Now that Joe Hortiz has been hired as GM, I thought it would be interesting to look back at some Ravens drafts. Joe was the Director of Player Personnel from 2019 until he was hired by the Chargers, so I thought those would be the most relevant drafts to consider. It provides a convenient 5 year window.
Here are those Ravens drafts, along with some other relevant information from pro-football-reference.com:
For comparison, here are the Chargers drafts over the same period:
Some column definitions:
- AP1 = the number of 1st Team All Pro selections for the player
- PB = the number of Pro Bowl selections for the player
- St = the number of seasons the player has been a primary starter for his team
- wAV = weighted Approximate Value; AV is flawed, but it serves as a solid proxy for assessing the value a player has delivered in his career; it is defined here
- G = the number of NFL regular season games played by the player
Draft Picks By Round
The biggest positive takeaway for me is that the Ravens made 43 draft picks in those 5 drafts, compared to just 37 for the Chargers. But that isn't the best part... look at the pick distribution:
Baltimore made 37 picks in the top 5 rounds, compared to 24 for the Chargers. That is 54% more picks in the top 5 rounds! Just 14% of the Ravens picks were in rounds 6-7, compared to 35% for the Chargers.
Obviously, Hortiz wasn't the GM and wasn't personally responsible for all of the trades that resulted in this set of draft picks, but he was presumably quite involved as the Director of Player Personnel.
Draft Picks By Position
Here are the positions drafted by each team:
Having extra picks enabled the Ravens to draft more offensive skill position players (RB/FB/WR/TE) -- 13 for the Ravens, 10 for the Chargers -- while also drafting more OL (8 to 6) and more DL (8 to 6). Wouldn't we all like more draft picks used on all of these position groups?!? The only positions the Chargers drafted more total players in were QB (3 to 1) and LB (5 to 4).
It is easy to see from the tables above:
- The players the Ravens drafted combined for 2 1st team All Pro selections, compared to 0 for the Chargers.
- The players the Ravens drafted combined for 6 Pro Bowl selections, compared to 2 for the Chargers.
- The players the Ravens drafted played 1,360 games so far, including 19 seasons as a primary starter, compared to 1,157 and 17, respectively, for the Chargers.
- The players the Ravens drafted combined for 343 wAV, compared to 288 for the Chargers... but consider that Herbert accounts for 52 by himself for the Chargers. The Ravens drafted QB Jackson in 2018, so he doesn't factor into these metrics. If we exclude Herbert, the Ravens players combined for 107 more wAV (+42%)!
All of this seems to support the perspective that the Ravens have gotten much better draft results over the past 5 drafts.
It is pretty easy to look at this data and get really excited for the 2024 draft and the Chargers future direction in general. For the first time since the weekly polls began asking us if we are confident in the Chargers' direction, I am able to answer yes.