Ravens GM Eric DeCosta On Why Trading Up Into Second Round Is Unlikely

After standing pat and making two picks in the first round on the opening night of the NFL Draft, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta is expecting a long, agonizing wait before the Ravens are on the clock again on the second night of the draft April 30.

The Ravens traded their second-round pick to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Orlando Brown deal, so barring any move back up into the second round, the Ravens aren’t on the clock again until pick No. 94 — a pick that came from the Chiefs in that trade. They also have their own third-round pick at No. 104 as well.

Two years ago, the Ravens were without a second-round pick after trading it in the deal that landed Lamar Jackson in Baltimore, and after watching a host of talented players fly off the board in Round 2 that year, DeCosta said, “Not having a second-round pick is a challenge. We knew this was going to happen … but it was frustrating.”

DeCosta said it’s unlikely the Ravens will trade up into the second round, citing the draft costs that would be required for such a move. That means some players who slipped through the first round undrafted, including Oklahoma State tackle Teven Jenkins, TCU safety Trevon Moehrig and Alabama center Landon Dickerson, will likely be long gone by the time the Ravens pick again.

But, DeCosta said, “We’ve had a lot of success in the third round over the years. I think we feel really good as a team right now and what our choices will be [Friday].”

The Ravens have seven picks remaining — two each in Rounds 3, 4 and 5 and one in Round 6 — so packaging a deal to climb higher into the third round would be more likely than a jump into the second. Or, the Ravens could stand pat again and try to add two players from a draft class that DeCosta has said is filled with starting-caliber players at multiple positions through three rounds.

If he holds on to both picks, DeCosta will be hoping for third-round success like he enjoyed in 2018, when the Ravens landed a pair of future Pro Bowl selections in tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and tight end Mark Andrews. Guard Marshal Yanda (2007) and defensive lineman Brandon Williams (2013) were also third-round picks.

Overall, the third round has been, predictably, hit-or-miss territory. Last year, the Ravens enjoyed a four-player haul that, after one season, looks promising. Here are the Ravens’ third-round picks in the past five years:

2016: DE Bronson Kaufusi
2017: DE Chris Wormley, OLB Tim Williams
2018: T Orlando Brown, TE Mark Andrews
2019: OLB Jaylon Ferguson, WR Miles Boykin
2020: DL Justin Madubuike, WR Devin Duvernay, ILB Malik Harrison, OL Tyre Phillips

With the Ravens filling positions of need at wide receiver and edge rusher, the offensive line remains the top area of concern entering Day 2 of the draft, and it’s possible the Ravens will find an offensive lineman they like in the third round. DeCosta, though, won’t be pigeonholed into taking any one position at any specific time.

“We are not a team that’s going to draft need specifically,” he said. “We’re going to draft the best player available. It’s been that way for 25 years.”

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Bo Smolka

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