It was the dream scenario for the Ravens on draft night. Thanks to back-to-back quarterback selections and the Cowboys surprising many with the curious selection of running back Ezekiel Elliott, the Ravens saw Laremy Tunsil, a prospect formerly pegged to go number one overall, fall right into their laps at pick number six.
But rather than take the player who many thought to be the best in his class, the Ravens instead opted to take Ronnie Stanley, a formidable lineman in his own right, but still arguably a worse prospect than Tunsil by most accounts. The Ole Miss product would see six more teams after Baltimore come to the podium without his name being called. It wasn't until pick thirteen when the Miami Dolphins called that Tunsil got to exit the draft's increasingly shrinking in size green room, a holding room for top players and their families. This cataclysmic fall was triggered by the now-infamous video posted on Tunsil's Twitter account minutes before the draft. The video starred a younger Tunsil taking a hit of marijuana with a bong/gas mask setup. Word of the video spread quickly, and it didn't take long for the teams assembled in Chicago to catch wind of what was unraveling. In Baltimore, a team source says that a team official who saw the video at the draft's beginning passed it on to General Manager Ozzie Newsome and Owner Steve Bisciotti.
So what did the Ravens' war room think about all of this?
According to Adam Schefter, the Ravens were so alarmed by the video that they decided not to select him at sixth overall, despite the fact that he was the planned pick.
It's really not that surprising when you consider how proactive the Ravens have been about personnel with off-field issues in the wake of the Ray Rice fiasco. But at one point, you've got to wonder if the team is taking it just a bit too far by bypassing their top-ranked player with a high-profile draft pick simply based on a draft night faux pas.
Team officials and Head Coach John Harbaugh have understandably skirted around the questions about Tunsil, as it would be awkward to admit to your new tackle that he wasn't the pick if it weren't for a last-minute video. Harbaugh declined to answer if the Ravens were planning to take Tunsil, and Ozzie Newsome said "No. No. I mean, there's a lot of speculation," in response to the question.
Only time will tell if the Ravens made the smart choice here. Hopefully a snap decision by the team front office doesn't come back to haunt Baltimore.