Sep 22, 2014; Owings Mills, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti speaks during press conference at Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Bisciotti joined John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome in appearing to be surprisingly candid regarding the Baltimore Ravens’ 2015 NFL draft plans, but in reality it looks like there is a giant smokescreen forming over the team’s intentions. Bisciotti appeared to explicitly outline the team’s draft plan via a conference call with season ticket holders, but let’s look at things in a different context here.
We recently heard from Harbaugh, who made it clear that the Ravens don’t feel pressured to take a wide receiver in the first round, and Ozzie Newsome has already declared the team ready to draft a running back at some point. Is any of this really a surprise? The team has also met with numerous players at multiple positions. For a team that drafts based on a “best player available” philosophy, none of this is really earth shattering news.
Then, Bisciotti dropped multiple bombshells and appeared to be overly candid with fans during his call. He essentially said that the team wants to take a corner in the first, spend an early pick on a pass rusher, and get a tight end and wide receiver in the third or fourth round. He backed Harbaugh’s assessment that the team doesn’t see wide receiver as an urgent need, which definitely raises some eyebrows.
But what strategic advantage would any NFL gain from showing their hand just a few weeks ahead of the draft? Zero, zilch, nada. In fact, it would be quite stupid for any team to come out and give others any idea what they plan to do. Unless you have the number one pick, of course. If anything, the Ravens are hoping teams will believe their comments and avoid drafting wide receivers early.
So essentially, what the Ravens’ brain trust has revealed in a matter of a couple of weeks in regards to their draft plans is simple – nothing. They are very aware of their needs, despite the silly comments about the wide receiver position. No matter what happens in the draft, they are going to take the best player available. And they place a greater value on certain positions than others, which makes a ton of sense.
After all, premier cornerbacks and pass rushers are perhaps the most valuable positions in the current day NFL, behind only quarterback. And the Ravens are quite aware of this after losing several of each over the years to teams willing to shell out big bucks in free agency. So despite all the smoke they are trying to spread around lately, you can rest assured the Ravens will do just fine in the upcoming draft.