All that separated the Baltimore Ravens from landing one of the elite defensive players in the draft was a third-round pick.
While on the clock with the No. 4 overall pick, the Cowboys called the Ravens about whether they would have any interest in moving up a couple of spots. Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome offered the team's first fourth-round pick (No. 104). Dallas countered by asking for the Ravens' third-round selection and told Newsome to call back if he changed his mind, King reported.
The Ravens never called back, setting of a chain of events that included the Cowboys taking Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott at No. 4, the Jacksonville Jaguars drafting Ramsey at No. 5 and Baltimore selecting Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley at No. 6.
After the draft, Newsome confirmed that Ramsey was the Ravens' targeted player if they had moved up.
"We tried to trade up for Jalen," Newsome said. "You know that."
I'm surprised the Ravens passed on this deal. Going by the trade chart, Dallas wasn't being outrageous in its demands. The chart says the difference between the No. 4 and No. 6 overall picks is 200 points, and the Ravens' third-round pick (No. 70) was worth 240 points.
A mere 40 points kept Baltimore from adding Ramsey to a pass defense that ranked last in the NFL with six interceptions and set a franchise record with 30 touchdown passes allowed. That third-round pick, the one the Ravens wanted to keep, turned out to be BYU defensive end Bronson Kaufusi, who could end up starting as a rookie.
The reason why I would've done the deal is the state of the Ravens' cornerback position. Before the draft, three of Baltimore's top four cornerbacks weren't drafted by the team. That's the result of the Ravens taking just one cornerback in the first four rounds in the previous six drafts. Pairing Ramsey with Jimmy Smith would've given Baltimore its two starting cornerbacks for at least the next four seasons.
Some fans suggested the Ravens wouldn't have had to even entertain the thought about trading up if they had lost to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers in late December. Even though no team would intentionally lose, the Ravens would've had the No. 3 overall pick if they finished 4-12 and would've had their choice of Ramsey and Ohio State defensive end-linebacker Joey Bosa.