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Baltimore Ravens focused on NFL Draft with holes to fill: 'Destination is September, not May'

Baltimore Ravens turn attention toward NFL Draft
Baltimore Ravens turn attention toward NFL Draft 01:43

BALTIMORE - Historically, the Baltimore Ravens have built through the NFL Draft.

They have nine selections over three days of the draft which starts on April 25.

General Manager Eric DeCosta and Head Coach John Harbaugh spoke on Tuesday about their draft picks, including their first pick at No. 30 overall in the first round.

The Ravens have holes to fill through the draft. 

They lost three starters from last year's offensive line. Linebacker Patrick Queen signed with Pittsburgh, safety Geno Stone is in Cincinnati and Jadeveon Clowney is with the Carolina Panthers.

"We feel that's the best way to build your team long-term," DeCosta said.

DeCosta said that picking early and late are the same, but it's about having the players you want to be there when your pick comes around.

"You just hope and pray that one of those top 20 guys might be there for us at 30, so we have some additional value associated with that," DeCosta said. "If there is a player that is there that we think is too good to pass up on, we are going to take that player." 

After losing several key players in free agency, the Ravens have positions to bolster.

"Some years you're going to lose more free agents, but you're going to pick up more compensatory picks," Harbaugh said. "Two years from now you're going to have more picks in the draft, you're going to get younger and have younger players who cost less, but you're going to have to pay the guys who turned out to be great players that you want to keep. That ongoing process is all a part of this whole big picture."

The draft is a part of building the Ravens' roster, but it will not be the end.

The Ravens made a splash in free agency by signing Pro Bowl running back Derrick Henry. They also re-signed Justin Madubuike

"I think we are really just getting started," DeCosta said. "A big part of that is certainly going to be the draft, but the destination is September, not May."

DeCosta said staff will be working to finalize their draft board over the next couple of days.

The Ravens won the AFC North in 2023 and advanced to the AFC Championship Game before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs.

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