Given that the Ravens have made a trade in the first round of the draft five times in the past seven years, most fans are well aware there is a chance the team could trade out of the first round again Thursday night.
A deep but unspectacular class of quarterbacks may mean the Ravens receive a few trade calls for pick No. 32.
“The phone lines are open,” Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta declared last week.
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Last year, Indianapolis picked Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the first overall pick and Washington picked Baylor’s Robert Griffin III. Miami also took a quarterback, Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M, in the top 10. Some have said Tannehill would have been the top quarterback in this class had he waited a year to declare.
Instead, there is a chance that no quarterback will go in the top 10.
West Virginia’s Geno Smith is viewed as the top quarterback in the 2013 draft by the majority of NFL draft analysts. Others prefer Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib or USC’s Matt Barkley. Florida State's E.J. Manuel, North Carolina State's Mike Glennon, Arkansas' Tyler Wilson, and Tennessee’s Tyler Bray are also on teams’ radars.
But this offseason, a few quarterback-needy teams addressed the position before the draft. Kansas City dealt for Alex Smith. Oakland traded for Matt Flynn. Philadelphia kept Michael Vick on its roster. Arizona acquired Carson Palmer. And Buffalo signed Kevin Kolb.
Perhaps this quarterback class had something to do with that.
If those teams and the New York Jets, who are a wild card right now, pass on those passers in the top 10, Smith, Nassib and Barkley could still be on the board as the first round winds down.
I would be surprised -- borderline stunned -- if no quarterback is selected in the first round. I’m guessing at least one team will look to trade back into the first round and grab a quarterback they like.
The Ravens’ 32nd overall pick could serve as a last call for teams.
“What we try to do is come up with a bunch of different scenarios based on all the different things that could happen so that we’re ready to make a pick or trade, if that happens,” said DeCosta, who believes that “the quality of players between [picks] 15 and 45 is excellent.”
The Jacksonville Jaguars have the first pick in the second round, and while they drafted Blaine Gabbert in the first round two years ago, there is a chance they could draft a potential replacement.
The Eagles pick third in the round. The Cardinals pick sixth, followed immediately by the Jets and the Bills two picks after that.
To jump to the start of that possible run of quarterbacks, teams could call the Ravens, who might pick up the phone and listen.