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Were the Ravens wanting a wide receiver in the first round?

Could the Ravens have drafted their third first-round receiver in four drafts?

Minnesota Vikings v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

The Ravens drafted two top-tier prospects at their respective divisions in safety Kyle Hamilton and center Tyler Linderbaum. But were they in the market for a wide receiver? According to Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta, they’d known about Marquise “Hollywood” Brown wanting to be traded for awhile.

“Marquise [Brown] came to me after the season and requested that he be traded,” DeCosta said. “And [he] was not happy and wanted to play elsewhere. Again, it was something that I anguished over for a long time. He would tell you, I think, that he and I had many conversations throughout the Spring.”

With those talks coming at the end of the 2021-2022 season, the Ravens knew they’d be losing a 1,000-yard receiver in their offense. They also had worked out the trade prior to tonight’s draft, and was asked about the delay in announcing the trade.

“You know, sometimes there’s a strategy involved with what we do and how we do it,” DeCosta said. “It’s what we do... You have to have a gameplan. A strategy. We’d had some conversations—we agreed [on the trade] earlier this week. We had a way of going about it that we thought was good for the club and good for [Brown].”

It’s speculation, but the Ravens may not have wanted the information of them losing their first 1,000-yard receiver in five years into the ether, as it would signal they were interested in adding a new wideout into the offense. After all, there were four wide receivers taken before the Ravens pick at No, 14, including a massive trade by the Detroit Lions for Alabama WR Jameson Williams. Maybe they were expecting the run on wideouts to go a bit later, or hoping a particular one would make it through the cracks.

On Wednesday, I wrote that the Ravens could be considering a wide receiver. It certainly has more merit after tonight’s conclusion.

“The Ravens haven’t made mention of the wide receiver position being a priority, be it a calculated effort to hide their interest in a player (as they did with Lamar Jackson in 2018) or if they’re confident with the two first-round picks they’ve already spent on the position.

This class is filled with talented pass-catchers. At No. 14 overall, I wouldn’t expect General Manager Eric DeCosta to draft his third first-round receiver in four drafts as the GM. However, I wouldn’t be surprised. The Ravens are building an offense for Jackson and though their style is running the football, a plethora of weapons never hurts the quarterback. Like I said, I don’t expect the Ravens to take another wideout at No. 14 overall, but the talent is there and the value could entice them.”

In the end, the Ravens didn’t take a wide receiver, instead “settling” for the No. 1 safety prospect in the draft, Kyle Hamilton. DeCosta and the team appear thrilled with the selection.

“I never dreamed in a million years that [Hamilton] would be there for us,” DeCosta said. “It was a no-brainer for us, really.”