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Ravens assistant GM Eric DeCosta surveys mock drafts, just like most NFL fans

Crucial part of being an NFL GM: Looking at mock drafts. Football fans, you're probably halfway there.

Discussing the crop of wide receivers available in this year's rookie class, Eric DeCosta mentioned that the mock drafts indicate there isn't a superstar among the bunch.

Which begs a bigger question: Does the Ravens' assistant general manager actually spend time looking at mock drafts?

"More time time than he'll admit," coach John Harbaugh interjected when I asked DeCosta that question.

DeCosta, 45, wearing a sport coat, jeans and black sneakers at the Ravens' pre-draft press event Tuesday, admitted to surveying mock drafts -- an activity more commonly linked to die-hard fans on Internet message boards.

"I look at all that stuff a lot, because I like to get a sense of league value -- how other teams see players, "DeCosta said. "Mock drafts are sometimes indicative of that."

Despite the fact that the Ravens pour huge resources on scouting the draft, Mel Kiper, Mike Mayock and other draft prognosticators still impact their process.

DeCosta said he looks at mock drafts for trends -- players who consistently show up or don't show up a certain round. It gives him a better idea of how high the team might need to use a pick on a player.

"Just try to get a sense of how other people think about that player," he said. 
"It helps you decide when you really want to take him and what your threshold is to take him."

Most mock drafts have the Ravens selecting a defensive or offensive lineman in the first round at pick No. 6.

Seeing these projections is practically unavoidable for someone in the NFL world.

General manager Ozzie Newsome, sitting beside DeCosta during Tuesday's press conference, chimed in on his own mock draft tracking habits.

"You can't watch [NFL] Network or ESPN without getting [Daniel Jeremiah's] and Charles Davis and Bucky Brooks and Mayock's,"he said. "They all, they just scroll under there all the time."

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