Should Ravens Change NFL Draft Strategy?
The Baltimore Ravens have a long history of winning in the NFL Draft. Ozzie Newsome is a legendary general manager no matter what the future brings. The Ravens have the sixth pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and are desperate to get a superstar. Should the Ravens change their draft strategy?
The Ravens have always believed in drafting the best player available. It has been a good strategy for the Ravens. It helps avoid the pitfalls of the draft like reaching on a player in a position of need. A great player is always better than a lesser player that you happen to need.
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It is not a bad strategy, espescially when you’ve been a good team for a long time. The Ravens though were 5-11 this season and have major areas of need. Plus the Ravens have a top-10 pick. This is an opportunity that the Ravens haven’t had in a very long time to add a superstar. The Ravens must draft a player that helps them win now, and that fills a major need.
The Ravens have a good track record of drafting inside the top 10 picks, even though they haven’t done it much. They drafted Jonathan Ogden with the fourth overall pick in 1996. They Drafted Jamal Lewis with the 5th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. They also grabbed Terrell Suggs with the 10th pick in 2003. One can only hope that their selection in the first round of this year’s draft has the kind of impact that those players have had.
If the Ravens draft anything but a receiver, defensive back or a left tackle with the sixth overall pick they are doing themselves a disservice. We don’t need Robert Nkemdiche to help the defensive line, though he may very well be the best player on the board with the sixth overall pick. While the Ravens could use a young pass rusher, I’d rather have a Jalen Ramsey or a Laquan Treadwell than Joey Bosa. Best player available won’t necessarily get the Ravens the best possible draft pick.
The Ravens should draft the best possible player at a position of need. It is a simple modification to the usual strategy of the Ravens. The Ravens need their sixth draft pick to be a catalyst in the effort of rebounding in 2016. Newsome and Eric DeCosta have to be thinking about two things when evaluating draft prospects this season: 1. Do this prospect fill a team need? 2. Will this prospect make an immediate impact?
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So the Ravens don’t have to make a drastic change to their process. They simply have to draft a player that they need desperately with the highest draft pick they have had in over a decade.