The Ravens are clear as to what they want for the 2013 draft class, although they will not tell us. The Super Bowl Champions will be looking to add the proper pieces to the puzzle that can keep the franchise as a consistent contender. General Manger Ozzie Newsome and the organization spoke in October and were already planning for the turnover for the upcoming season. Contenders typically plan ahead and make sure they are prepared for the future. Now that the draft is approaching, the Ravens have 12 picks they will utilize to enhance their team. Some of the positions of need are safety, wide receiver and the offensive line.
“Well, we’re not going to give away our secrets. (laughter) I just think we trust our scouts and coaches. We watch these guys starting in the fall, and we watch them in the All-Star games and the combine, and we listen to the reports, the background the information. We put it all together and we pick the best guy. It’s just kind of creating an open environment where guys can share opinions and make good decisions.” Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta said Tuesday at the pre-draft press conference.
With the loss of Anquan Boldin, the Ravens could draft a receiver in the first round; depending on how “their board ‘ looks, or stay patient until a later round. Or find an undrafted free agent.
“Really the whole draft, there are guys in each round that can help us,” says Ravens College Director of Scouting, Joe Hortiz: “There is a really solid core group of [receivers] in the middle rounds that I think will go in the second or third round that will be solid, dependable starters in the NFL.”
Even though this year’s draft class does not have elite talent, it does provide depth. The Ravens feel like there is plenty of talent between the 15th and 45th picks, which is terrific news for a team with 12 selections. And as Newsome added: “I think the second part of your question is true. Yeah, we relied on our scouts and our personnel department. But, I think since the owners’ meetings, the world has slowed down for all of us. We’ve been able to have some great meetings last week where we got the coaches involved. I think the coaches are still able to do some football in the morning and then do draft and free agency in the afternoon. So, I think we have been able to catch up right now, and I feel very good about where we are, getting ready to get started next Thursday.”
The difference between contenders and pretenders is the leaders in the organization and the planning that goes into the success. Just remember, contenders make it happen and pretenders wait for it to happen.