Ravens draft well late in first

Ravens draft well late in first
April 21, 2013, 6:15 pm
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Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw watches the line during overtime in an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md.

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The NFL works hard at parity. The league doesn't want just a handful of teams to dominate on the field every year. In fact, that's why this week's draft is so important. 

Each year's draft help weaker teams get stronger because they get the first shots at collegiate talent after they go through a tough season. The Ravens are one of the teams who've fared well in the last several years, but even though their first pick has been around the bottom of the first round the last five years or so, they've still done well.

The Ravens have been able to make good selections with their first pick, even though it's late in the first round or even very early in the second round, which is what happened last year. Courtney Upshaw was the team's first pick in 2012, but he didn't come from Alabama until early in the second round. 

Drafting good college players is about finding the right people at the right times, and that's something assistant GM Eric DeCosta spoke with the media about in last week's pre-draft press conference.

"I just think we trust our scouts and coaches," DeCosta said. "We watch these guys starting in the fall, and we watch them in the All-Star games and the combine, and we listen to the reports, the background the information. We put it all together and we pick the best guy. It’s just kind of creating an open environment where guys can share opinions and make good decision."

GM Ozzie Newsome said the Ravens look for getting the best guy regardless of where they're picking. If they wind up selecting late in the first round, it just means they need to work a little harder to find the right talent. And that's just fine with them.