Lacie DeCosta is the wife of Eric DeCosta, who is in his first season as the Ravens' director of player personnel after six years as the director of college scouting. She met Eric in 1998 while working as a marketing assistant for Ravens. They married in 2001. Since then, she has taken more than a passing interest in the NFL draft. She recently agreed to answer a few questions about that interest.
When did you start to pay attention to the draft and individual prospects?
DeCosta: The last few years, Comcast had snippets, about three to five minutes, on each prospect. In the weeks leading up to the draft, I'd sit and watch.
The year I started following it, we picked Mark Clayton [No. 22 in 2005]. After Eric came home from seeing Mark in Oklahoma, he kept bringing his name up. He had a fixation on Mark. I took an interest because of Eric's excitement. The morning of the draft, Eric was getting ready to go and he showed me his list. He said 'This is who we're going to get.' He had Mark at No. 7. I said, 'No way you get this guy.'
What do you remember about last year's draft?
DeCosta: Last year I was petrified because I knew they were going to pick one of those quarterbacks. I was petrified for Eric because [quarterbacks] define your career. When they missed on Matt Ryan, part of me was upset, but I knew they had a backup plan. Not many people knew about Joe Flacco, but I had a conviction about him through Eric. Eric was confident. He had taken Cam Cameron to Delaware on a rainy day, came home and said, 'This kid's incredible.'What makes Eric a good evaluator of players?
DeCosta: He's very focused. He has a very competitive disposition. He wants to win and he'll do anything he can to do it. I think he's a good manager. He lets the scouts do their work and commends them for that. And he's very loyal.
Do you talk to him about taking the next step and becoming a general manager some day?
DeCosta: We do. Eric is happy where he is. It would take something that was the very perfect situation. He would do what he's doing as long as the Ravens wanted him. He's close with my family. There's a comfort level there for him, knowing if our daughter is sick, my mom can pick our other child up at school. You can't put a price tag on those things.
Also, he looks at Ozzie [Newsome] as his mentor. I don't think he'd stray from Ozzie unless he was forced out.
You've had some time to do some research. If you were making the pick, who would you take with the 26th pick this year?
DeCosta: I would pick Darrius Heyward-Bey. Everyone thinks we need a wide receiver. He went to McDonogh, he's a hometown kid. I think Baltimore would embrace him. It's a perfect fit.