Commanders trying to copy Ravens by stealing respected executive

Washington wants some of what Baltimore has been cooking.
Baltimore Ravens vs Washington Commanders
Baltimore Ravens vs Washington Commanders / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

Whenever you have any iota of success in the NFL, teams around this copycat league will try everything in their power to vacuum up all the available talent from one of those gold star franchises. The Baltimore Ravens have been experiencing this firsthand in the last few months.

The Los Angeles Chargers are trying to copy the Ravens in an almost desperate fashion. After hiring Joe Hortiz to be their GM and naming a Harbaugh brother as head coach, LA brought on Greg Roman as their offensive coordinator. Free agent signings include former Ravens like Hayden Hurst, Gus Edwards, and JK Dobbins also joined the mix.

The Washington Commanders are as far away from Baltimore as possible, as they followed their local rivals' standout season with a 4-13 season that led to them cleaning house. New GM Adam peters already has his franchise quarterback in Jayden Daniels, and he wants a Ravens executive to round out his front office.

After not renewing the contract of senior director of player personnel Eric Stokes, Washington is targeting Ravens director of college scouting David Blackburn as a possible replacement. As if the Chargers trying to become Baltimore West wasn't enough, the local rivals are trying to take a top Ravens executive.

Commanders trying to hire David Blackburn away from from Ravens

Blackburn is a well-respected member of the Ravens' front office. Having joined Eric DeCosta and Ozzie Newsome in 2007 and spending more than a decade as an area scout, Blackburn earned a promotion to national scout in 2020 and director of college scouting in 2022.

If Blackburn had a hand in the past two Ravens drafts, he could be a home-run hire for Washington. His first-ever first-round draft choice in Zay Flowers appears to be a possible No. 1 wide receiver for the future, and a 2024 class led by Nate Wiggins has drawn rave reviews from across the NFL landscape.

The Commanders are trying to replicate a formula that has had some success in the last few decades. Bears assistant GM Ian Cunningham and Jets GM Joe Douglas are both former Ravens personnel members, and Hortiz was regarded as one of the rising stars in this industry.

While it might take just a bit longer for Daniels to make the Washington-Baltimore rivalry more competitive, it seems like Peters is falling back on the wise strategy of doing whatever John Harbaugh and Baltimore have been perfecting over the years.