Recently the Ravens’ website broke down how involved head coach John Harbaugh is in the draft process and how much input he gets. In short he has a lot of input, but the final call is made by GM Ozzie Newsome. The article provided nice insight into how the Ravens sift through the draft process, but at the same time, it raised more questions.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti has made it no secret that Harbaugh was on the hot seat this year and nearly lost his job after the team failed to make the playoffs for the third-straight year. With a new GM coming in 2019 in Eric DeCosta, how does it change the way the Ravens draft with Harbaugh’s future up in the air?
The Ravens haven’t done much this offseason to convince you that they’ve improved much after missing the playoffs in the AFC’s weakest season in years. With AFC South hopefuls such as the Texans and Colts looking to bounce back, there’s reason to believe the Ravens miss the playoffs again, and if that happens, the writing is on the wall. Seeing as ownership seems iffy on Harbaugh at this point, do they avoid taking players that Harbaugh prefers, but instead ones that DeCosta prefers? If Harbaugh is indeed gone, DeCosta will likely get the final say on the next head coach and there may be a way that he wants to mold the team, one that differs from Harbaugh’s system of philosophy. If that’s the case, do we see those seeds planted as early as this year?
It’s worth mentioning that not one person dictates the draft board in any organization. As the article mentions, the scouts compile information while the coaches and front office add their input to come to a conclusion. From there, Newsome gets the final say, and soon that authority could belong to DeCosta. To be clear, this is speculation based on what we know about Harbaugh’s job security and the future of the Ravens.
Harbaugh’s a good head coach, but there are factors beyond his control, like Joe Flacco, that are limiting the team. DeCosta will have the freedom of moving on from Flacco as he shapes the team in a different manner. Flacco will be a burden the previous management brought in, limiting the backlash the organization gets if they bring in another quarterback.
With all of that in mind, how does that impact this year’s draft? Does that set the Ravens up for a quarterback or a player that Harbaugh may not necessarily have a need for this coming season? The Ravens likely would not purposely sabotage a season, but they may be building for a different future. I believe one way or the other, we’ll know more about that later this month.