

It's always nice when need and best player available collide on the Ravens board as it did during the 2006 NFL Draft when the team traded up one spot to nab Ngata.

Tony Lombardi said...

The Ravens are compelled to stick to their board. They invest in scouts who spend almost 50% of their days traveling the country studying players. All of those scouting reports are compiled and eventually the compilaton becomes the board. There's no reason in my opinion to abandon the many months of work during the 15 minutes the Ravens are on the clock. It would undermine a year's worth of hard work.

Anonymous said...

I believe Ozzie, I believe! i no longer study and try to figure out who the Ravens are going to take, as I have realized that you just need to trust in the Oz.

ebuckner@profootball24x7.com said...

The Ravens are masters at sticking to their board regardless of need. Remember back to last year and the patience they showed waiting until round 5 to draft Dawan Landry who in one year was better than Will Demps, even though they needed a starting safety. I like their position in this year's draft and if they do as well as they did in the 2006 draft, we'll be playoff contenders for years to come.