OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti wants to add more experience to the scouting department as well as alter the evaluation process after recent drafts haven't lived up to the usual standards, especially in the early rounds.
Since winning Super Bowl XLVII, the Ravens have drafted 17 players in the first three rounds and only one (linebacker C.J. Mosley) has gone to a Pro Bowl. In fact, among those first- and second-rounders, there are nearly as many players no longer with the team (safety Matt Elam, linebacker Arthur Brown, defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan and safety Terrence Brooks) as projected starters for the team in 2018 (Mosley, defensive tackle Brandon Williams, defensive end Carl Davis, offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley and cornerback Marlon Humphrey).
Compare that to the Ravens' first 17 drafts when Baltimore used the first two rounds to select two Hall of Famers (Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis), three NFL defensive players of the year (Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs), a 2,000-yard rusher (Jamal Lewis), a Super Bowl MVP quarterback (Joe Flacco) as well as the franchise's all-time leader in combined yards (Ray Rice) and touchdown catches (Todd Heap).
Bisciotti has a theory on why the last five drafts haven't lived up to the franchise's expectations.
"If you saw our grading system and you were in the draft-prep meetings, you would see that there’s a case to be made that we may get too many opinions about the top players in the draft," Bisciotti said. "So, if you’re talking the first three rounds, that’s 96 players. We almost always get our three players in our top 60 picks, not 96. That’s the same with every team because everybody has their favorites. If you look at those top 60 players, I think they’ve been overanalyzed."
In 2013, the Ravens had two major busts in the first and second rounds (Elam and Brown) before landing one of the top defensive interior linemen, Williams, in the third round.
In 2014, Baltimore drafted an immediate impact player in Mosley in the first round and went with Jernigan, who has since been traded, in the second. The third-rounders were Brooks, who was gone following two seasons after never developing into a starter, and tight end Crockett Gillmore, who couldn't overcome injuries.
In 2015, the Ravens tried to address offense with Perriman and tight end Maxx Williams, but both have struggled mightily while dealing with injuries. Davis, a serviceable starter, was taken in the third round.
In 2016, Baltimore used the No. 6 overall pick on Stanley, a quality left tackle, before missing on linebacker Kamalei Correa and defensive end Bronson Kaufusi, both of whom have disappointed when given the chance to play.
Bisciotti believes the organization has been hurt by the amount of experience the team has lost in the scouting department.
"When we lost those scouts, we didn’t necessarily go out and hire equal scouts to replace them, and I think that was a mistake," Bisciotti said. "I think that, in retrospect, you can say that you can’t lose those three scouts with 30 years of experience between the three of them and then hire 25-year-olds that are ready to give it the old try."
Bisciotti asked assistant general manager Eric DeCosta to add up the years of experience in the current scouting department when removing himself and general manager Ozzie Newsome.
"I think that it shows that we have not done a very good job of filling in senior people with senior people," Bisciotti said. "That’s something we are going to address starting right now and hopefully rebuild that on the fly, because we can’t wait for 25-year-olds to get as good as [former Ravens scout and current Eagles vice president of player personnel] Joe Douglas was at 36."