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John Harbaugh reaffirms Ravens commitment to best player available strategy in draft

Throughout their franchise history, the Baltimore Ravens have been able to replenish roster after roster through the draft. They’ve been known to find diamonds in the rough in later rounds, hit on early picks, and win draft season year in and year out.

Baltimore’s commitment to using the best player-available strategy is part of its success. When discussing the 2024 NFL draft, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh reaffirmed his commitment to selecting the best player available, explaining that things go deeper than pure need.

“I feel like you’re trying to get Eric [DeCosta] … The one he won’t answer through me on that. To see if I’ll give it up and maybe Harbaugh will chirp, or he’s a canary. I’m a canary I guess.” (laughter) “Best available player. Isn’t that what we said? It depends again. It depends on … We do have some needs. I have my depth chart; there’s no doubt, and Eric and I talk about that all the time – where the blocks are and where the goals are specifically for those guys. [It’s] kind of what type of player do we need and what type of spot to build our team from the top to the bottom. There’s a lot of thought that goes into it, [and] a lot of conversation that goes into that. So, it’s not just a position. It’s not just a, ‘Hey, we need an offensive lineman, a guard, a tackle, wide receiver, a corner, a pass rusher, tight end or whatever.’ It’s what type of player do we need and what roles do we need filled? Even right through – from offense or defense right down through special teams – these are all the jobs that need to be done and who fills those jobs the best in a way that can win for us. [It’s] not just, ‘He can do that,’ it’s usually who’s going to excel at what. And that is the team-building process, and that goes with the scheme, too. So sometimes you get players that are a little bit different, so you want to move your scheme that way. Sometimes you have a way you want to play, you have needs on your roster, so you move your Draft a little bit that way. I think that’s the art of the whole thing.”

The Ravens have always done an excellent job of addressing needs, but taking the best players on their board has been what pays dividends and keeps them in contention year in and year out. The strategy allows them to plan for the future while also understanding what they need in the moment. It also lets them plug and play a quality player at a position when a starter leaves due to immense depth.

Story originally appeared on Ravens Wire