Even though it had already been rumored for a couple of weeks leading up to it, the fact that the Baltimore Ravens traded former second-round starting defensive end Timmy Jernigan a couple of days ago came to many as a surprise move. But perhaps what was even more surprising was what they got in return for it.
The Ravens dealt Jernigan and a third-round pick in exchange for a better third-round pick. To put specific numbers to it, Baltimore exchanged their compensatory third-round draft pick—in the first year in which you can do so, I might remind you—at the 99th-overall selection to the Eagles for their natural third-round pick, the 10th-overall selection in the round, 25 spots higher, and the 74th-overall pick in the draft.
To move up from the 99th spot to the 74th cost them a starting defensive lineman that they invested a second-round pick in three years ago. Intuitively, that wouldn’t seem to be all that great of a value, but Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome believes that they got the value that they expected.
“Based on the research that we did and the knowledge that we had, we got the value of what we thought Timmy was worth”, he told reporters yesterday during a press conference. Inevitably, the fact that he is entering the final year of his rookie contract substantially limited the value that they would be able to get.
Because the Ravens were unlikely to be in a position to re-sign him in 2018 after committing substantial money to others, most notably nose tackle Brandon Williams, Baltimore felt that they would be best-served by recouping value for the player a year in advance rather than letting him sign elsewhere in 2018 and gain a compensatory pick in 2019. But now they have to play in 2017 as a lesser defensive front.
Still, Newsome believes that having the extra high third-round pick (in addition to their natural third-round pick at the 78th-overall spot, 14th in the round) provides the Ravens, a team that traditionally likes to deal, with a strategic chip that they intend to play.
“We think it’s prime real estate when you’re picking in the top 10 picks in a round because the phone normally rings”, he said, alluding to teams inquiring about making trades. “And you have a chance to pick up the player that you really want, or you probably could trade back and acquire more picks, if you so choose”.
The Ravens are actually surprisingly thin on draft picks this year, with seven in total, minus a seventh-round pick and with two in the third. They could use that additional third to move up earlier in the draft or to add more mid-round ammunition. They had five picks in the fourth round a year ago, with three of those selections yielding starters at running back, cornerback, and guard.