Bedard: If Ravens go to another level this season, they might have Patriots to thank

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The conventional wisdom is that Bill Belichick is smarter than everyone else, and especially when it comes to the draft and accumulating assets.

We've all heard it before ... Belichick turned this pick into these picks to acquire this player ... checkers, chess. Often, it's true. And Belichick's mind and decision-making is revered around the league. It's not just Patriots fans who are impressed with Belichick's roster management; other teams know how good he is.

But Belichick might have met his match in Ravens general manager and Taunton native Eric DeCosta.

Two of the deals Belchick has pulled off the last two years could become a decided advantage for the Ravens, one of their biggest AFC rivals and a team that finished 14-2 and beat the Patriots 37-20 last season.

Basically, the Ravens wound up with these players through deals with the Patriots:

DE Calais Campbell: five-time Pro Bowler, including the last three years
RB J.K. Dobbins: 2020 2nd-round pick
DT Justin Madubuike: 2020 3rd-round pick
LB Malik Harrison: 2020 3rd-round pick

The Patriots received in return:

DE Josh Uche: 2020 2nd-round pick
OG Jermaine Eluemunor: Inactive for six games, and the playoff game
WR Mohamed Sanu: 26 receptions in eight games last season
C Russell Bodine: Cut after one week.

How did it happen?

Well, it started with the Patriots leaving themselves short at two different positions (interior offensive line, receiver) heading into the 2019 season.