What could have been? We will never know who the Ravens would have picked if they had traded up to #4 with Dallas. Signs point to stud cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who would have been a great addition to the pass defense.
"We had some conversations in the room and I would say we talked to a team" said Ozzie Newsome late Thursday evening. Apparently the Ravens offered their first round pick, #6, and a fourth rounder but balked when the Cowboys requested a third rounder instead.
Can't fault Ozzie for that decision. The Ravens did not get where they are by giving away top-70 picks to move up two spots. Remember, the first round trade up for Haloti Ngata in 2006 only required a sixth round pick.
Dallas also considered trading 4th overall pick to Baltimore for Ravens' 1 and 4, but Cowboys balked at end, nervous they wouldn't get RB.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 29, 2016
As special as Ramsey is, he is not a perfect prospect for the Ravens. He is a better man coverage corner than zone corner who may not have been ideal for Leslie Frazier's zone concepts. Ramsey is also very similar to Jimmy Smith as a long cornerback who is not best suited to cover quick, shifty receivers. And his hands are a legitimate issue while the lack of interceptions was the biggest issue for the Ravens in 2015.
The 2016 draft class is very deep on the defensive side of the ball and an immediate impact contributor should be available at the top of the third round. If the Ravens had a late third round slot instead, they may have consummated this trade up.
In the end the Ravens went with a safe pick in left tackle Ronnie Stanley. Stanley was the worst nightmare for some Ravens fans but he makes a lot of sense in hindsight. The Ravens are not going anywhere in 2016, no matter who they add on defense, if James Hurst is again tasked with protecting franchise quarterback Joe Flacco's blindside. There was a run on offensive tackles late in the first round so it was a good business decision to protect the large investment in Flacco early on.
There are more than a few high quality players left on the board for Day 2 of the draft. If the Ravens are fortunate enough to land another cornerback and pass rusher in the second and third round, to go along with Stanley, they will not regret the decision to forgo the trade up opportunity.