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John Harbaugh uses Star Trek to explain Ravens’ wild fourth round


As far as the classic “Star Trek or Star Wars” debate is concerned, it’s plainly clear which sci-fi franchise Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh pledges his allegiance.

The Ravens had a record five picks in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, making for a frenetic handful of moments in the team’s war room that Harbaugh likened to being on the bridge of the “U.S.S. Enterprise.”


“To me, we were in battle with the Klingons!” Harbaugh said, smiling. “It was hot and heavy.”

Harbaugh primarily utilized references to the original “Star Trek” when explaining how members of the Ravens brass did their jobs, but also incorporated a mention of Captain Jean-Luc Picard from the “Next Generation” crew.

Harbaugh’s arguably nerdy foray into blending football and science fiction, as explained on

General Manager Ozzie Newsome was Jean Luc Picard, “just sitting there in the captain’s chair, directing things very calmly and under control,” Harbaugh said.

Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta was Spock, “because he had all the analytics down. He told us two or three times exactly who was going to get picked by whatever team. He talked us into being patient; talked me into being patient a time or two, which is just great.”

Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz was Scotty manning the controls. “’Scotty, I need more power!’ ‘I’ve got nothing for you, Captain!’ Then he would find the power,” Harbaugh said.

Senior Vice President of Football Administration Pat Moriarty was the Doctor mashing away at his calculator trying to figure out different trade scenarios, saying, “’Captain, I am a doctor, not a magician!’”

But that begs the question: Who did Harbaugh liken himself to from the “Star Trek” universe?

“Oh, I’m James Kirk, man! I’m in there battling it out, fighting and duking it out!” he said, eliciting laughter from the assembled media. “So that’s what I do during the draft. I think about these things.”

Whatever Harbaugh may be thinking about, one thing can’t be understated: The Ravens absolutely killed it during the fourth round, landing cornerback Tavon Young, wide receiver Chris Moore, offensive tackle Alex Lewis, defensive tackle Willie Henry and running back Kenneth Dixon.

In other words, at least presumably as Harbaugh sees it, the Ravens’ five picks in one round allowed them to boldly go where no NFL team has gone before.

(Star Trek Photoshop via