From fans to mock drafts, the Baltimore Ravens have been linked to wide receivers and cornerbacks in the first round.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti has a different idea.
“I’m going to throw you a curve ball, and I’m going to tell you pass rusher,” Bisciotti told season-ticket holders Wednesday night.
The Ravens lost Pernell McPhee to the Chicago Bears in free agency, and Bisciotti understands the importance to find someone else to pair with Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs. Two of the Ravens' top pass-rushing defenses came when they had three players harassing quarterbacks.
In 2006, when the Ravens recorded 60 sacks, it was Suggs, Adalius Thomas and Trevor Pryce. Last season, when the Ravens sacked the quarterback 49 times, it was Dumervil, Suggs and McPhee.
"I believe that it's probably the quietest need that we have," Bisciotti said. "If we can take a half of a second off his available time to throw, then we will find some corners in the second, third or fourth round that can play up to that."
The Ravens have pre-draft visits scheduled with Nebraska's Randy Gregory and Missouri's Shane Ray, but both are expected to be gone before the Ravens draft at No. 26 overall. Two pass rushers who should be available late in the first round are Virginia's Eli Harold and Kentucky's Bud Dupree.
"I'm with you all, I hope it's a corner. But I wouldn't be too upset if it was a pass rusher," Bisciotti told fans. "You can't do it with two [pass rushers] anymore. These offenses are too good at pushing them wide."
The other option currently on the roster is Courtney Upshaw, but he only has three career sacks in three seasons. This is why Bisciotti believes adding a pass rusher is among the Ravens' priorities, even if wide receiver and cornerback attract more attention.
"We saw the success we had with Pernell as a third guy lining up inside," Bisciott said. "We're going to be looking forward to finding that Adalius Thomas or that Pernell McPhee that can create that third dynamic pass rusher."