Ravens believe in 'best player available'

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Many organizations say they always take the best player available on their draft board. The Baltimore Ravens proved it when they were on the clock Thursday night.

The Ravens used the No. 17 overall pick on Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley when they could've addressed two of their biggest needs: safety and offensive tackle. Baltimore had its choice of the two best safeties in the draft -- Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Louisville's Calvin Pryor -- and passed on both of them. The Ravens could've reached for an offensive tackle like the Miami Dolphins did when they chose Tennessee's Ja'Wuan James, a second-round prospect, with the No. 19 overall pick.

Instead, the Ravens went with the highest ranked player on their board.

"People always ask about best available player and what that means," assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said. "[Mosley] was the best available player on our board, and he would have been the best available player on our board at [No.] 10. "

I wonder what the Ravens' decision would've been if Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin was available at No. 17. Martin was taken by the Dallas Cowboys one spot before the Ravens, an order that was determined by a coin clip three months ago.

If the Ravens had selected Martin, he would've started at right tackle, the biggest question mark on the team right now. According to Mosley, his agent said the Ravens were deciding between him and Martin before the Cowboys made their pick.

When asked whether Martin was under consideration, Newsome didn't answer the question directly.

"The board was stacked very well," Newsome said. "All of the players that went before us are players that we had considered at the 17th pick.”

Newsome was more definitive when discussing the Ravens' opportunities to trade back in the first round, something they've done in three of the previous six drafts. The Ravens got offers during the first four minutes while on the clock, but there was no "bonanza" deal that would get them out of that spot.

"Nothing came close to what we felt like the value was for us to move back that far," Newsome said.

In the end, the Ravens had a choice between Mosley and one of the top safeties in the draft. But it wasn't much of a decision, according to the Ravens.

“C.J. was the clear-cut guy at that pick," Newsome said.