OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens added another significant piece to their defense as they began the second day of the NFL draft by selecting Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan with the 48th overall pick.
In his first season as a starter for the Seminoles last season, Jernigan collected 63 tackles, 11 stops for a loss, and 4 1/2 sacks to help his school win the national championship. The 6-foot-2, 300-pound nose tackle collected 139 tackles and 8 1/2 sacks in three seasons at Florida State and is considered a force who can clog the line of scrimmage despite underwhelming size for his position.
“They’re getting a dominant, elusive player,” Jernigan said in a conference call. “A guy that is going to come in and contribute to the team, give everything that he has, and definitely I’m going to lead by example. They’re not going to get a guy who says one thing and does the other one.”
Jernigan acknowledged meeting with the Ravens at the scouting combine in February but hadn’t had much contact with them leading up to the draft, making the news that he was going to Baltimore surprising to the 21-year-old.
With free-agent defensive tackle Arthur Jones signing with the Indianapolis Colts earlier this offseason, the Ravens will look at Jernigan to be in the mix to either play nose tackle or the 3-techique tackle spot in their base 3-4 defense. The strong tackle ran the 40-yard dash in 5.06 seconds and bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times at the scouting combine in February.
Considered a possible first-round pick by many talent evaluators, recent news of Jernigan returning a diluted sample when he took his drug test at the combine may have been a red flag for certain teams. The lineman explained to reporters in a conference call that he was receiving intravenous fluids and drinking excessive amounts of water to counteract cramping issues he was having leading up to the combine.
“I definitely have a chip on my shoulder,” said Jernigan about falling in the draft. “I’m glad the Baltimore Ravens drafted me to be able to play on a great defense. The Ravens definitely play with a swagger. They play football the way that I play football. I feeling like I’m the perfect match, and I’m definitely going to bring another edge to the defense.”
Jernigan will likely compete with the likes of 2013 third-round pick Brandon Williams, 2013 sixth-round selection Kapron Lewis Moore, 2012 seventh-round pick DeAngelo Tyson, and veteran Terrence Cody for playing time in the defensive line rotation this season.