After an awesome draft by the Ravens Front Office led by Ozzie Newsome, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to see if we could reconstruct the Ravens first round board. The choice of Breshad Perriman was likely the least favorite pick of many Ravens fans, so seeing the board should help understand exactly where we had him rated. We have been given some morsels of information which help us, and we can see by how the board fell who we had ranked lower or higher.
There were several clues out there, assuming that you take the Ravens employees at their word.
John Harbaugh told WBal, and Jamison Hensley reiterated that the Ravens had Perriman 14th on their draft board. If true, that makes him a coup at the 26th pick.
Disclaimer: This leads to the one assumption I must make for this exercise- that Perriman was the last player on the Ravens board with a 1st round grade. If they had a 1st round grade on Bud Dupree, but had Perriman rated higher, than obviously it will mean I missed at least one player on the teams board.
As Kevin Byrne details, from pick 18 through pick 26, only 3 players with 1st round grades went: Marcus Peters, Alvin 'Bud' Dupree, and Breshad Perriman:
"By the time it got to Kansas City at the 18th spot, we had three players left that we had targeted, hoping one would drop to us at 26," Newsome said.
"The odds weren’t in our favor. We were eight picks from our spot with only three players left on our ‘wish list’ for 26."
At the 18th slot, Kansas City took one of the three, cornerback Marcus Peters from Washington.
Seven picks left, and we had only two players we had deemed worthy of selecting at 26.
Newsome and Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta fielded calls from teams wanting to move up to our 26th slot. Oz also got on the phone to call teams above us, asking if they would be willing to trade down "if our player is there at your spot."
Ozzie was getting a lot of: "If our player is there, we’re staying. If not, what’s your offer?"
One team called Ozzie back and wanted a firm offer. We gave our best bid.
Pittsburgh, at No. 22, grabbed Kentucky linebacker Bud Dupree.
Newsome cringed. The room groaned a little. Dupree was a guy we were willing to take at 26. Only one player, wide receiver Breshad Perriman, of our original "wish list" remained. And there were three more teams picking ahead of us. Oz called the team that we had given a firm offer. They claimed they had a better deal on the table.
There were four teams calling about our 26th slot. There was much conversation in the draft room about which offer was the best, and there were suggestions about calling these teams back and asking for more in return.
Ozzie sat silently during all of this, staring down at the Ravens’ draft list.
"I was thinking about all the hard work done by everyone to make a list we believed in. It seemed likely that we would have to trade out, but we still had to let things play out," Newsome said.
"Hey, if Perriman is there, we’re taking him. He’s still there," Oz said loud enough to be heard over those talking about trading our 26th spot. "I try to stay focused on the biggest picture. We had good offers for our spot, but one of our highest-ranked players was still there."
We know which positions of need the Ravens had which were strong at the top of the draft- CB, WR, OLB, DL, and RB.
Figuring it out
So we have 2 names from the Kevin Byrne article. Based on fact #2, we have 17 spots and need 11 names who we had ranked ahead of Perriman. Some are obvious: Amari Cooper, Leonard Williams, Kevin White, Dante Fowler, Vic Beasley, & Devante Parker. Other likely players are Todd Gurley, Trae Waynes, Kevin Johnson, & Melvin Gordon
So now we are down to 1 more names, and we have 7 players to choose from: 2 QB's, Jamies Winston & Marcus Mariota; 3 OL Brandon Scherff, Andrus Peat, & Erik Flowers; Danny Shelton, and Arik Armstead.
My best guess would be Danny Shelton, assuming Shelton could play next to Brandon Williams, which I believe he could. Armstead seems way too similar to 2014 4th rounder Brent Urban, and is extremely raw. Quarterback and offensive line are by far the least necessary positions on the team. So that leaves Shelton
Based on my limited knowledge and sleuthing skills, we now have a rough idea who the Ravens had first round grades on. This would be my guess on the order:
1. Amari Cooper
2. Leonard Williams
3. Kevin White
4. Dante Fowler
5. Vic Beasley
6. Devante Parker
7. Trae Waynes
8. Kevin Johnson
9. Bud Dupree
10. Melvin Gordon (Ravens were rumored to like him more than Gurley, medical concerns)
11. Danny Shelton
12. Todd Gurley
13. Marcus Peters
14. Breshad Perriman