With the Baltimore Ravens attending the 2016 NFL Combine, Garrett Downing, a staff writer for the Baltimore Ravens had the chance to interview "Assistant" General Manager of the Baltimore Ravens, Eric DeCosta. The reason I put in quotations the assistant role, is DeCosta is everything but a title away from being the general manager. Eric's intelligence has been obvious since the beginning, declining interviews numerous times from other teams hoping to score a great GM. Steve Bisciotti pays DeCosta like a GM, and when Ozzie finally turns off the game film Eric DeCosta will clearly be the new Ravens man.
The video can be found HERE. I highly suggest a watch if you have the time, because Downing asks the correct questions, and DeCosta responds very well.
"What are you trying to accomplish over the week here in Indianapolis at the combine?" -Garrett Downing
"--To see the players, meet the players, get a feeling really for who the players are as people." -Eric DeCosta
The Ravens are not only watching athletes run and jump and push weight. They are observing character, and how such talented individuals handle themselves beyond the gridiron. A very big thing here, ask the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders (Ryan Leaf, JaMarcus Russell). This is an absolute must, and addressing this is great news for Baltimore fans hopes.
DeCosta goes on to mention this isn't the finale for the Ravens management. After this, they go on to view the game film from these specific players they are in favor of. Review the good and bad from each and every one. They don't wrap it up at the combine, they are constantly going.
"It's been so long since the Ravens have had this high of a pick, more pressure or more excitement to be picking this high?" -GD
"Well I think we're excited. The quality of play at the top of the draft is very, very substantial. We haven't picked this high for some time." -ED
You're darn right we haven't. Last top-10 player was Terrell Suggs in 2003. The last top-15 was Haloti Ngata in 2006. We all have been feeling the pressure of a top-10 selection as fans. Countless mock draft googling, incessant arguing among each other with what will happen before Goodell announces the fifth selection. It definitely helps to knows Ozzie and Eric, at least in public, aren't even mentioning the possibility of a pressure based situation. They are excited to acquire a play-making top-10 talent.
"How good is this draft? I mean when you look at the body of players. I mean not just the players at the top, but the depth throughout?" - GD
"We think it's significant." -ED
"GO ON!" - How not only I feel, but every fan hoping to relish in multiple rookies helping the Charm City squad this upcoming season.
"We think with the influx of the junior class this year, we see an additional round of , basically, draft-able players. So, you know, during the third or fourth round we feel like there is a pool of players that really bolster this draft to make it very, very deep." -ED
Boom, that's what we want to hear. This front office has been exceptional at selecting late round prospects that turn out worthy of accomplishing starter quality play. Knowing that Eric is confident an extra round is worth draft-able talent could in turn become a huge swing for the Ravens. We all know the team is in a cap tight year, and rookie contracts could salvage the next few seasons from desperation. Quality rookies are the difference in the National Football League, and the Ravens can make quite the push here this season.
Truly a great interview, and just from these few questions I know for a fact the front office is doing the absolute best to obtain high quality. Couldn't be more excited for the NFL draft!