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Want to know who the Ravens will take in the first round of the NFL Draft? Chances are, Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta could tell you.
He might be the most accurate fortune-teller in Baltimore’s war room, considering he correctly predicted the newest Raven for six-consecutive years.
It is part of a game the Ravens’ scouting department plays on draft day – reserve part of the board for friendly wagers.
“We don’t do the whole first round in an area where we’re not picking,” DeCosta said. “This year, we’ll probably do 1-10 or 1-15. We try to guess a little bit, but they won’t let me play anymore. I’ve won in the past on numerous occasions.”
The Ravens are currently slated to pick at No. 25, which represents the crown jewel of the guessing game.
DeCosta wouldn’t specifically reveal which years made up his successful run, but did admit that Michael Oher’s selection in 2009 was a surprise to nearly everyone in the room.
Graded as a high first-round talent, Oher tumbled past many teams that were set at offensive tackle. The Ravens were happy that he did.
“We try to project who our first-round pick is going to be,” said DeCosta. “But, I had somebody else picked for us last year because I just didn’t think he was going to slip to us. Not many people did.”
DeCosta said the scouts enjoy ribbing each other about the prospects that went to other teams that failed to live up to expectations.
“You always call back over the years about players that you liked and you didn’t like,” he said with a laugh. “There are some guys that have a very sketchy memory. Every once in a while, we have to go back to the reports in the system, because they really liked the [player], and then we read the report and he really hated the guy.”