If Ozzie Newsome weren't in the Hall of Fame as a tight end, he would certainly go to Canton as a general manager.
Newsome has distinguished himself like few others, drafting two Hall of Fame players, two Super Bowl MVPs, a couple of NFL defensive rookies of the year as well as NFL offensive and defensive players of the year during his time with the Baltimore Ravens.
His most glaring weakness has been wide receiver. Newsome has never drafted a Pro Bowl receiver, and three of his biggest misses in the first round have been Travis Taylor, Mark Clayton and Breshad Perriman.
Will Newsome remove that blemish from his record in his final draft as the Ravens' general manager? Wide receiver is a top priority because Mike Wallace and Michael Campanaro are free agents, Jeremy Maclin could get cut, and Perriman has arguably been the franchise's biggest first-round bust.
The Ravens find themselves in a tough spot if they're looking to take a receiver in the first round again. At No. 16, Baltimore could be too far down to get Alabama's Calvin Ridley and might be too high up to select Texas A&M's Christian Kirk, SMU's Courtland Sutton or Oklahoma State's James Washington.
The Ravens' options for a first-round wide receiver might be to either trade up for Ridley or trade down, where the perceived value is better for Kirk, Sutton or Washington.
Assistant general manager Eric DeCosta told the team's website that the strength of this year's wide receiver class is in the second and third rounds, where there could be "eight or nine guys that you feel comfortable taking."
The receiver prospects who could go in the second or third round include: Maryland's D.J. Moore, UCLA's Jordan Lasley, Memphis’ Anthony Miller, Colorado State’s Michael Gallup, LSU's D.J. Chark, Florida State’s Auden Tate, Indiana's Simmie Cobbs and Texas Tech's Keke Coutee.
The Ravens have rarely selected wide receivers that high. Over the past 10 drafts, Baltimore has taken only two wide receivers in the first three rounds: Perriman and Torrey Smith, a second-round pick in 2011. Perriman has 43 catches in three years with the Ravens, and Smith is the only Ravens-drafted wideout who's produced a 1,000-yard receiving season.
The Ravens have been the NFL's worst at finding a top-notch receiver. Since the franchise relocated to Baltimore in 1996, the Ravens are the only team not to draft at least one Pro Bowl wide receiver. This drought has spanned 23 receivers in Newsome's 22 drafts.
Some of that is bad decisions, in hindsight. In 2005, the Ravens chose Clayton at No. 22 when Roddy White and Vincent Jackson were still on the board. In 2010, Baltimore drafted offensive lineman Ramon Harewood, who started five career games, in the sixth round, one spot before the Steelers drafted Antonio Brown, who has caught more than 100 passes in each of the past five seasons.
If Newsome can land that playmaking wide receiver in his final draft before he steps down after the 2018 season, it would wrap up a perfect draft record.