Indianapolis, IN Greetings from LucasOil Stadium here in Indianapolis, where we continue our coverage of the annual NFL Scouting Combine. We were able to meet with a number of Defensive Linemen & Linebackers yesterday, as well as a few Quarterbacks, Running Backs and Wide Receivers. We were also able to talk to Ravens head coach John Harbaugh; after we had let everyone know that the team was interested in free agent Wide Receiver Terrell Owens. If you missed it, check out the Audio Vault here on the front page of WNST.net.
Today, we are going to meet with some more Defensive Linemen and Linebackers; then make way for Defensive Backs. Please keep in mind that we are not in the stadium watching the workouts you are seeing on the NFL Network’s coverage, but we do have those screens to monitor what is going on. Please feel free to ask any questions about players the Ravens may or may not be interested in, or things that might happen this week leading up to the start of free agency.
3:54pm-If you haven’t seen my interview with former Terrapins CB Nolan Carroll yet-take a look…
3:43pm-Notre Dame safety Kyle McCarthy says he never scrapped with Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski (a former Fighting Irish teammate) in South Bend because the former boxer “didn’t want to” fight him. He was kidding. I think. McCarthy later told me Zbikowski was “a good buddy”, who he figured would be campaigning to get him to Charm City. He has already met with the Ravens.
UCLA CB Alterraun Verner told me he believes he will meet with the Ravens tonight, he previously spoke to the team briefly at the Shrine Game.
LSU Safety Chad Jones says he’s met with the Ravens, amongst a number of teams he’s talked to here in Indianapolis. Jones-who also played baseball for the Tigers-was previously drafted by the Houston Astros. He is thought of as one of the best Safety prospects in Indianapolis.
Virginia Tech safety Kam Chancellor says that when he talked to the Ravens in Orlando, they were most interested in knowing what he’d run in the 40 here at the Combine. He told me he expects to run a high 4.4.
Ole Miss DE Greg Hardy HAS spoke with the Ravens, and he told them he’s playing at 100% after missing time due to foot and wrist injuries last year. He still talks to former Rebels teammate Michael Oher, and believes he can either stand up or play with his hand in the dirt in the NFL.
3:36pm-South Florida CB Jerome Murphy told us he’s had “informal” contact with the Ravens. The former Bulls star spent the better part of his conversation talking about his gold teeth, including fielding questions about how he brushes them. His size (6’1″) will make him interesting for the Ravens.
Former Rutgers CB Devin McCourty chatted with me for a while, after he joined me as a guest on AM1570 WNST from Ft. Lauderdale the week of the Super Bowl. McCourty says he hasn’t talked to the Ravens yet, but has been in contact with former Scarlet Knights RB Ray Rice plenty during the process. I also talked to Indiana (Pennsylvania) CB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, who we had talked to from Radio Row as well.
Cal CB Syd’Quan Thompson won’t be able to run here at the Combine due to a hamstring injury, but he’ll do everything else. He’d be a smaller CB option (5’9″), but might end up on the Ravens radar-although he hasn’t talked to them yet.
3:32pm-Some players come to the Combine and wow teams with their personality and interview skills. Others are forced to let their football do the talking. In the case of Florida State teammates Patrick Robinson and Myron Rolle-we’ve seen both.
Rolle bowled the room over with his engaging personality and undeniable intelligence. This wasn’t unexpected, Rolle was a Rhodes Scholar who studied at Oxford last year. Yet Rolle (the cousin of Ravens CB Samari Rolle) still managed to impress, telling tales of how he wants to become a neurosurgeon after his NFL career and is inspired by Johns Hopkins doctor Ben Carson.
On the flip side, Patrick Robinson unfortunately suffers from a speech disorder that causes him to stutter. He was very polite, but wasn’t able to answer long questions. This won’t lead to a team not picking him, but it didn’t give him the opportunity to blow teams away that might be on the fence about him. He did convey that he aspires to be like former Seminoles (and Ravens) CB Deion Sanders.
3:21pm-I hope you’ve been following us on Twitter (@WNST), as I’ve been run ragged trying to keep up today. Let me try to update you…
Oregon safety T.J. Ward told me he has a “very similar game ” to Patriots Safety (and former Ducks teammate) Patrick Chung. Chung worked out with the Ravens in Owings Mills last year. Ward talked to the Ravens at the East West Shrine Game in Orlando, and was told his ankle checked out “100%.”
Arizona CB Devin Ross says he’s “watched plenty of film” on former Wildcats/Ravens CB Chris Diego, Anoine Cason, TucMcAlister, but says his game is more similar to San Diego Chargers CB Antoine Cason (who was a teammate of Ross’ in Tucson). He expects to meet with the Ravens tonight.
12:05pm-Eric Berry from Tennessee is taking up most of the attention in the room right now-but since he’s unlikely to end up in Baltimore, I’ll take a few minutes to catch up:
Most of the Defensive Backs here in Indy won’t have a chance for formal meetings with teams until tonight, and the bulk of them aren’t entirely sure who they’ll be meeting with. Count Alabama CB Kareem Jackson in that group, but he’s gotten plenty of attention from NFL scouts. He told us that the toughest receiver he faced during his college career was LSU’s Brandon LaFell. Both players are on the Ravens’ radar-and you always know Ozzie Newsome is paying close attention to every Crimson Tide player available.
Toledo’s Barry Church will be available on Saturday, and will be an interesting option. He says he talked to the Ravens at the East West Shrine Game in Orlando, where they told him they wanted him to improve on his “ball skills” and playing the ball at the “highest point.”
Wake Forest’s Brandon Ghee believes he’ll be meeting with the Ravens tonight. He’ll ultimately be compared with Denver Broncos CB (and fellow former Demon Deacon) Alphonso Smith, who was drafted a year ago. Ghee is bigger than Smith, but probably won’t be selected as high.
Fresno State’s AJ Jefferson told me he’d “love to play alongside Ray Lewis” and the Baltimore defense-many defensive players here have said something similar.
Nebraska safety Larry Asante is overshadowed here by his Cornhuskers teammate Ndamukong Suh. He’s totally okay with that, and could be an interesting option on Friday or Saturday night-even for a Ravens team that doesn’t REALLY need safety help.
Maryland CB Nolan Carroll chatted with us for a few minutes…but if you want to know what he had to say about interest from the Ravens, recovering from a broken leg, and the Terps basketball team; you’ll have to check it out at WNSTV!
11:03am-Oklahoma DB Dominique Franks and Oklahoma State DB Perrish Cox are both very much on the Ravens’ radar, and each have stopped by this morning.
Cox HAS met with the Ravens, and described Ozzie Newsome as “intense.” He’s a Thursday or Friday night pick at this point, believes he can prove himself worthy of a high choice. He has had the experience of going up against fellow former Cowboys WR Dez Bryant in practice, which will help him at the NFL level.
Franks did not want to let us know which teams he had met with (only Sam Bradford-a fellow Sooner had previously also chose not to discuss the teams he had talked to), but let us know he measured in at 5’11”, 194 pounds. He said he needed to improve his “technique”, saying he has relied on “playing on ability” during his career in Norman.
10:30am-Clemson CB Crezdon Butler was the first DB in the room. He wasn’t too happy when I reminded him that the Tigers were the only FBS team Maryland beat this season (or that Maryland came from behind to win in Death Valley in 2008). He said the Ravens have shown interest. He’s got decent size (6’0″), but isn’t exactly a big time prospect here.
9:16am-Some interesting names we’re expecting to see stroll through the media center today include Virginia CB Chris Cook, Florida State CB Patrick Robinson, Boise State CB Kyle Wilson, Rutgers CB Devin McCourty, Wake Forest CB Brandon Ghee, Alabama CB Javier Arenas, Arizona CB Devin Ross, Virginia Tech FS Kam Chancellor, Maryland FS Terrell Skinner, Oregon SS T.J. Ward, Ohio State SS Kurt Coleman, and Florida State SS Myron Rolle.