Ravens Not Deterred By String of Late First-Round Selections in NFL Draft
The Ravens have consistently made their first selection in the NFL draft late in the first round or early in the second round.
In seven of the past 10 years, Baltimore has not had a selection earlier than the 25th overall pick.
The good news is the Ravens have mostly managed successful records, which prompted the later draft selections.
The bad news is sometimes players that have targeted simply do not fall to them in the first round.
Over the past decade, Baltimore's opening selections were:
2010: Linebacker Sergio Kindle (Second round, 43rd overall)
2011: Cornerback Jimmy Smith (27th)
2012: Linebacker Courtney Upshaw (Second round, 35th)
2013: Safety Matt Elam (32nd)
2014: Linebacker C.J. Mosley (17th)
2015: Wide receiver Breshad Perriman (26th)
2016:: Left tackle Ronnie Stanley (6th)
2017: Cornerback Marlon Humphrey (16th)
2018: Tight end Hayden Hurst (25th)
2019: Wide receiver Marquise Brown (25th)
Of those players, only Stanley, Humphrey and Brown are still with the team. The Ravens traded Hurst and a 2020 fourth-round selection to the Falcons for second- and fifth-round picks in this year's draft last month.
The Ravens' position in the draft does not dramatically affect their strategy, according to director of player personnel Joe Hortiz. The team sticks to its draft board and tried to grab the best player available. Sometimes, a deal can be struck to move up or down.
“I think the biggest thing we do as scouts for Eric [DeCosta], and John [Harbaugh], and Ozzie [Newsome] over the years is we try to give them all the information and stack, and give them our rankings, and our order, and get the guys in the right spot," Hortiz said. "I think Eric [DeCosta] said, ‘Whether you’re picking sixth or 26th, you’ve got to have the guys lined up to pick.’
"It’s challenging and it’s fun. You’ve watched some good players walk off the board before you’re up, but you always know you’re going to get a guy that falls to you, hopefully, and it’s exciting to watch it happen. I don’t think there’s a change in approach. It’s just getting the guys in the right order for the Ravens.”