As benevolent dictator of Trade Down Island, I am always looking for enlightened and like-minded individuals to move in and become residents of our tropical paradise. Most often people are seeking me out and asking for residence, but occasionally I spot genius on my own and made people honorary residents of TDI. With that, welcome Eric DeCosta, GM of the Baltimore Ravens!
Eric DeCosta’s willingness to make draft day trades was on full display in 2018 when Baltimore made six trades. As Baltimore prepares for the 2019 draft DeCosta has once again sent signals to the league that the Ravens are open for business. Per the Ravens official website, DeCosta made several remarks that make your benevolent dictator smile. For example:
“This draft is unique. In this draft, if you can accumulate some additional picks, you’ve got a really good chance to help your team.”
“I think if there’s a great player there at No. 22, we’ll make the pick and we’ll be very, very excited. But one thing that we’ve shown over the past years is we know how to manufacture picks. So if the opportunity is there, we’ll have a chance to trade back and accumulate picks.”
This draft day strategy is right in line with TDI’s Glorious Constitution. Article 3 states, “If you’re drafting a stud, DON’T trade down.” If Baltimore can nab a Pro Bowl caliber player at No. 22 they should stay put and take him. At the same time, if you trust your scouts and GM to nail No. 22 you should also trust them to nail No. 30, for example, if trading back a few spots will produce an additional pick in rounds 2-3.
DeCosta also understands the value of third round picks. “We’ve got two thirds, and we’ve got two fours and we’ve got two sixes,” he said. “So we’ve got some flexibility, we’ve got some draft capital. Those third-round picks and those fourth-round picks, those are gold for us this year.
Here at TDI we preach that teams should salivate over third round picks because of at that point in the draft quality players can still be found and will play on dirt-cheap contracts for their first four seasons.
Well played, Mr. DeCosta. And welcome to Trade Down Island!