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Draft Season Moves to Mobile for Annual Senior Bowl

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Draft Season Moves to Mobile for Annual Senior Bowl

Posted on 24 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

This is my second update in a 3 month long process of introducing you to the players who are possible Baltimore Ravens targets in April’s NFL Draft. If you missed last week’s profiles , make sure you get there now to find about some of the players who participated in the East West Shrine Game in Mobile. The players I profiled last week were:

QB Daryll Clark (Penn State)
WR Freddie Barnes (Bowling Green)
TE’s Andrew Quarless (Penn State), Richard Dickson (LSU)
DE Greg Hardy (Ole Miss)
LB Ross Pospisil (Navy)
S’s Kam Chancellor (Virginia Tech), T.J. Ward (Oregon)
CB’s Devin Ross (Arizona), Brian Jackson (Oklahoma)

Of this group, Barnes appeared to be the player who helped himself the most according to scouts and analysts in attendance. I’ll tell you about other players who impressed in Orlando in my next update.

In the meantime, I wanted to let you know about players to keep an eye on at the Senior Bowl this week-considered the premiere college all-star event of the year. A reminder that the game-and daily practices from both the north and south teams will be aired live on NFL Network.

Also, with the Ravens making no moves this week, my offseason priority list won’t change.
1-WR
2-TE
3-CB
4-S
5-OLB/DE
6-K
7-QB
8-G/C
9-OT
10-P

Here are ten players to keep your eyes on (amongst the many other stars of the game) this week in Alabama. Thanks as always to CBS Sports for help on numbers, and to Wikipedia for help on the details.

TE Jimmy Graham (Miami)

graham

Odd picture for a NFL Draft profile, huh? If you’re wondering why that name sounded familiar, now you have your answer. Graham exhausted has basketball eligibility, but decided to give football a try for a year. It was a good decision, as he became a reliable target for the Hurricanes on the field. Graham caught just 17 balls for 213 yards-but 5 of them were TD’s. His size is his greatest asset-he’s 6’8″ and 260 pounds. But he has tons of red flags-mostly based around the fact that he has only played a year of football. But the success of other TE’s in the NFL after switching from hoops (Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates are the most obvious examples) should help Graham succeed in finding work.

WR Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzehfxbxwiU[/youtube]

There are some aspects about Mardy Gilyard that remind me of Ravens pick Lardarius Webb a year ago. Gilyard wasn’t quite mature enough to be a great college player when he first reached the level-and he ended up failing out of school at Cincinnati. There’s an even more troubling story that when Ron Zook came to recruit Gilyard to Florida-the receiver didn’t even bother to show up for their meeting. After failing out, Gilyard was forced to work odd jobs to pay back tuition money to UC before Brian Kelly would put him back on scholarship. The move worked out for all parties involved, as Gilyard went on to record 4,500 career all-purpose yards and 29 TD’s over his final 3 seasons.

Gilyard is dangerous not only as a receiver, but he’s very dangerous as a return man as well. His size is his issue….he’s just 6’0″ and 185 pounds or so. That’s bigger than Derrick Mason, but it certainly isn’t big enough to be viewed as a gamebreaking threat in the NFL. BUT-Gilyard was CERTAINLY a gamebreaker in leading the Bearcats to 2 Big East titles, and there are smaller WR’s who are having great success at the next level. He’s considered a mid-round guy right now, but I bet his stock rises.

DE Brandon Graham (Michigan)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQfcytu6ItI[/youtube]

No one is really sure if Graham is capable of being an every down DE at the NFL level-or if he’s good enough in pass coverage to play OLB every down. But we do know this much-Brandon Graham was a HELL of a pass rusher for the Wolverines. He finished his career with 138 tackles, 28 sacks-10 each in his junior and senior campaigns. He’s big (6’1″, 263 pounds or so), but he struggled with conditioning early in his Big Ten career and might be forced to change body size again depending on what role a NFL coordinator envisions him filling. As a pretty solid 1st round guy, it was somewhat of a surprise to see him commit to the Senior Bowl-but with Michigan failing to get bowl eligible-this will be the first time he’s played any sort of football since before Thanksgiving.

CB Trevard Lindley (Kentucky)

lindley

When Trevard Lindley came back to Lexington for his senior season, he had to think he was on his way to being a first round pick. Unfortunately, a high ankle sprain sidelined him about midway through the season-causing him to miss 4 games. After 10 interceptions through the first 3 and a half seasons of his career, Lindley wouldn’t record another (although his only INT of the season-back in Week 1 against Miami Ohio WAS returned for a TD). Lindley is listed anywhere from 5’11″ to 6’1″; and those two inches will make a MAJOR difference in where he ends up being selected. The Ravens may well decide they don’t need to go corner in the first rounds with Domonique Foxworth and Lardarius Webb already in the mix, and Lindley might end up being a nice option in the later rounds.

OG Mike Iupati (Idaho)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhFMZROcNZ8[/youtube]

Iupati is a classic case of a player who can change his entire Draft status based on his performance in Mobile. Iupati clearly has both the size and ability to be an O-Lineman at the NFL level, but with his 6’5″, 330 pound frame-NFL teams will want him to play Tackle. He’ll need to show this week that playing Guard at the college level won’t limit his ability to play outside. Also, having played in the WAC-Iupati needs to prove that he can play against big time talent; which he’ll have the chance to do against players like Brandon Graham. The American Samoa native climbed a great deal during his college career-going from a freshman who couldn’t play due to academic troubles to a player who has been compared favorably to former Boise State OT and current Denver Broncos stud Ryan Clady. A 2008 shoulder surgery would be the only other real red flag for this beast.

OT Vladimir Ducasse (UMass)

ducasse

If you haven’t already, you’ll be hearing a LOT about Vladimir Ducasse this week. Ducasse was born in Port-au-Prince, and his family was affected by the earthquake in Haiti. He is now working to try to help out the cause….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5hpsNRkpeU[/youtube]

Ducasse is in a slightly different position than Iupati, as he played OT for the Minutemen, but is now expected to play Guard at the next level. He clearly has the size (6’5″, 330 pounds) and mean streak to play in the NFL-but playing in the CAA only gave him a small taste of the talent level he’ll be going up against starting in the fall. The Ravens won’t have to go far to get a scouting report on Ducasse, as RB/ST Matt Lawrence can partly thank Ducasse for allowing him to post over 1,500 yards rushing two seasons ago at Massachusetts. And for a team that puts almost as much emphasis on character as they do football ability, Ducasse was described by a former coach as “particularly special.”

QB Sean Canfield (Oregon State)

canfield

For an organization that likes tall quarterbacks (see Flacco, Joe), Sean Canfield (6’4″) would be a nice addition. He’ll likely be off the board before the Ravens consider taking a QB, but if he were to slip he might be a great choice. His senior season in Corvallis was very impressive-as he went 303-446 for over 3,000 yards and 21 TD’s. The biggest red flag on Canfield’s resume is a shoulder surgery following his sophomore season that forced him to miss most of his junior campaign. But he certainly has both a strong arm and a great deal of poise-and that should help him transition to the next level.

S Myron Rolle (Florida State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsn1aIaYj-Y[/youtube]

Yes, besides beings a Rhodes Scholar, Myron Rolle is also a football player! Of course, he wasn’t a football player in 2009-he took the year off to study at Oxford. But he had put together a pretty solid 3 seasons before that in Tallahassee; making 207 tackles, forcing a fumble and recording 1 interception. He has great size for a safety at 6’2″, 223 pounds; but he has to prove himself as a hard hitter during the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. The Ravens already have a tie to Myron, as he is the cousin of CB Samari Rolle. His time off will make it particularly important to perform during Draft season.

K Leigh Tiffin (Alabama)

tiffin

There’s a few things that are guarantees in life. Death. Taxes. And the Ravens bringing in a rookie from Alabama. I know John Harbaugh teased Matt Stover’s name during his weekly press conference last week, but I believe it’s a fairly safe bet that the team will choose to bring in a rookie or young kicker to compete with Billy Cundiff during Training Camp instead of going the route of another veteran. Tiffin has a strong leg, which helped him connect on 5/7 FG attempts from 50+ yards during his Crimson Tide career. But he was far from perfect otherwise, hitting just 42/66 tries between 30 and 50 yards. He also missed 6 XP’s over the last 3 seasons, including one during the Tide’s BCS National Championship Game win over Texas. Tiffin is rated as the #1 kicker available this year by multiple services-including NFLDraftScout.com-but would likely only end up in Charm City if they can get him as an UFA following the Draft.

CB Javier Arenas (Alabama)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6ZmVKwv5oc[/youtube]

As a CB alone, Javier Arenas would not likely be a candidate to hear his name called on Friday or Saturday night of Draft weekend. He’s shown talent-including 6 interceptions during his last 2 seasons in Tuscaloosa; but his 5’9″ frame would really hurt his draft stock. However, Arenas’ unbelievable ability as a return man should make sure he doesn’t stay on the board until Saturday, as he was absolutely EXPLOSIVE-returning a SEC record 7 punts for TD’s during his career. Had Arenas been in last year’s Draft, he probably would have tried to talk up the fact that he is the cousin of Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas. Clearly he won’t be doing that now. Arenas has a knack to perform in big games-grabbing an interception in Alabama’s win over Florida in the SEC Championship Game, and adding two more in the title game win over the Longhorns.

I’ll be back with another update this week….

-G

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 22 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It’s a happy Friday for me-because I have a new addition to announce in the Glenn Clark household.

That’s right, the day finally arrived-and we couldn’t be happier.

About 42 inches and 50 pounds….really my one true bundle of joy. Isn’t she beautiful?

tv

Let’s see what everyone has to say…..

1. The Sun’s Mike Preston says Ravens QB coach Hue Jackson may well be interviewing for Raiders Head Coaching position after all

Well, who didn’t see this coming….

We know Jim Harbaugh is another candidate, and we think Jim Fassel is a candidate, but who else might be? I have some suggestions….

Lane Kiffin

lane

I mean, they brought back Art Shell after they fired him originally, and we all know Lane Kiffin doesn’t mind leaving somewhere after not putting in enough time, so this makes sense. And frankly, I’m not certain the “hot wife” angle was played up enough during Kiffin’s original tenure in Oakland.

Bill Romanowski

romo

Why not Romo? The guy might be the only maniac in the world who is actually crazy enough to work with Al Davis. Speaking of which….

Al Davis

aldavis

Why the hell not? Someone has to deal with the guy, so why not just cut out the middle man?

This guy…..

fan

There’s an argument he might be more qualified than Tom Cable was.

I’ll say it now-and I’ll say it a million times…..Hue Jackson, DON’T TAKE THIS JOB!

2. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says John Harbaugh will travel with Ravens’ contingency to next week’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL

They’ll have a little bit of talent to look at while they’re there. Namely…..

Javier Arenas
Terrence Cody
Riley Cooper
Mardy Gilyard
Jimmy Graham
Stafon Johnson
Brandon LaFell
Taylor Mays
Tony Pike
Myron Rolle
Charles Scott
George Selvie
Terrell Skinner
Tim Tebow
Syd’Quan Thompson

This may not be a year where the Draft is as deep with first round receivers as it was a year ago, but there is PLENTY of talent available at positions where the Ravens have a need. They’ll have a chance to look at a number of those guys next week.

3. Ravens Official Site’s Ryan Mink says Vincent Jackson, Brandon Marshall, Miles Austin, Steve Breaston, Malcolm Floyd may all be available as FA’s

You want to get excited about the chances of one of these premiere talents coming to Charm City, but the question marks surrounding the CBA and the possibility of an uncapped year make me feel more and more every day like none of this can happen-and the Ravens will have to get more creative in how they acquire receiver talent.

Boy Steve Breaston would look good in purple though…

4. ESPN.com’s James Walker thinks Ed Reed likely to pass on playing in Pro Bowl

If he’s hurt to the point where he’s questioning whether or not he can play in the future, I’m not sure why he’d bother to play meaningless football in Miami next weekend. Other than-of course-the fact that it would give him a chance to play in Miami, and we all know how much that area means to Ed.

That being said, I would be surprised if he was on the field. There’s just no need for it.

5. WANE (Fort Wayne) says Indiana governor Mitch Daniels not happy Martin O’Malley waived Baltimore Colts flag instead of Indianapolis Colts flag after losing bet

Look, NONE of us ever want to give MO’M any credit (usually because he probably doesn’t deserve it), but this was a solid zinger…..

colts

Now go fix the problems in the state.

6. The Sun’s Mike Klingaman says some former Colts believe team may have stayed in Baltimore if not for Super Bowl III loss to Jets

Great read.

Who knows what might have happened had the Colts won Super Bowl III, but clearly it was a crushing defeat for the franchise. That being said, the franchise won a Super Bowl just 2 years later-so it’s hard to say that one loss-even if it did tear the relationship between Don Shula and Carroll Rosenbloom.

Also, NFL Network will be replaying Super Bowl III tomorrow night since the Jets are playing the Colts in the AFC Championship Game Sunday. And people wonder why we can’t get over it in this town.

(For the record, Drew Forrester and I both picked the Colts and Saints to play in Super Bowl XLIV during our “Picks and Comment” segment this morning on “The Comcast Morning Show.”)

7. UMBC Official Site says Chauncey Gilliam’s 16 points not enough as Retrievers fell to New Hampshire at RAC Arena

Like so many of their 18 losses this season-this was a close game for Randy Monroe’s crew.

A year ago, Jay Greene and Darryl Proctor would have lead the way down the stretch-and every possession would have gone through their hands.

This season, they’re clearly struggling to figure out who’s supposed to have the ball during crucial possessions. And it’s left them winless in the America East….still. They’ll try to change that Sunday when Boston University comes to Catonsville.

8. The AP says Loyola lead at half, but ultimately fell to MAAC leading Siena

Showing signs of life against a tough Saints team is good for Jimmy Patsos’ ballclub, but signs of life HAVE to turn into consistent wins pretty soon. They’ll try to improve upon their current 2-7 MAAC record tomorrow night when they travel to Poughkeepsie for a date with Marist.

9. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Maryland women had 48 game win streak at Comcast Center snapped by Miami

Brenda Frese’s club is going though something very similar to what Randy Monroe’s team is. A season ago, they knew that they could turn to Marissa Coleman or Kristi Toliver to bail them out during close games. But when the Hurricanes started raining threes late, the Terps didn’t have anyone to turn to in order to pull out a win.

It goes no easier for Maryland, as Duke invades Comcast Center Sunday night for a game you can see on Comcast SportsNet.

10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says NC State trying to snap 5 game losing streak to Maryland tomorrow

I didn’t think the Wolfpack had a prayer before watching them trounce the Blue Devils Wednesday night.

That being said, the Devils were struggling to buy a jumper during the 2nd half in Raleigh.

This will be a good matchup for Jordan Williams, as he’ll have to manage Tracy Smith down low. Sidney Lowe’s club is tough, but this is not a game the Terrapins should struggle with in College Park.

11. MLB.com’s Spencer Fordin says Birds to raise money for Haiti at FanFest

Which means they’re doing the right thing. I like to try to pass that type of thing along. I’ll even spare you the “because it doesn’t tend to happen nearly enough” addendum to that statement.

Well, I tried to spare you anyway.

12. The Sun’s Peter Schmuck wouldn’t be surprised if O’s acquired Miguel Tejada or Joe Crede this weekend

The O’s had to be thanking their lucky stars that the Ravens lost in Indianapolis last Sunday, or else the small crowds that will make their way to the Baltimore Convention Center for FanFest would be even smaller with half of the city in New York/New Jersey this weekend for the AFC title game.

I’d be all for bringing back Miguel Tejada. Mostly because even if he’s not a third baseman, he’d be better than the guy the Orioles currently have….

No one.

And finally, I leave you with this….

If you like watching TV on Friday night, 1-Really? 2-You’ll be watching the “Hope for Haiti” telethon tonight, as it will be airing on EVERY network in the world. This of course makes me remember the “America: A Tribute to Heroes” telethon that aired just after 9/11. That was a pretty stirring night. Remembering U2…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVcB8ApEkas[/youtube]

Bruce Springsteen….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P79j-293dQ[/youtube]

and Wyclef Jean, amongst others…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3FZ5v_fhYc[/youtube]

Pretty moving stuff.

Talk to you this weekend.

-G

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With Ravens Season Over, Draft Season Begins in Orlando

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With Ravens Season Over, Draft Season Begins in Orlando

Posted on 19 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

As all of you know, there are few people in the world who are bigger fans of the NFL Draft than I am. Last season, I profiled over 100 NFL Draft prospects in the months leading up to the big event at Radio City Music Hall. Some of those players eventually became Baltimore Ravens, including Michael Oher, Paul Kruger, Lardarius Webb, Cedric Peerman, Jason Phillips, Isaiah Williams, Graham Gano, Eron Riley and more.

And with NFL season now over here in Charm City, it is time to start looking ahead to the 2010 NFL Draft; which will be held April 22-24th again in New York. I like to call the next 3 months “NFL Draft Season”, as it is much more than just the 3 days that determine how teams will make their picks. The season begins with the announcements from underclassmen, then moves to college all-star games (including the Senior Bowl), the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis (which myself, Drew Forrester & Nestor Aparicio will be covering LIVE here on WNST.net), individual Pro Timing Days, and team interviews that all build to the 3 days in April.

We will be starting our weekly NFL Draft Preview segment on “The Comcast Morning Show” this week, the segment will air Wednesdays at 9:40am. This Wednesday, Chad Reuter from NFLDraftScout.com & CBS Sports will be joining us. Chad will be reporting to us live from Orlando, where the annual East West Shrine Game marks the start of College All-Star season. Two Ravens rookies (Jason Phillips of TCU and Dannell Ellerbe of Georgia) were participants in last year’s game, as well as former Terrapins C Edwin Williams, who played for the Washington Redskins this season. It is definitely worth paying attention to what is going on at the game.

As I did last year, I will rank the likely needs the Ravens face in the offseason. This list may be altered as players are released/retired/traded/signed/injured/etc.

1-Wide Receiver (This goes without saying, as the team currently has just Marcus Smith under contract.)
2-Tight End (They almost got Brandon Pettigrew last year, there is no doubt they will be looking at the position again this season. Todd Heap should be back, but LJ Smith is a free agent-and clearly Heap is getting no younger.)
3-Cornerback (While they likely think they have two capable starting CB’s on the team, there is no doubt that Ozzie Newsome and company would welcome another impact corner to a group that already includes Domonique Foxworth, Lardarius Webb and Chris Carr.)
4-Safety (Ed Reed’s future makes this a very crucial spot, as does the pending free agency of Dawan Landry. Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura appear to be part of the team’s future at the position, but having both as starters in 2010 wouldn’t likely bode well.)
5-Outside Linebacker/Rush End (Dwan Edwards is a free agent. Trevor Pryce may choose to retire. Terrell Suggs came in last season out of shape. Antwan Barnes is a restricted free agent. And no one needs to be reminded that this group struggled to get pressure on opposing QB’s during a large part of Greg Mattison’s first season as Defensive Coordinator.)
6-Kicker (Billy Cundiff will be an option for this team, but even he knows there will at least be competition for the job. It may come from a free agent kicker-Graham Gano comes to mind-but it may come from a rookie as well. OR the team may decide to go somewhere else altogether.)
7-Quarterback (Obviously Joe Flacco is THE guy, and the team would be fine with bringing back Troy Smith to back him up. But Smith’s agent made it clear they want him traded, and the Ravens may decide to give him his wish. John Beck remains in the mix, but the Ravens will have to give him a contract. The team could use strength at the position from a young QB if they decide to let Smith and/or Beck go.)
8-Interior Offensive Line (Matt Birk is not getting any younger, and Chris Chester may be up for starter money somewhere else. Marshal Yanda is also a RFA, so this team may need to add to the group-especially at Center.)
9-Exterior Offensive Line (Jared Gaither is a RFA-and the Ravens will have to make a difficult decision there. Someone will want to give him money, it’s just a question of whether or not the Ravens are the team that will want to do it. Behind Gaither and Oher, the Ravens are woefully thin-as Oniel Cousins was somewhat adequate, but nothing more.)
10-Punter (I can’t imagine the Ravens won’t bring back Sam Koch, but I have to put this position on the list-as if Koch gets good money elsewhere, the Ravens will have a major need at the position.)

With all of this in mind, I present my first 10 profiles of the 2010 NFL Draft season. These are all players who are participating in this week’s East West Shrine Game. Thanks to NFLDraftScout.com, Wikipedia, and my own personal conversations with scouts from around the NFL for help with information gathering.

WR Freddie Barnes
(Bowling Green)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aw0a-5xV–w[/youtube]

His numbers this season were jaw-dropping. His 155 catches were a NCAA record. His 1,770 receiving yards were a Falcons school record. His 19 TD’s lead the FBS. But his size isn’t necessarily ideal. He’s just 6’0″ and 212 pounds. The Ravens will absolutely need a more sizable threat at WR, but they will also likely need more than one addition to the group. Barnes looks like a lower round pick right now-but he had a huge game in the Humanitarian Bowl, and started practice in Orlando with a bang. A combine invite and solid performance could vault him up boards. One scout told me he could be Anquan Boldin-esque. Everyone in the country would like a player like that. Barnes is VERY athletic, he played QB and basketball in high school in Illinois.

TE Andrew Quarless (Penn State)

quarless

If the Ravens are interested in an impact receiver at the TE position, Andrew Quarless might not be the guy. Quarless had his best statistical season in 2009-hauling in 41 passes for 536 yards and 3 TD’s. But in his 4 year career, Quarless caught just 87 balls for 1,146 yards and 8 TD’s. However, his numbers-and his size-don’t differ THAT much from Pettigrew, who was a Top 20 pick just a season ago by the Lions. Heck, he may even be a bit quicker. But his rap sheet includes a DUI arrest, an underage drinking citation, and marijuana possession. He needs to prove his strength in the months leading up to the Draft, as his frame and ability could very well help him rise to the 2nd night of the Draft (now rounds 2-3). He may well be a guy who would already be a high level prospect had he not been splitting time with Mickey Shuler Jr. during his career in Happy Valley.

S Kam Chancellor (Virginia Tech)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrYas6mEuzg[/youtube]

Chancellor has admitted to trying to mold his game after late Skins Safety Sean Taylor, and with good reason. Chancellor is an all-around tough Safety; measuring in at 6’3″, 232 pounds with a great burst as well. Likely a Day 2 pick, Chancellor was an All-ACC performer with experience at both safety positions and also at CB during his career in Blacksburg. He recorded 204 tackles during his Hokies career, along with 6 interceptions, but did not return any for scores. He is also a gifted athlete, having played QB during his HS career in Norfolk.

DE Greg Hardy (Ole Miss)

greghardy

If he was fully healthy, Greg Hardy would almost certainly be a 1st round pick. But even with the wrist injuries that forced him to miss more than a quarter of his senior season and the ankle troubles that plagued him throughout his Rebels career might not keep him from hearing his name called Thursday night. Mostly because he managed to pile up 26 sacks during his time in Oxford, to go along with 38.5 TFL’s, 6 forced fumbles and in interception. The Ravens won’t have to go far for a scouting report on Hardy, as his former Mississippi teammate Michael Oher was also a teammate in high school at the Briarcrest Christian Academy in Memphis. He checks in around 6’4″ and somewhere between 260-275 pounds; making his measurements at the Combine and his Pro Day all more important.

TE Richard Dickson (LSU)

dickson

At 6’3″, 245 pounds; Dickson is likely not going to be a traditional TE, but more likely a FB/H-Back/TE hybrid. The NFL scout I discussed Dickson with said the inevitable comparison is Chris Cooley; but Dickson has to prove himself to be an explosive threat. Dickson’s senior season failed to match the production of his sophomore and junior seasons, as he averaged 350 yards receiving and 4.5 TD’s during his middle seasons-but fell off to just 157 yards and 0 TD’s in his final season in Baton Rouge. Despite the drop-off, he finished his career as the most prolific TE in Tigers history.

CB Devin Ross (Arizona)

devinross

I’m not certain that the Ravens are itching for another 5’11″ CB at this point, but they could use depth at the position, and Ross will be available on Day 2 (if not Day 3). Ross will immediately be compared to fellow former Wildcats CB Antoine Cason (who just wrapped up his 2nd season with the San Diego Chargers), and the Ravens will inevitably try to compare him to another former CB who played in Tucson by the name of Chris McAlister-who just so happens to be the greatest CB in team history. Ross will benefit from having his name mentioned in the same breath as those two, because he doesn’t have a comparable resume. What he lacks in size, he’ll need to make up in quickness during Draft season-starting this week in Orlando. He recorded just 1 interception in his senior campaign-5 for his career. He’ll have to overcome the thud his college career ended on; giving up a 74 yard TD to Nebraska’s Niles Paul in a 33-0 loss to the Huskers in the Holiday Bowl.

LB Ross Pospisil (Navy)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agLDxsJ4mfk[/youtube]

I include Ross Pospisil on this list only because he’s the only “local” college football player participating in the East West Shrine Game. He’s certainly not a prospect to be drafted, but could be an option for the Ravens to take a look at after the draft ends. Just a season ago, Navy FB Eric Kettani and Slotback Shun White were picked up by the New England Patriots following the Draft, as they’ve decided to invest in the former Midshipmen and wait out the service time. Obviously, Saints FB Kyle Eckel previously was able to skirt service time after leaving Annapolis, but I don’t expect that from Pospisil. Ross did have 91 tackles on his senior campaign, including 6 TFL’s. He’s 6’0″ and 227 lbs., and is definitely capable of being a bruiser-but the Ravens would have to be willing to make a long-term investment in a guy that won’ t be able to help them anytime soon. It’s unlikely.

QB Daryll Clark (Penn State)

clark

The funny thing about Daryll Clark’s draft profile is that there is nothing that immediately makes you say “no” about him. He’s a bigger kid (6’2″, 238); but he’s fairly mobile (expected to post a 40 in the 4.6 range) and certainly appears to possess a capable arm. Over his last 2 seasons, he’s completed 60% of his passes for over 5,500 yards and 43 TD’s. In the same time span, he was picked 16 times and was sacked 26 times. Certainly the O-Line play in State College didn’t help those numbers much. He was 22-4 as a starting QB-but his biggest knock is the 4 losses. Clark’s worst performances seemed to come in the most important games for the Nittany Lions-2 against Iowa (both ruining perfect seasons), USC in the Rose Bowl, and Ohio State with the Big Ten title still within reach. He’s not a perfect prospect, but for a likely Day 3 guy, he could certainly prove to be a capable player should the Ravens lose Troy Smith or John Beck.

CB Brian Jackson (Oklahoma)

bjack

You can’t help but get that “What’s not to like” feeling when you look at Brian Jackson’s status. He’s a bit taller (6’1″) than the Ravens’ Current crop of corners, with decent speed (expected to run in the 4.5′s) and has just 5% body fat on his 200 pound frame according to the Sooners. He has football in his blood-his cousin Chris Draft plays LB for the Buffalo Bills. He steadily improved as his playing time increased during his career (112 tackles and 6 picks over his final 2 seasons) and was a very solid special teams player to boot. So….”what’s not to like?” I posed the question to a NFL scout who pointed out to me that there has to be some level of concern stemming from a 2006 knee injury, and while he appeared to be solid, he was never outstanding. He’s had mixed results against his best competition, but did post an interception against Colt McCoy and Texas. Thought by some to be a Day 3 selection, the same scout told me “there’s NO WAY he’s getting past Friday night.”

S T.J. Ward (Oregon)

I have done a lot of research, and while I have no reason to believe T.J. Ward’s nickname is “Freight Train”, I have no reason why it isn’t……

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd6Hp5uiJgM[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YRsIXOihkk[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mc8-gJqzWws[/youtube]

I could go on with “big hit porn”, but instead I’ll move on the details. Ward is a tremendous talent, a likely 2nd round pick. If he weren’t 5’10″, his skill set might get him into Round 1. He recorded 180 tackles over his last 3 seasons in Eugene-along with a pair of picks and 6 forced fumbles. He did all of that despite missing a number of games due to knee and ankle injuries-which will hurt his Draft stock. Ward will absolutely be worth the risk to any team that picks him, but he certainly doesn’t come without red flags.

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: John Harbaugh’s Final Weekly Press Conference

Posted on 19 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

12:34-Hear from John Harbaugh & Ray Rice NOW in the Audio Vault at WNST.net.

12:29 Ray Rice stopped by the media room to chat with us today, he missed yesterday’s locker room cleanout availability due to an illness. Ray continued to show why he is one of the most well-liked players on this team, as he was very honest during the 12 minute chat, talking about his relationship with his mother, sticking around in Baltimore in the offseason, what his upcoming trip to the Pro Bowl in Miami means to him, and more.

I also asked him about the biggest thing I heard fans say about him during our trip to Indy this weekend-

“The Ravens are gonna wear him down like they have every other back.”

Ray said he believes that while he has gotten a lot of touches, Cam Cameron gave him “smart” touches, and didn’t use him as a “battering ram.” This is particularly interesting, as a number of fans believe Jamal Lewis WAS treated that way, which shortened his career.

11:00-Here are some highlights from the coach:

-Harbaugh thanked the media for covering the team, saying “I know it’s tough.” He then thanked the fans, noting “We have great fans both home and away.”
-”I really like the makeup of our team. I like the foundation we have.” Says it’s “cause for tremendous optimism.”
-”I think we have to develop our current players….you always seek to add to what you’re doing.”
-”Offensively, we’re built a real good foundation. I like where we stand in the trenches.”
-”I thought defense was exceptional again this year. I’m excited about what our defense did this year.”
-”We’re gonna be a rough, tough, disciplined, hard nosed, clean playing football team.”
-”Patience is important….there’s no timeframe” for winning Super Bowl
-”Joe (Flacco) got better in so many ways, there’s so many ways he can get better.” He added Flacco is “on schedule.”
-says offense still “a work in progress.”
-Said both Derrick Mason and Ed Reed “love football”, and he thinks “they want to play.” He added that the team wants both players back.
-He thinks some coaches on staff will have opportunity to take promotions elsewhere, but wouldn’t elaborate.
-”We’ve got to put as many good players around Joe Flacco as we can.”
-”Ray Rice…fulfilled or exceeded” all hopes Ravens had for him.
-doesn’t think too many-if any-players who finished season on IR won’t be back for start of Training Camp.
-”There is a benefit” to being able to attend next week’s Senior Bowl
-says Billy Cundiff “big possibility” to kick next season, wouldn’t rule out Matt Stover return.
-”Trevor (Pryce) can still play”, says he has a few years left in him-wants to keep entire D-Line together.
-says Ray Lewis helmet to helmet wasn’t “cheap shot”, doesn’t think he will be fined by NFL.
-Says Tavares Gooden, Dannell Ellerbe, Brendon Ayanbadejo will all be in mix for starting LB position
- “We have no disappointment” in Paul Kruger….says he’ll be more of a contributor next season.
-Says Terrell Suggs committed to being part of “full offseason program” with Ravens
-Says he’ll be “very involved” with Ravens’ preparation for NFL Draft
-”There’s nothing more we can ask from Matt Birk.”
-guesses other teams around league will be interested in Troy Smith and John Beck
-”Michael Oher could play either side, and Jared Gaither could play either side. Right now, Gaither left and Oher right is working pretty well.”
-Harbaugh “excited” for Rex Ryan and other former Ravens staffers now with Jets, but he hasn’t talked to Rex.
-Jarret Johnson “always plays well, always practices well, plays through any injury.” “Not a better man in this league” than JJ.
-”Willis (McGahee) is a Raven.”
-says he, Steve Bisciotti and Ozzie Newsome “respect the budget” Ravens have even if there is no salary cap.
-says Flacco had “bad contusion” on thigh…”swelled up legitimately”….thinks it was “restrictive for him.”
-He semi-disputed Adam Schefter’s report that Flacco couldn’t sit down on flight back from Oakland, saying “it was a 6 hour flight, I think I saw him sit down.”
-says he talked with Ed Reed yesterday, “I think I understand where he’s coming from.”
-
believes Ed Reed will come back and play. “I’m gonna go under that assumption until he tells us differently.”

10:48-Greetings from 1 Winning Drive, where John Harbaugh will meet with the media momentarily for his final weekly press conference of the season. There will certainly still be plenty to re-hash about the Baltimore Ravens’ 20-3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts Saturday night in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs, but there will be even more to discuss as the Ravens prepare to move into the offseason.

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates.

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Ngata, Katula Miss 2nd Straight Day of Practice

Posted on 05 November 2009 by Glenn Clark

4:30-INJURY REPORT-Ravens:

LS Matt Katula – DID NOT PARTICIPATE – Elbow
DT Haloti Ngata – DID NOT PARTICIPATE – Ankle
TE Todd Heap – LIMITED – Ankle
FB Le’Ron McClain – LIMITED – Shoulder
S Haruki Nakamura – LIMITED – Chest
S Tom Zbikowski – LIMITED – Illness
LB Prescott Burgess – FULL – Illness
LB Jarret Johnson – FULL – Shoulder
CB Frank Walker – FULL – Illness

BENGALS:

FB Jeremi Johnson – LIMITED – Knee
S Tom Nelson – LIMITED – Shoulder
S Roy Williams – LIMITED – Forearm
RB Bernard Scott – FULL – Knee
OT Andre Smith – FULL – Foot

1:30-A couple things I wanted to pass along from today and the last couple of days:

-A lot of people have asked me about why the Ravens didn’t go after Chris Chambers. First, the Ravens never technically had the chance to pursue Chris Chambers. The Chiefs put in a waiver claim for the former Chargers WR-and they have a higher priority. However, I was given the impression that the Ravens really weren’t all that interested in him. A lot of people think of Chambers as a big target, but he’s only listed at 5’11″ (and I’ve been told he’s actually 5’10″); this makes him not much taller (if at all) than Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton.
-Terrell Suggs said something interesting yesterday in talking about the chess match the Bengals will be playing since they beat the Ravens the first time the teams played this season. He said he expects the Bengals to spend the first quarter trying to show the Ravens something different from what they did the first time the teams played. He said after the first quarter, they’re likely to go back to doing exactly what they’ve done best over the first half of the season.
-Greg Mattison had no complaints about the number of pass interference calls going against his defense, saying “calls are calls.” He made an interesting comparison in saying that when the Ravens have been forced to cover taller wide receivers this season (Chris Henry will be another such target); the height differential has made it “like a guard trying to cover a center” in basketball.

1:24-Some quick notes from practice:

-Haloti Ngata was not present for a 2nd straight day
-Haruki Nakamura (chest) returned
-While Matt Katula nurses an elbow injury, Willis McGahee was working on long snapping. There is a rumor Mark Clayton is also a capable long snapper (why not, he can do everything else). I would imagine the Ravens would much rather have a lineman do it in an emergency role (Justin Bannan may also be capable)……but we are expecting Matt to be healthy in time for the trip to Cincy.
-While we’re on McGahee, Cam Cameron was asked earlier this morning about McGahee’s role. He told reporters “there’s just not enough snaps” to give him a bunch of carries, saying that the number of snaps in the Chiefs game was significantly more than the Ravens have had since. He did reiterate “but he’ll play.” He also said Ray Rice was “still scratching the surface” as a NFL running back.

1:12-A lot of stories being written locally and nationally about Michael Oher due to the pending release of “The Blind Side” in theaters. (You can read my review in this morning’s “Crabs and Beer”.)

When asked about Michael this morning, Cam Cameron said he knew Michael would be a starting Offensive Tackle as soon as he saw him at last year’s Senior Bowl. When asked if he was surprised by anything with Oher’s very quick maturation-Cameron quipped “Once you’ve met him, nothing has been a surprise.”

1:07-Injury-wise, here are the updates I can give you:

-Still no Haloti Ngata in the locker room, but Greg Mattison said he feels “very good about” the chances the big man will play Sunday against the Bengals. I think Haloti must return to practice by Friday to really have a chance, as putting weight on an injured ankle can really hurt a guy hauling around 300+ pounds.
-Matt Katula said he had “soreness” in his elbow, stemming from the motion of snapping the football. It doesn’t appear to be a major issue; and Jerry Rosburg didn’t even identify any sort of backup Long Snapper on the roster; just saying it was “curious” that the Ravens don’t have one listed on the depth chart.
-Opinions vary on Haruki Nakamura, who I was unable to grab during today’s locker room session. It will be interesting to see if he returns to the practice field today. He’s listed with a “chest”, but it is believed he strained a stomach muscle against the Broncos.
-Frank Walker downplayed the stomach ache that kept him out of practice yesterday, calling it just a “stomach ache.”

12:39-Hear from the following NOW in the Audio Vault at WNST.net…..

Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron
Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison
Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg
CB Frank Walker
LB Jarret Johnson

Also, LB Antwan Barnes joined Drew Forrester this morning on The Comcast Morning Show; that’s also available in the Audio Vault at WNST.net. LB Prescott Burgess will join Drew tomorrow morning at 7:15, listen live on AM1570 WNST!

11:21-Greetings from 1 Winning Drive, where it is Coordinators Day. We’ll hear from Greg Mattison, Cam Cameron and Jerry Rosburg today as the Ravens continue preparation for Sunday’s trip to Paul Brown Stadium to play the Cincinnati Bengals. We’ll hope to hear from Haloti Ngata as well, but won’t hold our breath.

Back with more shortly…..

-G

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Draft Eve Preludes Culmination of Draft Season

Posted on 24 April 2009 by Glenn Clark

This is it. The final update. Tomorrow is the day. You’ve seen who Drew and I think the Ravens will select, now let’s learn more about all of the players who might be possible. Here is yesterday’s update, with links to past updates……

Here is the full list of players I’ve profiled during Draft season…..

CB’s Sean Smith (Utah), Alphonso Smith (Wake Forest), D.J. Moore (Vanderbilt), Vontae Davis (Illinois), Darius Butler (UConn), Jairus Byrd (Oregon), Kevin Barnes (Maryland), Greg Toler (St. Paul’s), Sherrod Martin (Troy), Mike Mickens (Cincinnati)
WR’s Darrius Heyward-Bey (Maryland), Hakeem Nicks (North Carolina), Kenny Britt (Rutgers), Percy Harvin (Florida), Derrick Williams (Penn State), Kevin Ogletree (Virginia), Deon Butler (Penn State), Louis Murphy (Florida), Mike Thomas (Arizona), Brandon Tate (North Carolina), Brian Robiskie (Ohio State), Patrick Turner (USC), Brian Hartline (Ohio State), Johnny Knox (Abilene Christian), Tiquan Underwood (Rutgers), Jeremy Maclin (Missouri), Mohamed Massaquoi (Georgia), Ramses Barden (Cal Poly), Brandon Gibson (Washington State), Aaron Kelly (Clemson), Brooks Foster (North Carolina), Juaquin Iglesias (Oklahoma), Austin Collie (BYU),
LB’s Clint Sintim (Virginia), Clay Matthews (USC), Larry English (Northern Illinois), James Laurinaitis (Ohio State), Darry Beckwith (LSU), Brian Cushing (USC), Rey Maualuga (USC), Moise Fokou (Maryland), Scott McKillop (Pitt), Connor Barwin (Cincinnati), Marcus Freeman (Ohio State), Jason Phillips (TCU)
TE’s Brandon Pettigrew (Oklahoma State), Chase Coffman (Missouri), Travis Beckum (Wisconsin), Jared Cook (South Carolina), Dan Gronkowski (Maryland), Shawn Nelson (Southern Mississippi), Richard Quinn (North Carolina), Cornelius Ingram (Florida), James Casey (Rice)
K Graham Gano (Florida State), David Buehler (USC), Sam Swank (Wake Forest)
DE Aaron Maybin (Penn State), Lawrence Sidbury (Richmond), Robert Ayers (Tennessee), Jovan Belcher (Maine), Jarron Gilbert (San Jose State), Michael Johnson (Georgia Tech), Tyson Jackson (LSU), David Veikune (Hawaii)
DT Jeremy Navarre (Maryland)
OT Eben Britton (Arizona), Andre Smith (Alabama), T.J. Lang (Eastern Michigan), Phil Loadholt (Oklahoma), Michael Oher (Ole Miss), William Beatty (UConn), Jamon Meredith (South Carolina), Garrett Reynolds (North Carolina)
C Edwin Williams (Maryland), Alex Mack (Cal), Max Unger (Oregon), Antoine Caldwell (Alabama)
S Louis Delmas (Western Michigan), Troy Nolan (Arizona State), Patrick Chung (Oregon), Rashad Johnson (Alabama), William Moore (Missouri), Darcel McBath (Texas Tech)
QB’s Brian Hoyer (Michigan State), Pat White (West Virginia), Mike Teel (Rutgers)
FB Tony Fiammetta (Syracuse), Eric Kettani (Navy)
RB’s Beanie Wells (Ohio State), Andre Brown (NC State), Shonn Greene (Iowa), Javon Ringer (Michigan State), Donald Brown (UConn), LeSean McCoy (Pitt), Rashad Jennings (Liberty)

Now here are the final 10 players who names you might want to know before Ozzie Newsome starts calling in picks this weekend. Thanks to ESPN.com for stats, thanks to Youtube.com for video, thanks to NFLDraftScout.com for Combine numbers and profile information, thanks to CarrollCountyTimes.com for info on Ravens’ interest.

Malcolm Jenkins (CB, Ohio State)

I guess we have to consider that if Malcolm Jenkins were to be available somehow at 26, the Ravens would almost be forced to pick him. He’s arguably a Top 10 talent, but so many teams appear to be shying away from Corners at the very top of this year’s Draft. I guess there is at least a chance he could somehow fall. But make no mistake, Jenkins’ body (6’0″, 204 pounds, 33 inch vertical) and ability (11 INT’s, 2 TD returns over the last 3 seasons) have scouts excited about him, but they are concerned about his speed (4.51 40), and some scouts see him as a safety in the not-too-distant future.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiUORe2cvDM[/youtube]

Eric Wood (C, Louisville)

Some would argue that Wood is an equal prospect with potential first rounders Max Unger and Alex Mack. Wood certainly has the size (6’4″, 310 pounds); and the strength (30 reps of 225 pounds on the bench) to succeed in the NFL, but he might need to be flexible. Wood has said that scouts have looked at him as a center, but have also worked him out at the Guard and Tackle positions. He had a stellar senior season, becoming a finalist for the Rimington Trophy, which goes to the top Center in the country. He could end up going in the 2nd or 3rd round, which might still be just a bit too high for the Ravens if they are searching for someone to learn behind Matt Birk.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ITpWeMOePc[/youtube]

Cameron Morrah (TE, Cal)

Morrah made a very strange decision to leave the Bears with a year of eligibility remaining, and it doesn’t appear to be a decision that is paying off. Morrah appears to a 2nd day pick, possibly a late 2nd day pick. He has a nice mix of size (6’4″, 244 pounds), speed (4.65 40), and strength (24 bench reps), but never really showed the type of production that would make scouts believe he could be a star at the next level. Morrah caught 27 passes for 326 yards in his junior season. He did prove to be a reliable red zone target however, hauling in 8 TD’s. If Morrah hangs around just long enough (which is quite possible), the Ravens could be a good fit.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWuxSOUMTgU[/youtube]

Cody Brown (LB, UConn)

One of the pass rushers who is seriously going under the radar in this Draft class is Brown, who appears to be an early 2nd day pick. Brown put together a 22 sack career with the Huskies, including 10 during his senior season. He’s 6’2″, 244 pounds; ran a somewhat disappointing 4.76 40, did a decent 26 bench reps of 225 pounds, and has an impressive 36.5 inch vertical. He played Defensive End in college and at the Senior Bowl; but his size will force him to move to linebacker at the next level. Brown was one of the Huskies’ team captains in 2008, showing he’s capable of being a leader.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KTeWMfkyM8[/youtube]

Cedric Peerman (RB, Virginia)

The fastest Running Back at the Combine (4.45 40), Peerman’s speed is lifting him on Draft boards where he might have struggled given his lack of size (5’10″, 216 pounds) and production (just 774 yards and 7 TD’s in his senior season). Peerman has decent hands (193 receiving yards his senior year), but might not be the ball carrier the Ravens desire (just 153 carries last season). Peerman showed solid strength and agility at the Combine; with 27 bench reps of 225 pounds and a 40 inch vertical. Peerman was a full-time kick returner his first two seasons, but was used in that capacity only sparingly during his junior and senior seasons. Peerman looks to be an early 2nd day pick; but might not be the compliment to Ray Rice and Le’Ron McClain the Ravens are searching for.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dk4tucwi_c[/youtube]

Ryan Succop (K, South Carolina)

The pursuit of a kicker to compete with Steven Hauschka might not result with Ozzie Newsome selecting a player in the Draft. The Ravens continue to confirm that Hauschka is a major part of their plans, and no one in the organization has ruled out the possibility of Matt Stover returning (although it is VERY unlikely). So adding an undrafted free agent could still be a major part of the plans. Succop could be a player drafted or signed as an undrafted player. He was never particularly accurate (49/79 FG’s for his career, 71%); but he did connect on 104/106 extra point attempts. He connected on attempts of 55 and 54 yards during his career, but was just 3/9 from beyond 50 yards. He does have another talent that might be worth looking at……

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrpK0psAIqE[/youtube]

James Davis (RB, Clemson)

Davis was graded as a first day pick last season, but decided to return to Clemson to improve his Draft stock and make a run at a national championship. Unfortunately, he failed to do either. Davis, the “thunder” to CJ Spiller’s “Lightning”, rushed for 751 yards (and 11 TD’s) in his senior campaign following 1,000+ yards in each of the previous two seasons. Davis is 5’11″, 210 pounds; and shaved his 40 time down to an impressive 4.39 at his Pro Day. Davis must hope teams excuse his lack of production last season on the overall struggles of the Tigers’ offense. He could be an interesting player to put in the Ravens’ backfield mix, especially if he slides late into the 5th or 6th round.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsCU6dDNAR0[/youtube]

Jarett Dillard (WR, Rice)

How do these numbers sound for a 4 year career? 292 catches, 4,138 yards, and 60 TD’s. Pretty impressive in a pretty explosive offense. Dillard’s size and lack of significant competition are the biggest reasons why he is considered an early Day 2 pick instead of a solid first day selection. Dillard checks in at 5’11″, 185 pounds; with a 4.53 40. He dazzled scouts at the East-West Shrine Game; but scouts expected him to be the most talented player on that field. Dillard is recognized best for his ability to get open in traffic, but would not be the Ravens’ guy if size is what they’re looking for.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtojPueX0_w[/youtube]

Ryan Mouton (CB, Hawaii)

While Mouton is undersized (5’10″, 180 pounds) and was not the most productive player in the world (62 tackles, 3 INT’s, 2 Forced Fumbles in his career); he was versatile and made the most of his opportunities during his career with the Warriors. Mouton returned two of his 3 career INT’s for TD’s, including a 91 yard return. He also returned kicks during the last 2 seasons; which produced 2 TD’s as well. Mouton was a jack of all trades during his senior campaign, lining up as a receiver and making 8 catches as well. He’ll likely stay on the board until late in the Draft, and could be a project pick for the Ravens.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekIlhBhDl4U[/youtube]

Ian Johnson (RB, Boise State)

Over 2 years ago, America fell in love with Ian Johnson thanks to…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoZJxi3A0VQ[/youtube]

……since that time, Johnson’s numbers have suffered. During Boise State’s Fiesta Bowl Championship season of 2006-Johnson rushed for 1,714 yards and 25 TD’s. In the 2 years since then, he’s rushed for a total of 1,807 yards and 29 TD’s. He’s been battling injuries, and the Broncos went with more of a Running Back by committee approach last season. Johnson is 5’11″, 212 pounds; but posted a somewhat disappointing 4.57 40. Johnson is probably too far removed from his significant ball carrying days to fit what the Ravens are looking for in a Running Back; but if he can find the comfort he had in 2006, he could still be a contributor at the next level. And if Chris Myers is patrolling the sidelines, they might have a thing or two to talk about…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaIOWZJqr10[/youtube]

I’ll offer videos of 15 more players you might want to take a look at…..

Chip Vaughn (S, Wake Forest)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sgbGgTFZ6k[/youtube]

Everette Brown (DE, Florida State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXJJ14HL5EE[/youtube]

Dane Randolph (OT, Maryland)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6Owg1qSZhk[/youtube]

Ryan Palmer (CB, Texas)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su-76d4NJ70[/youtube]

Alex Boone (OT, Ohio State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_4-Bewyq0A[/youtube]

Cary Harris (CB, USC)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pt4KDpMjc4Y[/youtube]

Marko Mitchell (WR, Nevada)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiRsDgbIqDg[/youtube]

Lardarius Webb (CB, Nicholls State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2Q6JJX8uQ8[/youtube]

Arian Foster (RB, Tennessee)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntNxYv6ryCw[/youtube]

Brian Toal (TE/LB/S, Boston College)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVfg8fBbBks[/youtube]

Kaluka Maiava (OLB, USC)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqIrg1dqO2I[/youtube]

Antone Smith (RB, Florida State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fbFCU4zHiY[/youtube]

Gerald McRath (LB, S. Mississippi)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEK9KJGBPKw[/youtube]

Lydell Sargeant (CB, Penn State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPNPn9ypJQU[/youtube]

Jeremiah Johnson
(RB, Oregon)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnXmhMBnAQU[/youtube]

-G

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Final Days of Draft Season Counting Down

Posted on 22 April 2009 by Glenn Clark

FoxSports.com reported Wednesday that Percy Harvin (Florida) and Brandon Tate (North Carolina); two likely Ravens Draft targets, each tested positive for marijuana at the Combine. This could shift how the Ravens continue their pursuit of receiver help going towards Saturday, as I have maintained that the team will need to select multiple receivers over the weekend. Here is a link to yesterday’s update, which includes links to the rest of the updates I have posted.

Here is the full list of players I’ve profiled during Draft season…..

CB’s Sean Smith (Utah), Alphonso Smith (Wake Forest), D.J. Moore (Vanderbilt), Vontae Davis (Illinois), Darius Butler (UConn), Jairus Byrd (Oregon), Kevin Barnes (Maryland), Greg Toler (St. Paul’s), Sherrod Martin (Troy), Mike Mickens (Cincinnati)
WR’s Darrius Heyward-Bey (Maryland), Hakeem Nicks (North Carolina), Kenny Britt (Rutgers), Percy Harvin (Florida), Derrick Williams (Penn State), Kevin Ogletree (Virginia), Deon Butler (Penn State), Louis Murphy (Florida), Mike Thomas (Arizona), Brandon Tate (North Carolina), Brian Robiskie (Ohio State), Patrick Turner (USC), Brian Hartline (Ohio State), Johnny Knox (Abilene Christian), Tiquan Underwood (Rutgers), Jeremy Maclin (Missouri), Mohamed Massaquoi (Georgia), Ramses Barden (Cal Poly), Brandon Gibson (Washington State), Aaron Kelly (Clemson), Brooks Foster (North Carolina)
LB’s Clint Sintim (Virginia), Clay Matthews (USC), Larry English (Northern Illinois), James Laurinaitis (Ohio State), Darry Beckwith (LSU), Brian Cushing (USC), Rey Maualuga (USC), Moise Fokou (Maryland), Scott McKillop (Pitt), Connor Barwin (Cincinnati), Marcus Freeman (Ohio State)
TE’s Brandon Pettigrew (Oklahoma State), Chase Coffman (Missouri), Travis Beckum (Wisconsin), Jared Cook (South Carolina), Dan Gronkowski (Maryland), Shawn Nelson (Southern Mississippi), Richard Quinn (North Carolina), Cornelius Ingram (Florida)
K Graham Gano (Florida State), David Buehler (USC)
DE Aaron Maybin (Penn State), Lawrence Sidbury (Richmond), Robert Ayers (Tennessee), Jovan Belcher (Maine), Jarron Gilbert (San Jose State), Michael Johnson (Georgia Tech)
DT Jeremy Navarre (Maryland)
OT Eben Britton (Arizona), Andre Smith (Alabama), T.J. Lang (Eastern Michigan), Phil Loadholt (Oklahoma), Michael Oher (Ole Miss), William Beatty (UConn), Jamon Meredith (South Carolina)
C Edwin Williams (Maryland), Alex Mack (Cal), Max Unger (Oregon)
S Louis Delmas (Western Michigan), Troy Nolan (Arizona State), Patrick Chung (Oregon), Rashad Johnson (Alabama), William Moore (Missouri)
QB’s Brian Hoyer (Michigan State), Pat White (West Virginia), Mike Teel (Rutgers)
FB Tony Fiammetta (Syracuse)
RB’s Beanie Wells (Ohio State), Andre Brown (NC State), Shonn Greene (Iowa), Javon Ringer (Michigan State), Donald Brown (UConn)

Now here are 10 more players who names you might want to know before Ozzie Newsome starts calling in picks this weekend. Thanks to ESPN.com for stats, thanks to Youtube.com for video, thanks to NFLDraftScout.com for Combine numbers and profile information, thanks to CarrollCountyTimes.com for info on Ravens’ interest.

Tyson Jackson (DE, LSU)

Arguably the most polarizing figure amongst Draft analysts. While most analysts believe he is a Top 20 (and many believe he is a Top 10) talent, there are still some who think he might slip all the way to the 2nd round. These are the qualifications that analysts use when they suggest he could be gone within the first 90 minutes of the Draft (Courtesy of NFLDraftScout.com)….

The left defensive end recorded 36 tackles (17 solo) that included 4.5 sacks for minus-27 yards, 10.5 stops for losses of 37 yards and seven quarterback pressures, as the front wall allowed only 110.15 yards per game rushing, ranking 17th in the nation in that category…Recovered a fumble that he advanced 18 yards and deflected four passes…On 33 plays vs. the run, the opposition gained only 57 yards (1.73 yards per carry) with three touchdowns over Jackson’s area…Made 13 stops on third-down plays, including eight vs. the running game, adding five more hits on fourth down…The opposition completed 8-of-20 passes into his area for 58 yards (2.9 yards per pass attempt)

Pretty impressive stuff. Jackson is somewhere in the area of 6’5″, 292 pounds; and he posted a 4.94 40. He has drawn comparisons to players like Ty Warren and Richard Seymour; as Jaskon would likely be best served playing in the 3-4 alignment. But Jackson worried teams with his performance on the bench at the Tigers’ Pro Day, as he hoisted the 225 pound bar just 20 times. It is VERY unlikely Jackson will be available when the Ravens make their selection; but if he somehow falls, count on seeing him in purple.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5MeTrQ124Q[/youtube]

LeSean McCoy (RB, Pitt)

His numbers are staggering. In just two seasons at Pitt, McCoy totaled 2,816 yards rushing with 35 TD’s. He was a home run threat almost every time he touched the football, and averaged just under 5 yards per carry. But numbers alone don’t make a running back. McCoy declared for the Draft after his sophomore season, and has faced question marks throughout Draft season. His size isn’t ideal (5’11″ and just 204 pounds), but his speed is quite good (4.50 40). Scouts are also concerned about his hand size, as well as his ability to hold on to the football. McCoy is considered a 1st or 2nd Round pick, with a team like the Cardinals a possible destination. But if a player like Donald Brown goes ahead of him, there’s a chance he could slide to the Ravens’ 2nd round choice.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IvvhjERrV0&feature=related[/youtube]

Juaquin Iglesias (WR, Oklahoma)

Juaquin Iglesias’ name might not be the first you hear when Draft WR’s are discussed, but he certainly has the abililty to be a first day pick; and has the numbers that represent that ability. Iglesias had a very productive junior season in 2007 (68 catches, 907 yards, 5 TD’s), and was an absolute go-to number 1 receiver in his senior campaign (74 catches, 1,150 yards, 10 TD’s). He was also an adequate kick returner for the better part of 3 seasons with the Sooners, averaging 26.4 yards per return. Iglesias has pretty decent size (6’1″, 210 pounds) and speed (4.44 40 at the Combine), and it is difficult to figure out why a scout might be down on him. I guess the one thing you can say is that he was never particularly flashy, but I’d take a very good receiver over a flashy one any day. Iglesias might be somewhat similar to Derrick Mason, just a little bit bigger.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qGtpemtA08[/youtube]

Kory Sheets (RB, Purdue)

Sheets is a projected mid-round back is quicker (4.39 40) than he is big (5’11″, 208 pounds); but clearly has something to offer at the next level. He rushed 234 times for 1,131 yards during his senior season; totalling 16 TD’s on the ground. Additionally, during his 4 year college career, Sheets did not fumble the ball ONCE on a carry or after a catch. He was used as a spot returner during his sophomore and senior seasons, averaging 20.6 yards per return. He turned heads with a 61 yard return at the Senior Bowl, which could help him as he tries to improve his value. Again, Sheets might not be the compliment to Ray Rice and Le’Ron McClain the Ravens are looking for; but could certainly have value in the 4th or 5th round.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gMwSSLrzSg[/youtube]

Paul Kruger (DE, Utah)

Kruger is an interesting prospect, as he left Utah with 2 years of eligibility still remaining; but is already 23 years old. Kruger’s debut in college was delayed because after redshirting as a QB in 2004; Kruger left Utah to serve a 2-year Mormon mission. Kruger made the move to the defensive side of the football upon returning, and was part of the defense that helped Utah finish the season undefeated with a Sugar Bowl win last year. In his 2 years, Kruger tallied 119 tackles, 10 sacks, and 2 interceptions. He is a bruiser at 6’4″, 263 pounds. His 40/bench combination isn’t overwhelming (4.83 40/24 reps of 225 pounds on the bench); and teams are clearly a bit concerned about his short career at the College level. But Kruger will likely still be available early on during Day 2 of the Draft, and if the Ravens don’t get a pass rusher in the early rounds, they could pounce on a player like Kruger.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DtaZmw8lh4[/youtube]

Quan Cosby (WR, Texas)

After playing 4 years of baseball in the LA Angels organization, Cosby returned to Texas for a successful college career. He’s very athletic (4.50 40 at the Combine, 34.5 inch vertical and 28 reps of 225 pounds on the bench at his Pro Day) without being particularly big (5’9″, 196 pounds). Cosby’s size is not ideal amongst scouts; and while being a bit older (26) might make him more mature, it also gives him less upside. But Cosby is expected to be available late in the Draft; and would be hard to ignore in the 6th round, even if the Ravens want more size at the receiver position. In his senior season he caught 92 balls for 1,123 yards and 10 TD’s; none bigger than the final catch of his college career…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0O2__LIBnA[/youtube]

Gerald Cadogan (OT, Penn State)

Cadogan is what you might call a “Gentle Giant.” He is a mammoth of a man, measuring at 6’5″, 309 pounds with 35 3/4 inch arms. He is almost surprising agile, posting a 4.99 40 and a 25 inch vertical. He is not as strong as other O-Line candidates; but did complete 26 reps of 225 pounds on the bench. Cadogan’s strengths include his feet, and the fact that he is rarely called for holding. He is projected to go somewhere early on Day 2. More impressively, Cadogan was given the Big Ten’s annual Sportsmanship award and was an Academic All-American. He is also an accomplished musician (of all things), playing multiple instruments and recording two gospel music albums. Here is an example of Cadogan showing off his pipes at an on-campus rally for Barack Obama in Happy Valley last fall……

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=po7r-Ywnbu0&feature=related[/youtube]

Sammie Stroughter (WR, Oregon State)

For a player as talented as Stroughter is, it is a shame he is viewed as practically a walking red flag. Stroughter had a tremendous 2006 season, catching 74 balls for 1,293 yards and 5 TD’s; with 3 more TD’s as a punt returner. But his 2007 season was a nightmare. Stroughter went through bouts of terrible depression, eventually joining the team during week 2 of the season. After playing just 3 games, Stroughter’s season was cut short due to a kidney injury. After being granted a medical redshirt, Stroughter bounced back for a productive 2008 campaign. He  hauled in 70 catches for 1,040 yards and 7 TD’s. He also resumed his punt return duties; with 45 returns for 359 yards. He is undersized (5’10″, 189 pounds), but posted a quick 4.54 time in his 40. He is expected to be on the board until late in the Draft, and could be a value pick for the Ravens if they believe he is healthy mentally and physically.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O8wju_KJFc[/youtube]

Tyrone McKenzie (LB, South Florida)

McKenzie isn’t exactly a scout’s dream; but has been nothing short of productive during his oft-traveled college career. He’s 6’2, 243 pounds; posted a 4.76 time in the 40, and 27 reps of 225 pounds on the bench. He put up solid numbers as a tackler without ever being much of a pass rusher. He started his college career at Michigan State before making his first on-field appearance at Iowa State and finishing his college career with the Bulls. He finished his college career with 351 tackles, 4 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions. The propensity to transfer is probably his biggest red flag amongst NFL scouts, but if the Ravens are looking for tweener help; he could be a solid value pick on Day 2.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_967wudb-I[/youtube]

Louie Sakoda (K, Utah)

An All-American kicker and punter in college, Sakoda would only be used as a kicker if selected by the Ravens. He showed both solid consistency and a big leg during his career with the Utes; and is poised to be a late round Draft selection who the Ravens could choose to use as competition for Steven Hauschka in Training Camp. He finished his career 57/66 on field goals (86.3%), and 137/140 on XP attempts (97.8%). He was 3/6 from beyond 50 yards during his career; with a long of 53.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR5lN9W8fs0&feature=related[/youtube]

-G

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Final Week of Draft Season Continues….

Posted on 21 April 2009 by Glenn Clark

The Ravens say they don’t want to part with multiple Draft picks for Anquan Boldin, and Drew says they have Brandon Pettigrew and the top of their Draft board. Draft season remains hot in the final days. Here are yesterday’s profiles, which includes a link to players I’ve profiled before. Here is the full list of players I’ve profiled during Draft season…..

CB’s Sean Smith (Utah), Alphonso Smith (Wake Forest), D.J. Moore (Vanderbilt), Vontae Davis (Illinois), Darius Butler (UConn), Jairus Byrd (Oregon), Kevin Barnes (Maryland), Greg Toler (St. Paul’s), Sherrod Martin (Troy), Mike Mickens (Cincinnati)
WR’s Darrius Heyward-Bey (Maryland), Hakeem Nicks (North Carolina), Kenny Britt (Rutgers), Percy Harvin (Florida), Derrick Williams (Penn State), Kevin Ogletree (Virginia), Deon Butler (Penn State), Louis Murphy (Florida), Mike Thomas (Arizona), Brandon Tate (North Carolina), Brian Robiskie (Ohio State), Patrick Turner (USC), Brian Hartline (Ohio State), Johnny Knox (Abilene Christian), Tiquan Underwood (Rutgers), Jeremy Maclin (Missouri), Mohamed Massaquoi (Georgia), Ramses Barden (Cal Poly)
LB’s Clint Sintim (Virginia), Clay Matthews (USC), Larry English (Northern Illinois), James Laurinaitis (Ohio State), Darry Beckwith (LSU), Brian Cushing (USC), Rey Maualuga (USC), Moise Fokou (Maryland), Scott McKillop (Pitt), Connor Barwin (Cincinnati)
TE’s Brandon Pettigrew (Oklahoma State), Chase Coffman (Missouri), Travis Beckum (Wisconsin), Jared Cook (South Carolina), Dan Gronkowski (Maryland), Shawn Nelson (Southern Mississippi), Richard Quinn (North Carolina)
K Graham Gano (Florida State)
DE Aaron Maybin (Penn State), Lawrence Sidbury (Richmond), Robert Ayers (Tennessee), Jovan Belcher (Maine), Jarron Gilbert (San Jose State), Michael Johnson (Georgia Tech)
DT Jeremy Navarre (Maryland)
OT Eben Britton (Arizona), Andre Smith (Alabama), T.J. Lang (Eastern Michigan), Phil Loadholt (Oklahoma), Michael Oher (Ole Miss)
C Edwin Williams (Maryland), Alex Mack (Cal), Max Unger (Oregon)
S Louis Delmas (Western Michigan), Troy Nolan (Arizona State), Patrick Chung (Oregon), Rashad Johnson (Alabama)
QB’s Brian Hoyer (Michigan State), Pat White (West Virginia), Mike Teel (Rutgers)
FB Tony Fiammetta (Syracuse)
RB’s Beanie Wells (Ohio State), Andre Brown (NC State), Shonn Greene (Iowa), Javon Ringer (Michigan State)

Now here are 10 more players who names you might want to know before Ozzie Newsome starts calling in picks this weekend. Thanks to ESPN.com for stats, thanks to Youtube.com for video, thanks to NFLDraftScout.com for Combine numbers and profile information, thanks to CarrollCountyTimes.com for info on Ravens’ interest.

William Beatty (OT, UConn)

It is hard to imagine what a scout wouldn’t like about the big man from UConn. He’s massive (6’6″, 307), strong (27 reps of 225 pounds on the bench at the Combine), reportedly has quick feet, and has been a leader for a potent offense. In fact, he anchored the Huskies’ offensive line a season ago that lead the way for the nation’s leading rusher in Donald Brown. The only negatives I can find are a broken leg in 2006 and the fact that he had to gain 40 pounds during his UConn career. But he DID gain those 40 pounds, and he appears to be ready to go. He’s expected to be a late 1st round/early 2nd round pick; and is from York, PA; so he just might be a Ravens fan.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jhJ1h1FIRQ[/youtube]

Brandon Gibson (WR, Washingon State)

Gibson’s numbers were WAY down in his Senior season, but the entire Washington State team was down in ’08. He caught 57 balls for 673 yards and 2 TD’s; down from his sophomore and junior years where he totaled 116 catches, 1,911 yards, and 13 TD’s. He’s shown the ability to be a go-to guy, and could be a bargain pick on the 2nd day of the Draft. He’s 6’1″, 206 pounds, and ran his 40 at 4.58. He had to hold a private workout after missing both the Combine and his own Pro Day due to a pulled hamstring, but is apparently completely healthy.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaIKsANulqU[/youtube]

William Moore (S, Missouri)

Analysts almost unanimously believe Moore hurt his stock by returning for his senior season, which was effective but injury-plagued (right foot sprain, rib cartiledge damge, etc.) Scouts still like him, and he’s projected as a 2nd round pick at this point. He’s 6’0″, 221 pounds; and posted a 4.56 40 at the Combine. He had just 70 tackles and 1 INT in his senior season, but scouts still drool over the 115 tackle/8 INT season he posted in 2007. The Ravens don’t NEED a safety, but if he’s available when they make their 2nd choice, he’d be hard to pass on.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWRY-ixLBTA[/youtube]

Aaron Kelly (WR, Clemson)

If the Ravens are interested in stockpiling possible bargain receivers, Aaron Kelly would be a very interesting option. Much like Brandon Gibson, Kelly’s senior season numbers (67 catches, 722 yards, 4TD’s) aren’t as good as the numbers he posted in his junior campaign (88 grabs, 1,081 yards, 11 TD’s). But Kelly has excellent size (6’4″, 204 pounds), and posted a solid 4.49 40 at the Combine. His biggest issue is apparently his ability to get off the line; but he seems to be a very capable receiver.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4seoAZlOUAc&feature=related[/youtube]

Brooks Foster (WR, North Carolina)

If guys like Louis Murphy (Florida-Percy Harvin) and Tiquan Underwood (Rutgers-Kenny Britt) were considered “overshadowed”, Brooks Foster might not have even made it within the shadow. Tar Heel teammates Hakeem Nicks (likely 1st round) and Brandon Tate (likely 2-3 round) have gotten most of the attention during Draft season, but Foster certainly has something to offer as well. Foster has plenty of questions to answer, especially considering the arthroscopic knee surgery he underwent Dec. 1 that forced him to miss the Senior Bowl. But Foster posted a 4.44 40 at his Pro Day, and appears healthy. He’s 6’1″, 201 pounds; but is coming off a season in which he mustered only 30 catches, 334 yards, and 2 TD’s in a crowded receiving corps. Foster has something to offer, but it is not 100 percent clear what his role could be in the Ravens’ offense or elsewhere. Interestingly enough, Foster’s greatest accomplishment in Draft season came on the bench…..where he set a new modern WR record with 27 reps of 225 pounds. That’s offensive lineman territory.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pcarsdf6o1o[/youtube]

Jamon Meredith (OT, South Carolina)

Meredith’s Gamecocks weren’t particularly prolific on offense, but it is hard to blame the big man for their troubles. Meredith allowed just 4 sacks during his senior campaign, although he missed the first two games due to an eligibility issue. He also suffered an ankle injury the year that has been a bit of a red flag. But he’s certainly a mountain of a man, measuring in at 6’5″, 304 pounds with 34 3/ 4 inch arms. He did 31 reps of 225 pounds on the bench at the Combine. He’s the type of guy who could end up in the 1st round depending on how much teams need offensive tackles, but is more likely to be a 2nd round pick. Meredith played right guard, right tackle, and left tackle during his career, which will help his stock if a team is looking for versatility.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Vj_4x77ZWc[/youtube]

Marcus Freeman (LB, Ohio State)

If the Ravens want to find a solid outside linebacker who will also be a leader in the community, Freeman might be their man. The FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) nominated Freeman for their “Bobby Bowden Award”, an honor recognizing on field, in classroom, and in community achievements. He was also a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS award, recognizing leadership off the field. Freeman is a pretty good football player as well, tallying 85 tackles and 3 sacks a season ago. He might not offer enough of a pure pass-rushing ability for what the Ravens are looking for; but he could be a tweener at the next level, maybe an Adalius Thomas-type. He’s 6’1″, 239 pounds, and clocked in at 4.65 in the 40. He also showed off his strength with 30 reps of 225 pounds on the bench. The guy is the all-around package and is expected to last until the 2nd or 3rd round, but the Ravens may or may not be looking for such an all around linebacker.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBMabHxe7kc[/youtube]

Donald Brown (RB, UConn)

Only 14 players in Football Bowl Subdivision (Former 1A) have ever rushed for 2,000 yards in a single season. In 2008, Brown became the 14th. Brown also added 18 TD’s, cementing his season as one of the best in the last 20 seasons for a Running Back. Brown is not particularly big (5’10″, 210 pounds); which may hurt his chances of coming to Baltimore, as the Ravens are likely looking for a compliment to Ray Rice. (I know, I know, Willis McGahee is still here. But we’ve accepted that McGahee just might not be in the Ravens’ long term plans.) Brown is expected to go on the first day; but may be available into the 2nd round. There are scouts that argue that Brown is in the Knowshon Moreno/Beanie Wells argument as best RB’s in the Draft. He has been receiving advice from former New York Giant Tiki Barber duing the Draft process, and his hosting a leadership event this week in his native New Jersey. Brown may end up being a “safe” pick by a team before the Ravens could even consider him.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRCKzj0SNDE[/youtube]

Cornelius Ingram (TE, Florida)

Cornelius Ingram made a decision in 2005 to leave the Florida Gators basketball team, missing out on being part of a team that would go on to win the next 2 NCAA Championships. This decision might haunt a lot of athletes, but Ingram probably sleeps well at night knowing that by sticking to football only, he still managed to win 2 national championships. The second of Florida’s two titles however might feel a bit empty for Ingram, as he missed the entire 2008 season with a knee injury. Ingram decided to enter the Draft anyway, and that decision seems likely to pay off as well. He appears destined to be a first day Draft pick, and could tickle the Ravens’ fancy should they A-Trade Todd Heap, B-Miss out on Brandon Pettigrew, or C-Just want a Tight End like Ingram in the 2nd round. He’s 6’4″, 245 pounds, and posted a 4.68 time in the 40. In his 2 seasons of playing, he posted 64 catches for 888 yards and 8 TD’s. For what it’s worth, Scott Wright of NFLDraftCountdown.com has Ingram coming to Baltimore in the 2nd round.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttZ36ADe7vc[/youtube]

David Buehler (K, USC)

After listing Graham Gano as a Draft candidate over a month ago, I realized that I neglected to name other possible targets at Kicker in the Draft, and some analysts believe Gano isn’t even the best kicker available. NFLDraftScout.com ranks Buehler as the best kicker available, which is strange considering he never kicked a field goal of 50+ yards in his Trojan career. But Buehler connected on 26 of his 33 field goal attempts during his career, and 117 of his 120 extra point attempts. Buehler also sent over 50% of his kickoffs into the endzone as a senior, which bodes well for a team who is clearly looking to upgrade their kickoff distance. Buehler is very athletic, clocking in at 4.57 in the 40; and posting 25 reps of 225 pounds on the bench. But it will be is leg, not his athleticism that gets him drafted, and some believe he can be as much as a mid-round pick.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT2BKnjj_rw[/youtube]

-G

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Questions Continue to be Answered During Draft Season

Posted on 02 April 2009 by Glenn Clark

This is part 5 in a series chronicling the players whose names you should probably know before Roger Goodell heads to the podium April 25 at Radio City Music Hall. Here are Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4. Now here’s the list of players I’ve profiled for you….

CB’s Sean Smith (Utah), Alphonso Smith (Wake Forest), D.J. Moore (Vanderbilt), Vontae Davis (Illinois), Darius Butler (UConn), Jairus Byrd (Oregon), Kevin Barnes (Maryland)
WR’s Darrius Heyward-Bey (Maryland), Hakeem Nicks (North Carolina), Kenny Britt (Rutgers), Percy Harvin (Florida), Derrick Williams (Penn State), Kevin Ogletree (Virginia), Deon Butler (Penn State), Louis Murphy (Florida)
LB’s Clint Sintim (Virginia), Clay Matthews (USC), Larry English (Northern Illinois), James Laurinaitis (Ohio State), Darry Beckwith (LSU)
TE’s Brandon Pettigrew (Oklahoma State), Chase Coffman (Missouri), Travis Beckum (Wisconsin), Jared Cook (South Carolina)
K Graham Gano (Florida State)
DE Aaron Maybin (Penn State), Lawrence Sidbury (Richmond)
OT Eben Britton (Arizona)
C Edwin Williams (Maryland), Alex Mack (Cal)
S Louis Delmas (Western Michigan)
QB’s Brian Hoyer (Michigan State), Pat White (West Virginia)

Certainly there has been some action since last Thursday’s update; including the USC Pro Day and the Ravens’ annual “Liars Luncheon” Wednesday. While we may have not learned too much at the Luncheon; there were some interesting tidbits. Thanks again to the Carroll County Times for information on who the Ravens are interested in; and to NFL Draft Scout for information on the prospects’ numbers at the Combine, etc.

Tony Fiammetta (FB, Syracuse): The Ravens told the Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg earlier this week that they viewed Fiammetta as a “sleeper” in this year’s Draft; but Fiammetta might be much more than that. The Walkersville High product his been solid during “Draft season”, with scouts impressed by his blocking and pass catching at the Senior Bowl. He posted a 4.58 time in the 40 during the Combine; and measured in a 6’0″, 242 pounds at Syracuse’s Pro Day. With Ozzie Newsome less than committal to the idea of bringing Lorenzo Neal back; Fiammetta could very well be an option for the Ravens, likely to go in the 4th or 5th round.

Beanie Wells (RB, Ohio State): The Ravens’ decision to bring in Beanie Wells for a visit this week might have caught some fans off guard, but it hits on a few strategies the Ravens are or could be envoking. One, the Ravens have always maintained that they will take the “best player available” in the Draft. Wells is obviously amongst the most talented players available this year; but there don’t appear to be a whole lot of teams looking for RB’s in Round 1. If Wells is available at 26; it is wholeheartedly conceivable that the Ravens will view him as the best available player. The immediate question fans ask is “where is there room for Wells on the Ravens’ roster?” Here’s a scenario: Should the Ravens choose not to bring back Lorenzo Neal, they will need a starting fullback. Le’Ron McClain could well move into that role again, being a fullback who gets a number of carries. If so, the Ravens would have to either decide to trust Willis McGahee (that seemed unlikely a season ago), give the job to Ray Rice (who REALLY doesn’t appear to have the size of an every down back), or bring in someone new. Wells has the ability to be explosive; he was considered to be the Heisman frontrunner before suffering a toe injury in Week 1. He’s 6’1″, 235, and ran a 4.52 40. The guy could be very special at the next level.

Greg Toler (CB, St. Paul’s): Toler is looking to become the first ever player drafted from St. Paul’s, a small rural school in Virginia. Toler has been compared to 2008 first round pick Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who came from a small school himself (Tennessee State, which isn’t as small as St. Paul’s-which I can honestly admit I had never heard of until the Ravens reported interest in Toler). Toler is a bit undersized (5’11″, 191); but is lightning fast (4.45 40). He did not garner a Combine invite; but he has worked out privately for the Ravens; as well as the Browns, Jets, Redskins, and Cardinals. He is not a lock to get drafted at all; but could end up working his way into the 2nd day; and could be a sleeper to make a roster.

Dan Gronkowski
(TE, Maryland): Gronkowski was never a major numbers guy at Maryland; but was very consistent and was never afraid to make a hit. In fact, during an interview with Drew Forrester on “The Comcast Morning Show” this week, Gronkowski said he was proud of his blocking abilities, and knew it would help him improve his Draft status. Gronkowski was a rock star during the Combine; finishing 3rd amongst Tight Ends on the bench. His speed (4.79 in the 40) may not be earth shattering; but considering his sizeable frame (6’6″, 255), it’s still pretty impressive. Gronkowski is projected to go somewhere between the 3rd and 5th rounds; and could well be an option for the Ravens, who are believed to be interested in selecting a Tight End at some point during Draft weekend.

Andre Smith (OT, Alabama): Winston Churchill created the famous “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma” line in 1939, but similar words could easily be used to describe Andre Smith. Smith had a TREMENDOUS season with the Crimson Tide; and was in the running to be the #1 pick in the Draft. But he was suspended for Alabama’s Sugar Bowl loss due to contact with an agent; left Indianapolis altogether during a disastrous weekend at the Combine; and showed up out of shape for his Pro Day putting up poor numbers in the 40 and on the bench. But Smith’s talent is still intriguing, and many still see him as a potential Top 10 pick. The Ravens are meeting with him; and if he falls, coming from Alabama certainly won’t hurt him in Ozzie Newsome’s eyes.

Brian Cushing (LB, USC): With 3 USC linebackers all expected to be selected in the 1st Round (Rey Maualuga and Clay Mattews are the others), there is an almost daily debate as to whom is believed to be the most talented. Cushing moved from DE to OLB last season; collecting 48 tackles, 3 sacks, and an INT. He has played all LB positions (as well as DE) during his career at USC. Cushing posted a 4.68 40 at the Combine; shouldering a 6’3″, 243 pound frame. Cushing has had injury issues during his career; but the biggest negative against him are the steroid rumors that have followed him during his career as a Trojan. While never testing positive; there has been an ongoing belief that Cushing has used illegal substances. In fact, NFL.com reported that an unnamed GM said Cushing has been rumored to have used steroids since high school (the report came out around the time of the Combine). While his talent might have him off the board before the Ravens pick at 26; individual concerns could lead teams to pass on him before the Ravens reach the podium.

Robert Ayers (DE, Tennessee): The Ravens have reportedly worked out Ayers (or are planning to work out Ayers); and there is an obvious connection. Ayers is represented by Eastern Athletic Services; a company based right here in Hunt Valley. Ayers has been a riser during Draft season; a player who was originally thought of as a likely 2nd round pick may now go as high as the Top 15. Ayers’ 2008 numbers are similar to those of Cushing (49 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 INT); but his size is clearly what scouts are drooling over. He’s 6’3″, 272 pounds; and ran a 4.77 40 at the Combine. Ayers was arrested in 2005 for aggravated assault; but stayed out of trouble after that. It seems more and more likely that he won’t be available when the Ravens pick; but they’re clearly interested, and could very well pounce should he fall.

Andre Brown (RB, NC State): The Ravens’ decision to work out Brown may be nothing more than a decision to give a former Baltimore kid (who spent a year attending Woodlawn High) the chance to hold another workout and get more experience. But it also might well be that the Ravens believe Brown could be a similar player in the 2nd round as Beanie Wells in Round 1. Brown was explosive at times during his career in Raleigh; combining for over 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in ’08 to go with 9 TD’s. He has a history of injuries (including breaking his left foot twice); but scouts love his 4.37 time in the 40. He’s 6’0″, 224 pounds; and has caught 54 passes over the last 2 seasons.

Mike Thomas (WR, Arizona): After putting up explosive numbers during his junior campaign (1,027 yards, 11 TD receptions); Thomas’ senior season was slightly disappointing, although productive nonetheless (826 yards, 4 TD receptions). Scouts are certainly most concerned about his size (Thomas is just 5’8″ and 195 pounds); but they are most excited about his speed (4.30 40). Sources tell me the Ravens haven’t shown as much interest in Thomas as other teams have; which may be a sign that the team is more interest in a big receiver early in the Draft. Thomas is projected to go anywhere from the 2nd to 4th round; and could also make an impact as a return man-which might have been more intriguing to the Ravens before they signed Chris Carr.

Mike Teel (QB, Rutgers): Teel is a reported Ravens visitor; which seems strange considering the team has re-signed Todd Bouman, giving them 3 quarterbacks on their roster. But this team has already looked at 2 quarterbacks (Brian Hoyer and Pat White); and Ozzie Newsome would not rule out the team drafting a QB. There are a few issues here. 1-the Ravens were clearly affected by the lack of depth at the QB position last year in Training Camp; forcing Joe Flacco to play an entire preseason game. If they can acquire a 7th round pick (or if Teel goes undrafted), he could be a prime candidate to help give the team depth in Camp. This could be an especially important advantage with the Ravens already having former teammate Ray Rice, and having the possibility of adding Kenny Britt in Round 1. Having a former teammate join them in Camp could help the growth of the former Scarlet Knights. Another issue that must be considered is how much the Ravens plan to use Troy Smith outside of the natural QB position. If the team intends to expose Smith more; they would be wise to add another quarterback as insurance. Teel is 6’3″, 225 pounds; and bounced back after a very difficult start to his senior season. He finished the year with 25 TD’s and 13 picks; but was also sacked 16 times and isn’t particularly mobile.

-G

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The Best Season of the Year……..NFL Draft Season

Posted on 07 February 2009 by Glenn Clark

If you know me; you know that there are about 5 things I enjoy more than anything else in the world. In no particular order……

Chick-Fil-A, College Football, Beer, NFL, and College Basketball.

On one particular weekend; a few of those things just so happen to combine for a GLORIOUS couple of days.

But for those of us whose lives are particularly lame (like me); the NFL Draft isn’t just about a weekend.

Frankly, for a guy like me……NFL Draft season starts before the NFL season ever ends.

Unlike those of you who enjoy the finer things in life; I’ve been spending the last few weeks drooling over reports from Senior Bowl practice; considering team needs, and studying the strengths of underclassmen. Unlike last year-when the Ravens were SUPPOSED to have a Top 10 pick; holding the Number 26 pick leads to a number of more options. With that being said; I’d like to declare draft speculation season underway.

Let’s establish some team needs.

First of all; we all know that Wide Receiver and Cornerback are areas that the Ravens need to address this offseason. This could come in free agency OR the Draft, but absolutely HAS to come.

Secondly; pass rush is a place where the Ravens could use some depth (Trevor Pryce could be a casualty, and won’t be around forever even if he does come back); and might need a serious upgrade if Terrell Suggs doesn’t return.

Third, Inside Linebacker is a place where the Ravens might need SERIOUS help (If Ray and/or Bart Scott leave); or might just need to develop more depth.

Fourth; Tight End is a place where the Ravens could REALLY use the addition of a playmaker. Todd Heap is obviously amongst the list of players who could become cap casualties; and even if he is back, the Ravens could use a second playmaker at the position.

Fifth; the Ravens have a couple areas of need in Special Teams. Jim Leonhard gave some life to the return game at the end of the season; but he might not be back, and the Ravens might not want to use a starting safety as a returner full-time even if he does return. If the Ravens can find a Corner or receiver in the first round who has return capabilities; that will only strengthen the likelihood of the pick. The Ravens might also want to consider a mid-round pick on a kicker. Matt Stover is a free agent; and Steven Hauschka showed some leg, but know consistency as a kickoff specialist. If the Ravens decide Stover’s time has passed; they could be in the market for one player to handle both responsibilities this season.

With all of that said; let me give you some names to think about that are already popping up on mock drafts thoughout the web…….

Sean Smith (CB, Utah): Smith is an interesting project. At 6’3″; he has the size to be a solid corner; but only played the position for little more than one year at Utah. He was a wide receiver before that; which obviously leads to the possibility of being a playmaker. He had 5 interceptions in his junior season at Utah (he left school a season early), a respectable number in an offense-happy Mountain West Conference. He did a very nice job of slowing down Alabama’s Julio Jones in the Sugar Bowl.

Alphonso Smith (CB, Wake Forest): Maryland fans still have nightmares of Smith from two seasons ago in Winston-Salem; and for good reason. Smith is known as the type of Corner who loves to gamble; using his ability to get the ball to make up for his lack in size (5’9″). Smith is unlikely to be a “shut-down” corner in the NFL; but given the fact that there really aren’t any “shut-down” corners anymore; he IS the type of Corner who can make plays. Some Draft analysts think he’s more likely to be picked by a team that uses zone coverage.

D.J. Moore (CB, Vanderbilt): At 5’10″; Moore is also not the ideal size for a first-round corner. But Moore has the ability to be a returner; which could intrigue the Ravens. Moore had 6 INT’s for the Commodores last season; and was also used offensively as a receiver and even got some touches running the football. He is obviously a playmaker; but lacks closing speed. Moore was known to be a leader on the football field; and had the chance to match up with some of the best receivers in the game playing in the SEC.

Vontae Davis (CB, Illinois): A D.C. kid who followed Mike Locksley to Illinois instead of following his brother Vernon to Maryland; Davis is the definition of an athlete. He’s strong, fast, and a solid 6 feet tall. Much like his brother; his ability is often labeled as “freakish.” I don’t think Davis will remain on the board to 26; but if he slips to 22 or 23; he’s good enough that the Ravens would have to consider making a move to go get him.

Clint Sintim (LB, Virginia): I had a chance to see Sintim close-up in Charlottesville last season; and the guy is a terror. Scouts said he struggled in space running the Bengals’ 4-3 defense at the Senior Bowl; but that wouldn’t be an option in Baltimore. He is a TERRIFIC pass rusher; and makes up space quickly when he gets a burst. The Ravens would look to use him in a similar way to how he was used at Virginia; looking for him to pressure the Quarterback. The future of Terrell Suggs will probably have a lot to do with whether or not the Ravens make this pick; but it is certainly not out of the question even if Suggs returns. I get the feeling Sintim’s stock is going to rise before April; and could end up being a steal if he’s on the board at 26.

Darrius Heyward-Bey (WR, Maryland): This is obviously the prospect we know the most about. We’ve seen repeatedly the two things about DHB that EVERY scout is drooling over: size and speed. Hey-Bey is 6’2″; and on top of the size has absolute leaping ability to go get a football. He could be a Santonio Holmes-type of player that you take chances lobbing the football too. He could be even better than that though. His speed makes you think he has Larry Fitzgerald-like attributes. (Okay, I’ll stop drooling for a second. But remember the double reverse at Clemson last season?) But Hey-Bey’s numbers were never particularly eye-popping; because he was never the best at doing whatever it takes to get open. Scouts want him to muscle up a bit; and he has to do better when it comes to route-running. But his size and speed obviously remain freakish. The hope for the Ravens would be that he and Mason could be similar to Holmes and Ward in Pittsburgh. His stock will likely rise at the Combine and his Pro Day; but he will have to get better when he makes visits to NFL teams.

Hakeem Nicks (WR, North Carolina): Not the fastest receiver in the Draft; but 6’1″ with great hands. Nicks was a constant playmaker for the Tar Heels; including a HUGE game in a Meineke Car Care Bowl loss to West Virginia. Nicks has been compared to players like Anquan Boldin; and can be the type of receiver that can both go get the football and also be an additional safety net for a quarterback like Joe Flacco. He does a nice job of getting into space and finding a way for the football to find him.

Percy Harvin (WR, Florida): Harvin could be the X factor in this year’s Draft. He’s not your typical first round receiver; but the Gators aren’t exactly your typical offensive team. If the Ravens acquire a Wide Receiver with size before April; Harvin could be added to the fold to allow Derrick Mason to move to the slot. Harvin is a threat to score every time he touches the ball; but had some injury issues (ankle) before leaving Florida last season. He’s an electric player; but the Ravens don’t really have the type of player you’d want him to complement at the position just yet.

Kenny Britt (WR, Rutgers): Britt’s size is much more freakish than his athleticism; but that size is very important when considering Britt. Britt is 6’4″ with very good hands; and has solid abilities to grab fade routes in the end zone. He’s also known as a pretty good route runner by many scouts; but doesn’t have overwhelming speed. Britt could be another sizeable option to match with Derrick Mason; but doesn’t bring the electricity of a Heyward-Bey.

There will be more names to come as we work towards the Combine and the players’ individual Pro Days; but for those Draft losers like myself, I hope this tides you over for a bit. We’ll be doing a weekly Draft segment at 9:30 every Wednesday morning on The Comcast Morning Show; no matter how much Drew doesn’t want to talk about D.J. Moore.

Talk to you tomorrow with a 15-7-0.

-GTre

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