Lamar Jackson is widely considered one of the league’s best quarterbacks, John Harbaugh is considered one of the league’s best coaches, so the next Baltimore Ravens member to get his due should naturally be general manager Eric DeCosta.
DeCosta got his start as an intern in the Ravens’ front office in 1996 and has since worked his way up the ranks to earn the title of general manager and executive vice president in 2022.
His fingerprints are all over the Ravens’ success in the last decade and he stands alone as one of the most successful graduates of Baltimore’s “20/20″ Club” having served as an intern, area scout, director of college scouting, director of player personnel, and assistant general manager.
Given his incredible career path, it should come as no surprise that DeCosta is so highly regarded in both Ravens camp and the league overall — The Ringer’s writers recently ranked their top general managers this season and two of them had DeCosta sitting in the top two:
There isn’t much we would personally change about their lists, but we do have a bone to pick with Kevin Clark who picked Bengals’ Duke Tobin over DeCosta.
Baltimore Ravens GM Eric DeCosta gets well-deserved recognition in 2022
In terms of playoff wins alone, Tobin admittedly has DeCosta beat after the Cincinnati Bengals went on a historic run to the Super Bowl this past season.
Yet in terms of consistent, perennial success, DeCosta has assembled far more winning squads in recent history as the Ravens have achieved four winning records in the last five years. In his first season as general manager in 2019, DeCosta helped Baltimore finish with a franchise-best 14-2 record, earning the AFC’s No. 1 playoff seed.
That year happened to be Lamar Jackson’s league MVP year, and as The Ringer’s Kevin Clark notes, “the job that Eric DeCosta and Ozzie Newsome did building around Lamar Jackson is one of the best team-building jobs I’ve ever seen in modern football.”
General manager Brandon Beane also gets a deserved nod for what he accomplished for the Buffalo Bills franchise, and it’s not hard to see why both Beane and DeCosta rank as two of the league’s most impressive GMs in 2022.
Behind the scenes, DeCosta has served as the mastermind for the Ravens franchise working to maximize Jackson’s strengths and maintain an elite defense throughout the years.
Baltimore is currently ranked eighth in the league in projected salary cap health for the next three years, a direct product of DeCosta’s wise and prudent moves to move on from certain players and continue to draft and develop young talent to keep the team financially afloat.
DeCosta’s particularly shrewd moves include franchise-altering decisions like letting go of Matt Judon and Orlando Brown and trading for Calais Campbell and Marcus Peters.
All that’s missing from his resume is a playoff run and championship appearance for Lamar Jackson, but DeCosta has made almost all the right moves so far to ensure the franchise’s continual success.
Good things come to those who wait. DeCosta and the Ravens may have taken the long way to build a Super Bowl-contending roster, but their efforts are bound to pay off soon. If not this year, then the next.