By now the names of the players that the Baltimore Ravens are linked to in this month’s upcoming draft are becoming familiar. Names like Kevin Minter, Manti Te’o, Matt Elam, Alec Ogletree, and DeAndre Hopkins. But how about the guys that the Ravens may have interest in, that are flying just “under the radar!”
I would be remiss if I didn’t start by mentioning the names of the players that the Ravens have had in for private workouts and interviews, as well as players scheduled to come in. All in all, expect the Ravens to have 25-35 “visits.”
So far they’ve worked out Tank Carradine, the defensive end out of FSU, as well as right tackle D.J. Fluker out of Alabama. The fact that the team has interest in Fluker is not surprising. D.J. is a stud right tackle, and would be a great value if he falls to #32 in the first round, where the Ravens are making their pick. He could be the best player available, and it would also insulate the Ravens from losing Michael Oher in free agency next year. The team wants to extend Oher’s contract, but we all know how these type of things turn out sometimes (right player, right price reminder here). Fluker cannot play left tackle, but he is a mauler, and could start right away if Oher moves to the left side, or the following year if Oher leaves.
The team has also scheduled visits from Tavon Austin, the lighting quick wide receiver out of West Virginia (Joe Flacco is going to attend that workout himself), as well as DE/OLB prospect Brandon Copeland from UPenn. There is also interest in Aaron Mellette, a 6’2″ WR with 4.5 speed out of Elon.
Here are some other prospects that you may be hearing about:
* Markus Wheaton – WR, Oregon State – slick 5’11, 189 pounds, 20 reps at 225. This guy is a bigger Tavon Austin
* Robert Lester – SS, Alabama – 6’2″, 210, centerfield type, not is the box type of a safety. With Christian Thompson’s suspension, I expect the Ravens to take two safeties, in this safety deep draft.
* Tony Jefferson – FS, Oklahoma – 5’11”, 212, just a solid, strong type of a player
* Jordan Campbell – ILB, New Mexico – 5’11”, 249, ran a 4.5 40, did 38 reps with 225! He transferred from USC to Louisville, and then to NM to be closer to home. The tape on this guy is sick!!!
* Quanterus Smith – OLB, Western Kentucky – 6’4″, 252, the best pure pash rusher in the draft! Tore his ACL late in the season. This is the kind of guy the Ravens can draft, and can afford to let him heal.
* P.J. Lonergan – C, LSU – 6’3″, 304, pressed 225 x 25 times. Hold LSU’s power clean record at 374 pounds. Daily went up against one of the best defenses in the country!
* Kevin Reddick – ILB, UNC – 6’1″, 243, just a tenacious player. Tremendous leader and blitzer, who’s fought through adversity.
* Chris Faulk – LT, LSU – 6’6″, 325 – tore his ACL last year in the season opener, so he is a bit of a wild card. Good run blocker, who earned second team all SEC-honors in 2011.
* Brandon Jenkins – OLB, FSU, – 6’3″ 251 – runs a 4.69 40, had 21.5 sacks over the 2010-2011 seasons. Suffered a Lisfranc injury (foot) in this season’s opener. This guy could be the steal of the draft!
There you have it! I’ll be sure to add some more names to this list in the upcoming weeks! It’s hard to imagine the Ravens picking 12 players, but with that sheer number of picks, they can certainly afford to gamble on some of these guys! I’m also sure that since the odds of all 12 picks making the team are slim to none (we simply don’t have room for that many), Ozzie will probably fleece some desperate teams that want to move up for some additional picks in the 2014 draft! He is a great GM with his eye on the future, and I am sure he will be dealing on April 25th!