Ravens receptive to trading later-round draft picks to grab higher selections

OWINGS MILLS — Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta contends there is a smaller pool of players that he deems worthy of selecting in this year’s NFL draft.

DeCosta partly attributes the smaller pool of players and underclassmen to Covid, which gave players another year of eligibility. In addition, the new transfer rules under the NIL (Name, Image, and likeness) have changed the landscape of college athletics.

As a result, the Ravens will consider trading a pick on Day 3 in exchange for a higher pick in 2025.

“We haven’t done it as much as maybe I’d like to do it, potentially,” DeCosta said. “We’ve talked about the idea [that] as you get into the later rounds of the draft, if there is nobody there that you covet, potentially trading that pick for a better pick.”

If the Ravens trade a late-round pick for next year’s selection, they can benefit from increased value. For example, if DeCosta trades a fifth-round pick this year, the Ravens could potentially get a fourth-round selection next year.

“That discount is actually, if you think about it, it only makes sense because the pick is a year away, but a pick is a pick, so it’s hard to wrap your [mind] around the idea that you get more for next year’s pick even though the pick is worth whatever it’s worth,” DeCosta said. “So, there is opportunity there, and some teams do it pretty well.”

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti is on board with DeCosta trading picks to get increased value and the team has the flexibility to make moves in this year’s draft. In addition to the 30th overall pick, the Ravens have eight other selections — second round (62nd overall), third round (93rd), fourth round (113th, and 130th), fifth round (165th), sixth round (218th) and seventh round (228th and 250th).

Look for DeCosta to do some maneuvering throughout the weekend.

“We always tend to look at the board and see players that we like [and] that we covet, and we haven’t done it quite as much,” DeCosta said. “We’ve done it a couple of times, but that’s always an interesting thing. I think Steve would love us to do that. He’s excited about that.

“His idea would be – not to give anything away – but he has what he calls ‘The Bisciotti Reign of Terror,’ and that would basically be that you trade a seventh-round pick in any given year for a sixth-round pick next year, and then take that sixth-round pick and trade it for a five, and then trade that five for a four, and so, in seven or eight years, you’d have a first-round pick. We’ve always talked about that, but we never get to that point.”

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