Ravens’ GM Reveals Who He Really Wanted To Take In NFL Draft

Baltimore Ravens
NFL Analysis Network

The Baltimore Ravens entered the 2024 NFL Draft with a clear need at wide receiver, but they ended up not taking one until North Carolina’s Devontez Walker in Round 4.

That doesn’t mean the Ravens didn’t intend on selecting a wide out earlier, however.

Baltimore general manager Eric DeCosta said the team had its sights set on University of Florida standout Ricky Pearsall, but the San Francisco 49ers ended up grabbing him late in the first round.

According to Ravens editorial director Ryan Mink, DeCosta labeled Pearsall a “sleeper” and was hoping the club could take him at some point. Baltimore opted to roll with Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins with the 30th overall selection, and Pearsall went to the 49ers one pick later.

Cornerback was certainly one of the Ravens’ biggest needs heading into the draft, but it begs the question: would Baltimore have been better off nabbing Pearsall as a much-needed weapon for Lamar Jackson and focusing on cornerback in the second round?

Pearsall is coming off of an impressive 2023 campaign in which he hauled in 65 receptions for 965 yards and four touchdowns. He also added a pair of rushing scores.

The Ravens showed in their AFC Championship Game loss to the Kansas City Chiefs that they desperately need some more pieces on offense, as they mustered just 10 points in their seven-point defeat.

To make matters worse, Baltimore was unable to land any legitimate offensive weapons in free agency and actually lost Odell Beckham Jr. to the Miami Dolphins.

That leaves the Ravens with not a whole lot behind Zay Flowers in their receiving corps, which means that the team may end up struggling in the playoffs yet again next season.

Quite frankly, Baltimore has done a rather poor job of surrounding Jackson with adequate talent in the aerial attack. The Ravens have done a fine job supplying Jackson with good tight ends, but as far as the wide receiver position, they have basically struck out on everyone but Flowers and Marquise Brown, the latter of whom was traded at his request back in March 2022.

For whatever reason, Baltimore continues to ignore the wide receiver position. Or, at the very least, the front office is not placing a great deal of importance on it.

That’s certainly strange given how poor the Ravens’ offense has looked in the club’s last several postseason appearances.

We’ll see if Baltimore ends up regretting passing on Pearsall, who just landed with a fellow Super Bowl contender in San Francisco.

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