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The Baltimore Ravens have a history of success in the NFL Draft. In fact, the New York Post recently named the Ravens as the best drafting team over the last five years. There is no doubting the team’s success at most positions but the one glaring omission from their track record is wide receiver. It’s not like the Ravens haven’t used picks to select receivers though.
Baltimore used a first-round pick on Marquise Brown two years ago. Just last season the team invested a third-round pick to select Devin Duvernay. Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta knows the team needs to do a better job picking receivers. But his big picture approach keeps things in perspective.
“I’m aware that there’s some fan discontent with our wide receivers in our drafting and all of that. But in general, I look at our record and how we win games and how we play football. I’m proud of the team,” DeCosta said during a pre-draft virtual press conference.
Brown has posted seven and eight touchdowns respectively in the last two seasons. He has shown signs of being a dangerous receiver. Duvernay didn’t have a huge impact as a rookie but DeCosta firmly believes there are big things ahead for the team’s young receivers.
“We have some really good, young receivers. It’s insulting to these guys when they hear that we don’t have any receivers. It’s quite insulting. I’m insulted by it, too, to be honest. I think we have some guys that want to show everybody what they can do,” DeCosta said.
The Ravens brass acknowledged that this year’s draft class is deep and has a variety of player types to chose from.
“There are more and more players coming out of the position that are developed, and the way the college game is going, I think we’re going to continue to see it. It’s a unique class, because there’s versatility in the class. There are a lot of outside guys. There are a ton of slot players,” said Joe Hortiz, director of college scouting for the Ravens.
“There’s value throughout the Draft. Our board is stacked throughout. There are not a couple high guys and then a gap. There’s a nice column with a lot of names in it. It’s exciting as a scout to look up there and say, ‘Hey. If we have an opportunity to take a guy high, it’s going to be awesome.’
“There’s going to be a guy we like, but there’s also going to be an opportunity in those middle rounds, much like there was last year for us, to take players that we like.’ So, it’s nice to go into a Draft knowing that throughout the Draft, there’s going to be options for us.”
Some analysts predict a total of 15 receivers will be selected within the first two rounds. It would come as no surprise if Baltimore used their first-round pick on a receiver this year. There are two options projected to be available. Those options include: LSU’s Terrace Marshall and Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman. Hortiz offered his take on both of them.
“In terms of [Rashod] Bateman and [Terrace] Marshall [Jr.], both [are] talented guys who have some versatility,” Hortiz said.
“Marshall has played outside and then moved inside. Bateman did the same thing in each of the past two years. So, they’ve showed off their ability to play from different spots of the offense— both [are] talented guys. A little different at what they do best, but certainly two guys that we have our eye on.”