Happy as he is with the selections of wide receiver Breshad Perriman, tight end Maxx Williams, and defensive tackle Carl Davis in the first three rounds of the NFL draft, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome believes Saturday is the day the organization's future will be affected the most.
The Ravens have six remaining draft picks — Nos. 122, 125, and 136 in the fourth round, Nos. 171 and 176 in the fifth round, and No. 204 in the sixth round.
The final fourth round pick and both fifth-round picks are compensatory selections for free agents lost after the 2013 season.
"The most important part of this draft is us doing a really good job tomorrow," Newsome said. "To have those, we let players walk out of the door because they get huge contracts that we can't match, and we get those picks. Now, we have to be able to utilize those picks to be able to get some good players to come in and help our football team. That will make our draft."
Newsome trading up three spots from No. 58 to No. 55 to select Williams, a move which cost an additional fifth-round pick as a sweetener for the Arizona Cardinals, illustrated one benefit of the compensatory picks. The team's stock of selections wasn't depleted in the process.
But over the past several years, the Ravens have bolstered their roster in a big way with those compensatory picks. Highlights include 2011 fifth-rounder Pernell McPhee, 2012 fifth-round cornerback Asa Jackson and 2014 fifth-round pick John Urschel.
Tight end Dennis Pitta was late-round pick who became a starter (fourth round, 2010), while DeAngelo Tyson (seventh round, 2012) and Lorenzo Taliaferro (fourth round, 2014) have been key contributors.
The Ravens filled needs on the first two days at tight end and wide receiver, and bolstered their interior defensive line depth behind defensive tackle Brandon Williams, but still have areas of need -- including cornerback, pass rusher, and running back -- that could be filled Saturday.
"We've got some guys we're sleeping on, for sure," assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said. "There's a couple guys that we're really excited about in the fourth round — multiple guys at several different positions. I think it's really set nicely for us, especially considering what we were able to do yesterday and today. The board really kind of jelled well."
At cornerback, director of college scouting Joe Hortiz said the board shook out about how they would expect. Last month at the team's pre-draft press conference, Hortiz said he expected around a dozen cornerbacks to go in the first three or four rounds. He said Friday other guys outside of that range snuck in, meaning "there's still a couple guys left on our board that we have some feel for" that may be available Saturday.
The fourth round of the draft begins at noon.