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Ravens prefer to field strong defense than loading up on offense

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The Ravens' philosophy has long been to rally behind its stout defense. Nothing has changed as the NFL continues to move forward to the 2015 season.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Ever wonder why the Ravens don't go crazy in the early rounds with offensive skill position players?

Owner Steve Bisciotti gave a little insight as to why during a conference call on Wednesday with PSL ticket holders. No matter how impactful an offense can be, a great defense will always keep a team in the game. It's how the Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV. Before Joe Flacco's explosion in the 2012 playoff run en route to a Super Bowl XLVII victory, it was the defense that made enough plays throughout the season that had them in position to be in the postseason.

That philosophy hasn't escaped Bisciotti. As one of the more successful NFL owners of this era, Bisciotti has a blueprint and doesn't want to stray from it. Stock up on the defense and give the offense a chance. He doesn't want the offense to be forced to out-score opponents in shootouts.

For the most part, it's worked under his ownership, which is why he let his PSL ticket holders know this fact.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Steve Bisciotti stresses the importance of having a strong defense. He doesn&#39;t ever want a team that has to score 30 to win.</p>&mdash; Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ravens/status/583404704622850048">April 1, 2015</a></blockquote>

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The more I think about what Bisciotti had to say, the more I think the Ravens won't pick an offensive player — despite my selection in the SB Nation bloggers mock draft — in the first round. This team seems to rate top-notch defenders higher than offensive players. Of course, a lot of this has to do with Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta's preference too.

Since Bisciotti bought a majority stake in the Ravens in 2004, the Ravens have only drafted offensive players with their first pick four times. Those were Mark Clayton, Ben Grubbs, Joe Flacco and Michael Oher. Only Flacco is still on the roster. The Ravens have gone with a defensive player with their first pick in each of the past five drafts.

If a high-caliber corner or outside linebacker is available, look out. It could wind up being six years in a row the Ravens take a defender with its first pick.