The Baltimore Ravens are among the NFL teams who most value quantity when it comes to draft capital, under the theory that the more swings you get, the more chances you have to get a hit. Given their relatively strong success compared to other franchises with late-round picks, it’s not an altogether unfounded theory.
They are a team more likely to trade back than up, but according to Ian Rapoport, that could be different this year. He reported earlier this week that Baltimore has been one of the teams phoning others about potentially moving up in the draft—and it’s also been reported that there are a number of teams drafting in the top 10 who would like to trade back.
The Ravens hold the 14th overall pick in the draft, and they hold 10 picks in total, including four draft picks in the fourth round alone. They have plenty of flexibility to move around if they do indeed want to, so there is plausibility here. But we’ll find out tonight.
Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic covered this very topic a couple of days ago in anticipation of the draft in the event that the Ravens indeed decide to trade up, and he believes that, if indeed they have a target, it would be edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux, writing:
Thibodeaux. The Ravens are represented at most pro days, but the report that Ravens officials had dinner with Thibodeaux after Oregon’s workout seemed notable. Thibodeaux was once viewed as the likely top overall pick. That’s not still the case, but it certainly would be surprising if he gets out of the top 10 even with some teams reportedly turned off by his big and brash personality. The Ravens need another edge rusher and there seems to be a drop-off after the top five, who all could get taken with top-10 picks. Thibodeaux is a big and explosive game wrecker. He had 19 sacks and 31 1/2 tackles for loss in 30 college games. The Ravens are always reluctant to part with draft picks, but if Thibodeaux is still there in the 8-10 range, it wouldn’t be surprising if DeCosta at least made a call to gauge the cost of moving up in the draft.
Baltimore is always on the lookout for pass-rush help, it seems, and after all, they tried and failed to bring back Za’Darius Smith this offseason when he was released, even having a deal in place before he had a change of heart and got a better contract from the Minnesota Vikings.
The Ravens did draft Odafe Oweh in the first round last year, and he could certainly develop into a quality starter, but they clearly lack a true blue-chip player there right now who has proven much of anything. Oweh could be that guy, but they don’t know that he is now. And it’s never a bad thing to have two.