PLEASE NOTE: The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
The Ravens explore every avenue for NFL draft information.
That now includes Twitter and Facebook.
Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz said the team monitors the social networking sites to see where college prospects are heading for official visits, which gives Baltimore an indication of which teams may be interested in which players.
Hortiz On Twitter, Facebook
“Twitter is a great way to find out where guys are going,” Hortiz said. “Guys are tweeting pictures from locker rooms they’ve been in. They go in and take pictures of so-and-so’s locker on their visit. Next thing, they’re posting it on their Twitter or Facebook page.”
Having a list of where players have visited doesn’t give Baltimore a 100 percent accurate idea of which teams are interested, but it can help.
When a player is slipping down the board, for example, the Ravens can better anticipate whether he will slide to them or whether Baltimore will have to trade up to get him based on other team’s needs and who they have brought in for a visit.
“It’s good to have on draft day,” Hortiz said. “That’s not to say they’re not going to take him, but if they brought him in then you worry a little more than if they didn’t bring him in.”
Ravens Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta brought up social networking sites as affecting players’ sometimes wildly changing draft stock.
A prospect’s performance (good or bad) can quickly go viral thanks to social media and thus drastically change perceptions.
For example, Arizona State inside linebacker Vontaze Burfict went from a supposed first-round pick to some pundits saying he will go undrafted after subpar combine and pro day showings.
“I think we live in a Facebook, Twitter reactionary society now,” DeCosta said. “It’s emotional.
“A guy will get some hype because he played well in one game and all of a sudden he’s a top player. As people start to really watch him and spend time with him and interview him and watch him test, he starts to deflate. What we try to do is be constant.”