OWINGS MILLS Md. — TheThey are ready to go boldly where no NFL team has ever gone before. It is the only team that can do this.
If the Ravens use all five selections in the fourth round of this year’s draft (Round 1 is April 28 on ESPN, ABC and ESPN App.), Baltimore will match its NFL record from six years ago with the most picks in the first five rounds in draft history, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
In 2016, the Ravens had five selections in the fourth round. John Harbaugh described the experience as Star Trek. Ozzie Newsome was the general manager and Eric DeCosta was the assistant GM.
“To me we were in battle against the Klingons!” Harbaugh laughed.
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The Ravens’ fourth-round picks that year were far from historic. Baltimore’s five selections — cornerbackWide receiver Guard , defensive tackle Running back — which combined resulted in 50 starts for Ravens and no trips the the Pro Bowl. Moore and Young remain in the NFL. Neither is with the Ravens at the moment.
Baltimore is now in this rare situation. Since 1967, the common draft era saw only five teams have more than five picks. This was 1968.In the sixth round, there were nine selections.
Coming off last year’s last-place finish, the Ravens are looking for immediate dividends from a very busy fourth round.
“My mindset is every guy that we take in the fourth round this year better be playing for us — that’s why we’re taking him,” said DeCosta, who is in his fourth season as the Ravens GM. “That’s our expectation from Day One; they go out here, they hit the ground running, and they play. So, that’s just the way that we look at it. Does the data support this? Probably not, but that’s what we think.”
Of the 369 players drafted in the fourth round over the last decade, there have been almost as many players who didn’t play a game as a rookie (37) as those who started over half their games in their first seasons (43). 19 of the 39 players drafted in the fourth round last year were there for less than 200 snaps.
Baltimore expects that the fourth round of the draft will be more loaded than normal. Before last year’s draft, Ravens director of player personnel Joe Hortiz told owner Steve Bisciotti that the 2022 one was going to be “pretty fat” because of the players coming back from COVID-19 after gaining an extra year of eligibility.
“I’m really excited about it because I think we have third-round value in those fourth-rounders,” Bisciotti said. “That, to me, is the way I’m looking at it and I think the grades are reflecting that on the draft charts that Eric has given me so far. You start looking at guys with certain grades and there’s just too many of them for some of them not to be there in the fourth round.”
The Ravens’ fourth round begins with the fifth selection of Day 3 (the 110th overall pick), which came as a result of Baltimore sending its 2022 fifth-round pick, 2023 seventh-round pick and offensive linemanTo the .
The Ravens have now selected Nos. 119 (their fourth-rounder), 118 (acquired by the), 139 (compensatory pick for losing ) and 141 (comp pick for losing ).
Baltimore is expected to pick five times during a period of 31 selections.