Months after trading veteran wide receiver
Ravens assistant general manager
"I think the hunt goes on," DeCosta said Monday night during The Baltimore Sun Sports Forum. "We're still working. The roster is not set. We're always evaluating. We're always looking at guys. Guys get signed, guys get cut.
"Our pro personnel department looks at all available players and we'll make a decision at some point of what we want to do at that position. There are definitely some players out there. We'll consider all options."
The Ravens are banking on increased production from several wide receivers, including
"We're very excited about Jacoby and the progress he made throughout last season," DeCosta said of Jones, who caught 30 passes for 406 yards and a touchdown last year in his first season in Baltimore. "We think we've got some very good young players that can step up and contribute. Deonte Thompson isn't a heralded name, but a guy we think is going to be a good player. We're excited about Tandon Doss. David Reed is a guy who's had a lot of injuries. He's flashed in practice and made plays.
"We've got some tight ends who can pick up the slack.
The Ravens drafted hard-hitting University of Florida safety
Plus, the All-American selection had the connections of being coached by Ravens secondary coach Teryl Austin as a freshman and his older brother,
"Cyprien is a player we thought would be an outstanding safety in the league," DeCosta said. "He's a little bigger than Matt, not quite as fast. Matt played against better competition than John. I think the biggest difference probably was speed, the speed factor."
DeCosta emphasized that Elam was simply ranked higher than several available linebackers, a group that included
"In a perfect world, drafting a safety was probably the best scenario for us in the first round because there were five linebackers available in the second round that we had highly rated," DeCosta said. "It seemed to work better that way. I think Arthur Brown could have easily gone in the first round, so he was a very good value."
During the Ravens' rookie minicamp that concluded Sunday, third-round pick nose guard
"I was really impressed with Williams," DeCosta said. "We liked him on tape. We liked him at the Senior Bowl. Based on what we saw the last couple of days, he's probably even better than what we thought he was. I really think the guy has a bright future. He's an explosive kid, very, very athletic. He plays on his feet. He's got heavy hands."
The Ravens drafted Ohio State outside linebacker John Simon in the fourth round. They envision him competing for playing time at strongside outside linebacker, operating on special teams and compare him to former outside linebacker
"He's a blood-and-guts, relentless guy," DeCosta said of Simon, who drew high grades from Ravens scouts Joe Douglas, Milt Hendrickson and Andy Weidl. "We think he projects well to Sam linebacker. I'm not saying he's Jarret Johnson, but he has a similar skill set to a guy like Jarret Johnson. He'll be competing with some good players,
Selecting defensive players with their first four selections wasn't by happenstance for a team that lost middle linebacker
"You never can tell with the draft how things will play out," DeCosta said. "Some years, we get just wiped clean of players that we want. Last year, for instance, every time we wanted a player just before we picked, a team would take the guy we wanted. This year, we sweated it out. In the end, just about every single guy we picked was the guy we had targeted five, six, seven picks before.
"It was exciting from that standpoint. I thought we would have a defense-heavy draft. We lost some guys this year. I think we wanted to get younger on defense. We wanted to get faster on defense. We wanted to draft defensive players, if we could, early and then supplement that with offensive players later on. We're excited about where we are."
Meanwhile, DeCosta predicted that outside linebacker
"I think he's going to be back to his old self that we saw a couple of years ago," DeCosta said. "I was astounded and amazed at how he came back last year. I think you're going to see
Webb is coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee suffered last October against the Dallas Cowboys, but expects to make a full recovery from a major knee injury for the second time. Webb tore the ACL in his right knee as a rookie.
"He's been through this before," DeCosta said. "He's working extremely hard. He's there every single day. He's got a great attitude. He's focused. He's dialed in. We've got to wait and see. He's got the right attitude, work ethic and desire to be on the field.
"You see faster recoveries. You see guys come back basically to the player they were before. A lot has to do with the individual. We've got phenomenal doctors and trainers. It's not easy to do, but these guys are world-class athletes. If a guy has the right mentality, they can do it pretty quickly."
The Ravens re-signed offensive tackle
McKinnie made the
"I haven't seen Bryant, but I think he's very excited to be back in Baltimore," DeCosta said. "I think he's looking forward to kind of building on that momentum of how he played last year. We feel very good about the depth we have on the offensive line now, probably more depth than we've had in quite some time.
"We have a good young nucleus. I think Bryant obviously is a talented guy, a critical piece to the puzzle in the playoffs. We're excited to see him in the next few weeks. He helps us. He makes us a better football team."
The Ravens have overhauled their roster significantly, acquiring outside linebacker
Besides Reed leaving and Lewis and center
"I regret losing all those players, all those guys helped us win the Super Bowl and contributed greatly," DeCosta said. "All those guys were extremely significant in their contributions and they will forever be Baltimore Ravens. They were big losses for us, each and every one of them, and they will always be Super Bowl winners in Baltimore."