Baltimore Ravens: Terrance West

During the NFL draft, I posed the question: Did the Browns spoil a Ravens' homecoming for running back Terrance West?

The answer is apparently yes.

West told The Plain Dealer on Saturday that the Ravens were prepared to take him late in the third round. The Browns, though, traded back into the third round to get five spots ahead of the Ravens and selected West with the No. 94 overall pick.

"[The Ravens] texted my agent and told him they were going to take me," said West, who played his high school and college football in the Baltimore area. "The Browns came up before them and I'm here now. It's all about the Browns, man."

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome acknowledged after the third round that the team did "like" West, but the Ravens were powerless in this situation. There was no way for the Ravens to move up in the third round because the pick was a compensatory one, which can't be traded.

Browns general manager Ray Farmer said the team jumped to that spot in the third round because they didn't think West would fall to Cleveland in the fourth round (the Browns had the sixth pick in that round). Farmer had an "inkling" that some teams with compensatory picks would take West.

According to West, the Browns did make the right move. Or the bad one, if you're looking at it from the Ravens perspective.

"It didn't really matter," said West, who grew up a Jamal Lewis fan. "I'm looking forward to (playing the Ravens twice a season). Can't wait (but) I'm going to look at every game as the same. ... We have a goal and that's to win a championship."

After not being able to draft West, the Ravens chose Coastal Carolina running back Lorenzo Taliaferro in the fourth round.
BALTIMORE -- There were only a handful of picks before everyone found out whether the Baltimore Ravens were going to draft the first Baltimore native in their history.

But the Cleveland Browns spoiled any chances of a homecoming for Towson running back Terrance West. On Friday night, the Browns traded back into the third round to move five spots ahead of the Ravens to grab the prolific small-school runner.

The Ravens eventually selected Colorado State tight end Crockett Gilmore in the third round. General manager Ozzie Newsome acknowledged that West, who played high school football in Baltimore City, was on the Ravens' radar.

"We like Terrance," Newsome said after the third round ended. "He was a guy that we had as a draftable player, and we’ll just be playing against him twice a year now.”

It was expected that the Ravens were going to look for a running back as early as the third round. The Ravens landed a potential starting safety in Terrence Brooks earlier in the third round and were powerless to do anything at the end of the round.

There was no way for the Ravens to move up in the third round because their last pick was a compensatory one, which can't be traded. Actually, the only remaining non-compensatory pick for the Ravens is a sixth-rounder, so the only way to get an additional third-round pick this year was to give up a pick in a future draft.

It sounded like the Browns were concerned the Ravens were going to draft West. The Browns traded picks in the fourth and sixth rounds to go up 12 spots and jump ahead of the Ravens.

So, Ravens coach John Harbaugh can thank his brother for not getting a shot at someone who would have bolstered the depth behind Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce.

“We had an inkling that other teams were going to try to circle the wagons on (West) when it got to the compensatory picks,” Browns general manager Ray Farmer said. “And, so we felt that we needed to jump back in before he disappeared.”

The Ravens have four remaining picks on Day 3 to add a running back.
The Ravens have never taken a Baltimore native in the franchise's 18-year draft history. So, what are the chances that streak ends this year?

Actually, there's a possibility the Ravens could draft two hometown players this week. The Ravens could select Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller in the first round and Towson running back Terrance West in the third or fourth round. Fuller and West both played their high school football in Baltimore.

[+] EnlargeTerrance West
AP Photo/Tony GutierrezBaltimore native Terrance West, a running back out of Towson, could be an option for the Ravens in the third or fourth round.
Fuller hasn't been linked heavily to the Ravens, but the team places a high priority on cornerbacks. Most draft analysts consider Fuller one of the top three cornerbacks available, and the NFL Network's Mike Mayock has him rated No. 1.

"He’s a competitive player with excellent speed and athleticism, and he comes from a very good football family," Ravens director of college scouting Joe Hortiz said of Fuller.

Fuller has been projected to go in the middle of the first round, and there's no guarantee he will be available when the Ravens pick at No. 17. While cornerback isn't a major need for the Ravens, they could use one to replace Corey Graham as the nickelback and to possibly start in 2015, when Lardarius Webb's salary-cap number is $11 million.

"We’ve always felt you can’t have enough corners, especially when you’re in a league now where it’s a passing league with people putting three or four receivers in the games," general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "You don’t have too many corners.”

The Ravens have a history of taking cornerbacks high in the draft, selecting five in the first and second rounds. This is second only to outside linebackers (six drafted in the first two rounds).

"Obviously, we like corners and we’re not afraid to take them," Hortiz said. "If there is one sitting there and we’ve got him ranked high, we’ll take him.”

There's a stronger likelihood that the Ravens will consider West, who ran for 2,519 yards and scored 42 touchdowns (setting an FCS record). The Ravens are expected to start looking at running backs in the third and fourth rounds, and West is projected to go in that range.

Running back is a need because starter Ray Rice could miss time because of an NFL suspension, and backup Bernard Pierce won't practice until training camp after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. The Ravens averaged a franchise-worst 3.1 yards per carry last season.

"Terrance [is] a guy who really burst onto the scene this year," said Hortiz, who attended West's game against Delaware last season. "He ran through [Division] I-AA. What he did in the postseason was pretty fun to watch. He’s a really productive player who has had a great year and a lot of touchdowns and knows how to find the end zone.”
The weekly Baltimore Ravens chat was not surprisingly loaded with draft questions. You can click right here for a full transcript. Here are some highlights:

Ryan (Baltimore): If Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is gone by No. 17, what would you think of the Ravens drafting Dennard or Gilbert if they are there? It would fill a need and give the Ravens a potential starter next year if they cut Webb.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I believe cornerback is the dark horse choice for the Ravens in the first two rounds. Darqueze Dennard and Justin Gilbert are the top two corners in the draft. There's a chance both will be gone before the Ravens select at No. 17. I wouldn't have a problem with the Ravens taking either one in the first round. The Ravens need a nickel back this year and could use a starter in 2015, when Lardarius Webb's cap number increases to $11 million.

Bobby (Baltimore): What's more likely: the Ravens adding a cornerback in the third or fourth round or a defensive lineman?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Cornerback. Ravens are in good shape at defensive line with Brandon Williams and Kapron Lewis-Moore. There is more of a need at cornerback after losing Corey Graham.

Mark (Pennsylvania): Is there any chance the Ravens still sign someone like offensive tackle Eric Winston before the draft? It would give the Ravens only one real need at free safety heading into the draft.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Winston played six years for Kubiak, so there is a connection. But Ravens coach John Harbaugh recently said there are no current talks with him. So, don't expect anything to happen with him before the draft.

Eric (Bel Air): Are the Ravens considering drafting Terrance West to add depth at RB? I think he would be a great addition and impact our running game a lot! And theres not even question that the kid is a hard worker!

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): West is among the running back candidates that all teams are going to be looking at when it comes to the third and fourth rounds.

Jerry (Eastern Shore): When in the draft do you expect the Ravens to draft a tight end? Who do you think could be possible targets?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Here is how I see the TE class: Eric Ebron (first round), Jace Amaro (second round), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (second or third round), Troy Niklas (third round) and C.J. Fiedorowicz (third or fourth round).