Ravens rooting for early run on QBs

When the NFL draft begins at 8 p.m. ET Thursday, you won't find any bigger fans of Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr than the Baltimore Ravens.

"If as many as three, four or five quarterbacks go before No. 17, that means other players from other positions will slide down to us," general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "There will be more players for us to choose from. But we have no control over that."

Many analysts believe those four quarterbacks will go in the first round. Where they go in the first round is the real debate.

Manziel is considered the best bet to go in the top 10. He could go to the Houston Texans (No. 1), Cleveland Browns (No. 4) or Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 7).

The only other quarterback who has a shot of going early is Bortles. He could go to the Texans, if they trade back a handful of spots, or the Minnesota Vikings (No. 8).

Could Bridgewater and Carr soon follow them?

"The quarterback situation is an interesting dynamic," assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said. "You could see three guys go before we pick. I guess you could see no quarterbacks drafted before we pick. It's not like in some years where you have Sam Bradford as the first pick or you knew Matt Ryan was going to be a top-five pick. It's not like that this year. Every team has a different quarterback list. With that aspect of the draft, it is uncertain."

Said Joe Hortiz, the Ravens' director of college scouting: "In terms of the quarterbacks, whenever the run starts, it's going to start, whether it's at the beginning of the first round, in the middle of the first round, end of the first round. At some point, teams that need quarterbacks are going to start plucking them off the board. It's so hard to predict when that's going to happen, but it probably will happen, and I'm guessing it'll come in bunches when it does.”

Unfortunately for the Ravens, that run may not happen until later in the first round. That's when teams may start trading back in the first round to get Bridgewater and Carr.

DeCosta was asked if there was a franchise quarterback in this draft.

"What I've learned about the quarterback position is one man's trash is another man's franchise quarterback," he said. "Everybody sees that position very, very different. It just depends. When we drafted Joe Flacco [at No. 18 in 2008], no one thought he was worth a first-round pick. He was to us. You trust your decision-makers, scouts and coaches and you draft a quarterback who you think is best if you need one because it's a quarterback league."