Ozzie Newsome leaves Ravens fans with one more “what if”
By Cory Hughes
In his final season as the man in charge in Baltimore, Ozzie Newsome passes on yet another wide receiver the fan base coveted most.
Day 2 of the draft came and went and yet again, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome passed on a wide receiver that the fan base may have coveted the most in this draft class, in Michael Gallup. Missing out on prospects happens to every organization, but that isn’t the story here, it never is with the Ravens. After making three trades on Day 1, the team was originally slated to draft at the 65th slot in the second round. Michael Gallup happened to fall right in the front office’s lap. No way they could pass on a receiver with Anquan Boldin like abilities, could they? They did. The front office traded back ten spots in the second round to add additional picks on Day 3.
After trading out of pick 65, no way could the Colorado State wide receiver slip ten more slots and land in the team’s lap, again, could he? Surprisingly to most, including me, he slipped to pick 75. He was right there for Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta to draft, again. Not only could Ozzie deliver on a quarterback of the future in Lamar Jackson, he could possibly cross off finally drafting a Pro Bowl wide receiver. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Ozzie traded out of the pick, again. Gallup ended up being drafted two spots before the Ravens had the chance to pass on him a third time at 83 and went 81st to Dallas. This left fans devastated and bringing back memories of last year’s draft when the organization passed up Juju Smith-Schuster. This go around, Ozzie had two opportunities to draft the wideout that the fanbase most desired and failed to do so. Twice.
It will probably be twice as more painful to watch Gallup go on to be a star in Dallas like it was watching Juju go on to be a star in Pittsburgh.
Gallup will be added to, what feels like a forever lengthy list of wide receivers that Ozzie has passed on
If you’re a Ravens fan, you know about all the receivers Ozzie has passed on over the last several years. There was Schuster last year, Michael Thomas in 2016, where the front office traded out of twice and failed to draft the third time. We all know the story of Stefon Diggs. Ozzie passed on him several times and instead the team ended up with Breshad Perriman. In 2014, the Ravens took Timmy Jernigan with the 48th overall selection and Davante Adams went five picks later. Allen Robinson went eight selections after that while Jarvis Landry went two selections following. Sadly, this is the same song and dance for the Ravens and their front office. They avoid drafting talented wide receivers on Days One and two of the draft as if it were the plague.
Ozzie said in a press conference that they will look to draft their wide receiver in the fourth round. But, they might have sat and watched the ball go by just one too many times. A good amount of talent at wide receiver that Eric Decosta was talking about being there in the mid rounds are long gone by now, including Gallup. There are receivers like Marcel Ateman, Deshaun Hamilton, and Deon Cain still on the board. But there is chance neither of the three will be there when the Ravens are picking tomorrow. The front office had the chance to draft their wide receiver for the future, twice. Instead, they kept their bat on their shoulders and refused to swing.
Next: NFL Draft: 3 reasons Hayden Hurst was a great pick for Ravens
The Bottom Line
Ozzie Newsome hasn’t had a bad draft, don’t get me wrong. He drafted the quarterback that will be the future of the franchise. He also gave Joe two big pass-catching tight ends in Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst. Also, a second-generation Raven in Orlando Brown that will probably take James Hurst’s’ spot at starting right tackle. But three or four years from now, when Michael Gallup is killing it down in Dallas, we’re all going to be whispering to ourselves under our breath saying: Damn, he could’ve and should’ve been a Raven.