The Ravens' insistence on taking the best player rather than targeting their biggest need adds to the shroud of mystery that annually surrounds the organization heading into the NFL draft.
While draft pundits have been consistent in projecting the Ravens to use their 26th overall pick on either a wide receiver or a cornerback, general manager Ozzie Newsome has shown that he's not afraid to do the unexpected.
It would be foolish to dismiss the possibility that Newsome will use the pick to further bolster a position of perceived strength or even trade it to add to the team's middle-round draft haul.
Until April 30, the first round of the 2015 NFL draft, The Baltimore Sun will examine the Ravens' depth at each position, the potential of them adding to that spot early in the draft and some of the players who they could target.
The Ravens will enter the three-day draft with 10 picks: one in each of the first, second, third and sixth rounds, and three each in the fourth and fifth rounds.
Current offensive linemen under contract: Tackles — Eugene Monroe, Rick Wagner, James Hurst, Jah Reid, Marcel Jones. Guards — Marshal Yanda, Kelechi Osemele, John Urschel. Centers — Jeremy Zuttah, Ryan Jensen
Chances the Ravens draft an offensive lineman in first three rounds: Low. But, like most cases, it will all depend on whether an offensive line prospect that the Ravens like falls far enough in the draft that the team doesn't feel like it can pass up the player.
In that case, the Ravens wouldn't hesitate at all to add to one of their team's strengths.
They are set with their top seven linemen, but they also know that starting guards Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele will be free agents at season's end and they might not be able to afford to sign both. Finding a successor now could eliminate a potential concern next offseason.
Possibly on Ravens' radar: Tackles — La'el Collins (LSU), D.J. Humphries (Florida), Robert Myers (Tennessee State), Donovan Smith (Penn State). Guard — A.J. Cann (South Carolina), Jamil Douglas (Arizona State), Tre' Jackson (Florida State), Laken Tomlinson (Duke). Centers — Reese Dismukes (Auburn), Andy Gallik (Boston College)
Outlook: The Ravens have worked out a number of quality offensive linemen in the predraft process.They are doing their due diligence, and it's likely the Ravens use one — if not two — of their 10 selections on offensive linemen.
Position coach Juan Castillo is known as a great teacher and the Ravens try to add at least one developmental lineman every year. They've also had great success finding quality offensive linemen in the middle rounds. Yanda, Wagner and Urschel were all taken in the third round or later.
If the Ravens can grab another solid prospect, it would provide insurance. Having a young and cheap offensive line is a significant luxury for an NFL team. However, the Ravens hardly have a significant need at the position.
The bet here is that the Ravens pick an offensive lineman using one of their six picks in the fourth or fifth round.