“This draft is unique,” DeCosta said. “In this draft, if you can accumulate some additional picks, you’ve got a really good chance to help your team.”
“Every draft is different,” DeCosta said. “Some drafts, we’re sure the phone is going to ring and it doesn’t. Last year, it rang too much. We could have made 20 trades. We could still be trading.”
“I think if there’s a great player there at No. 22, we’ll make the pick and we’ll be very, very excited,” DeCosta said.
“But one thing that we’ve shown over the past years is we know how to manufacture picks. So if the opportunity is there, we’ll have a chance to trade back and accumulate picks.”
“We’ve got two thirds, and we’ve got two fours and we’ve got two sixes. So we’ve got some flexibility, we’ve got some draft capital,” he said.
“Those third-round picks and those fourth-round picks, those are gold for us this year. In this draft, having four picks in those two rounds, that’s an ideal situation to be in.”
DeCosta currently owns eight total draft picks. Baltimore made 12 selections in 2018, seven in 2017, 11 in 2016 and nine in 2015.
Eric DeCosta: We’ve Got to Take Chances at Wide Receiver - Clifton Brown
The Ravens have drafted three wide receivers in the first round three times: Travis Taylor (2000), Mark Clayton (2005) and Breshad Perriman (2015). Baltimore has selected two wide receivers in the first three rounds since 2008: Perriman and Torrey Smith (2011).
“One of the biggest things that we have to do is just take some at-bats and swing,” DeCosta said. “It’s hard to be a .400 hitter if you’re only at bat twice. We’ve got to take some chances. We’ve got to find some guys that we like and try to appreciate the really good football players, the guys that make plays.”
“Receivers come in all different shapes and sizes,” DeCosta said. “Some guys are big and physical. Some guys are fast and run good routes. Other guys catch the ball really well. Other guys drop three or four balls but catch six or seven touchdowns. It really comes down to finding the guys that fit who we are, that we like, who can help us win football games.”
The Ravens are seemingly looking for wideouts every offseason. Combined with the relative lack of early round investment, most veterans signed recently have had short stints in Baltimore. Adding continuity at the position would benefit young quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Why You Should Bet the Ravens Right Now - Geoff Schwartz
Baltimore Ravens Under 8.5 Wins
The Ravens went 6-1 over their final seven regular-season games to win the AFC North and host a playoff game, which they promptly lost to the Chargers.
Their third-ranked defense in Football Outsiders’ DVOA led the way over that streak. They harassed quarterbacks, stopped the run and forced turnovers. Well, that defense is going to look different on paper heading into 2019.
The Ravens lost three linebackers to free agency, including decorated pass rusher Terrell Suggs. They did replace Eric Weddle with Earl Thomas, but as it stands, their defense is worse. I’d also expect some regression with a tougher schedule: Cleveland is much improved, Pittsburgh will be just fine without Antonio Brown and they add the NFC West and AFC East to the mix, plus Kansas City and Houston.
Yet, while the defense could regress, it should still be a top-10 unit.
The biggest worry is at quarterback and with their offensive scheme.
Notably, the Ravens 2017 defense ranked 5th in DVOA with nearly identical personnel as the 2018 unit. Coordinator Don Martindale will have an opportunity to prove his scheme can be effective with new players in 2019.
PFF’s head-to-head 2019 NFL Mock Draft - Mike Renner
22. Baltimore Ravens – Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
“Offensive lineman gets more value in the Ravens potential run-heavy offense and Ford fits the need.”
Ford has the potential to develop into an All-Pro guard. Furthermore, his ability to play right tackle could provide a long-term contingency plan if Ronnie Stanley does not agree to a contract extension with Baltimore.