The Ravens have never denied that they liked and had interest in drafting former Towson star running back Terrance West. But they are contesting West's characterization of what transpired during Day 2 of the draft.
West told Cleveland reporters over the weekend that the Ravens texted his agent and relayed to him that they were planning on drafting the local standout with the 99th overall pick in the third round. As it turned out, the Browns made a trade with the San Francisco 49ers to get the 94th pick, which they used to select West.
But that's not how it went down, according to the Ravens, who wound up drafting Colorado State tight end Crockett Gillmore at pick 99.
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"The report that we texted an agent or a player before one of our picks is fictitious," Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta told the team website today.
According to a source, West was referring to a phone call made before the start of the draft, not one that his agent got during the third round.
"I did not get a text from anybody from the Ravens saying they were selecting Terrance West with the 99th pick," West's agent, Marc Lillibridge, told The Baltimore Sun in a telephone interview. "As soon as [West Virginia running back] Charles Sims went off the board to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I texted Terrance a list of teams that I knew were very interested in him, including the Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelera and the Baltimore Ravens.
"I did not think he would get past the Ravens at No. 99. He did not. The Browns made an aggressive move trading two picks to move up to get Terrance. My hat's off to Ray Farmer. As soon as he was picked the Vikings took [Georgia Southern running back] Jerick McKinnon and the Steelers took [Kent State running back] Dri Archer. He wouldn't have made it to No. 99, no matter what. I felt like that was the basement for him and his talent."
While we may never what exactly transpired, that makes a little more sense. What makes zero sense is the idea that the Ravens would tell an agent long before they are even on the clock that they are preparing to draft his client. That allows an agent the time to inform other teams of the Ravens' plans and jeopardizes the player being available when the Ravens pick.
The Ravens take the draft very seriously, going to great lengths to hide their interest in certain players. They wouldn't jeopardize their chances to get a player they covet by revealing their interests well ahead of time.
In any event, it's a moot point. The Ravens will now be playing twice a season against West, who finished his Towson career with a school-record 4,854 rushing yards and 86 touchdowns.
"We liked Terrance," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said during the draft. "He was a guy that we had as a draftable player. Now, we'll just be playing against him twice a year."