The Draft Daze interview tour continued with the “Wizard of Oz” Ozzie Newsome, a Hall of Fame player and standout general manager for the Baltimore Ravens. Newsome has been running the draft since the Ravens arrived in Baltimore and has long been celebrated for overseeing drafts that have produced a Super Bowl champion and a number of future Hall of Famers. Here’s a snippet of the interview. Everything else will be covered in the book.
Are there any drafts that stick out in your mind?
That very first one (with the Ravens). I live through the creed of ‘take the best player on the board.’ We took Jonathan Ogden and we haven’t looked back. I’ve had a lot of great picks, but none probably none better than those two (Ogden and Ray Lewis, both first-rounders in 1996).
How does your draft preparation affect the draft?
We try to do as much work and preparation for the draft as we can, so that when we get in the draft or on the clock, 80-90 percent of the work is already done. (The other 10-20 percent?) Some of that is based on who we’ve taken in the picks before or whether you have a trade offer or not. If you get a trade offer, you have to evaluate the trade versus taking a player.
Many thanks to Ozzie for the interview. Check out his Ravens bio here.