In a span of about 30 seconds Saturday evening, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome disputed a comment made by Dallas Cowboys general manager and owner Jerry Jones, and shot down an ESPN report about what the Ravens planned to do Thursday with the sixth overall pick.
Newsome acknowledged the Ravens did try to trade with the Cowboys to move up to the No. 4 pick in the first round in order to draft Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey. The Ravens offered the Cowboys the sixth overall pick and one of their fourth rounders, but Dallas declined, not wanting to risk losing out on the guy they coveted, Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Jones said late Thursday night that Dallas didn't make the trade because the Ravens were going to take Elliott.
"We tried to trade up for Jalen," Newsome said. "You know that."
Newsome also maintained that the infamous video of Laremy Tunsil smoking marijuana through a gas mask was not what pushed the Ravens to draft Ronnie Stanley over the Mississippi tackle. The video surfaced just minutes before the start of the first round and was partly responsible for Tunsil, once the favorite to be selected No.1 overall, falling to the Miami Dolphins at 13 overall.
ESPN reported Saturday morning that the Ravens planned to pick Tunsil, but changed their minds after seeing the video. The Ravens were aware of the video, but Newsome has said the team had Stanley ranked higher than Tunsil all along.
"There's a lot of speculation," Newsome said. "We tried to move up to get Jalen, OK? And we stacked the board."
Ravens coach John Harbaugh added, "The thing you you've got to remember, there was a good chance that Ronnie Stanley was going to be taken at [No.3]. There's always scenarios. You never know how the board is going to come off. But Ronnie Stanley was on the top row. You can't get any higher than that."
Ravens vetted 4th-round lineman closely: The Ravens liked Nebraska offensive lineman Alex Lewis' versatility as he has played left and right tackle, along with left guard. But before they felt comfortable selecting him, which they ultimately did with the third of their five fourth-round picks Saturday, they first did extensive work on his background.
Lewis was sentenced to serve 45 days in jail and two months of probation for his role in a 2013 altercation in Boulder, Colo. that left an Air Force cadet unconscious. Lewis ultimately transferred from Colorado and played his final two seasons at Nebraska, where he was a team captain.
"We brought him here to Baltimore and we spent the whole day with him, and we were really able to spend a lot of time talking about who he is and who he wants to be," said Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta. "At that time, he passed all the tests."
Jefferson goes in fifth: Defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson became the third former Maryland player taken in the draft when the Seattle Seahawks selected him in the fifth round with the No. 147 overall pick. Jefferson was selected after the Pittsburgh Steelers took defensive back Sean Davis in the second round and the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Yannick Ngakoue in the third round. It's the first time since 2009 that Maryland has had at least three former players taken in the draft.
Jefferson enjoyed a breakout 2015 season that featured 6 1/2 sacks and 12 1/2 tackles for loss. At 6-foot-4, 291 pounds, Jefferson has the versatility to play both as a defensive tackle and a 3-4 defensive end.
End zone: Baltimore native and former City standout Charles Tapper, who played his college football at Oklahoma, was selected with the 101st overall pick in the fourth round by the Dallas Cowboys. Auburn defensive back Blake Countess (Olney) was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the sixth round … The Ravens started signing undrafted rookie free agents immediately following the draft. Their undrafted class will include Harvard offensive lineman Anthony Fabiano and Stony Brook pass rusher Victor Ochi. … Newsome said the Ravens had several opportunities to trade a few of their five fourth-round picks, but the team decided going into the round that it would only move them for future draft picks. The Ravens didn't get an offer they liked, and made the five selections.