Ravens beat writer Jeff Zrebiec talks about wide receivers who might be available for the Ravens during the NFL draft. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)

General manager Ozzie Newsome on Wednesday said he did not realize the Ravens had not taken an offensive player in the first round of the NFL draft since selecting Michael Oher in 2009.

To be fair, the Ravens traded their first-round picks in 2010 and 2012. But all four second-round picks they had in those years were also used on defensive players.


That might not surprise most; even in down years, the Ravens have largely been known for defense since winning Super Bowl XXXV with one of the league's all-time best units.

What might surprise some is that the Ravens have selected more offensive players (83) than defensive players (68) in the draft since 1996.

"I don't go in with any preference on one side of the ball," Newsome told reporters during the team's predraft news conference. "Sometimes there are more needs on defense and the board is set up that way, so we stay with the board."

Despite the first-round trend, the team's long-term split is nearly even.

Heading into its 20th draft as a franchise, the Ravens have selected 10 defensive players (Ray Lewis, Peter Boulware, Duane Starks, Chris McAlister, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Jimmy Smith, Matt Elam and C.J. Mosley) and nine offensive players (Jonathan Ogden, Jamal Lewis, Travis Taylor, Todd Heap, Kyle Boller, Mark Clayton, Ben Grubbs, Joe Flacco and Oher) in the first round.

What will the Ravens do on April 30? The team appears to favor a wide receiver, tight end, cornerback or pass rusher at the No. 26 overall pick.

That's what we call a 50-50 split, folks.

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