Oct 18, 2014; Eugene, OR, USA; Washington Huskies defensive back Marcus Peters (21) warming up before the game against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
It’s the middle of February. That can only mean one thing: Time to watch a bunch of football players run around in shorts! Put that way, it sounds silly, yet every single important NFL decision maker will be on hand at the NFL Combine 2015.
Like every team, the Baltimore Ravens will send a large contingent to the premier scouting event. Let’s take a look at what they’ll be looking for.
How does Dorial Green-Beckham interview?
He won’t be on my draft board, but Dorial Green-Beckham has entranced analysts and fans alike with his natural talent. At 6’6″ and good straight-line speed, Green-Beckham is admittedly a physical freak. Teams know that, so his 40-yard dash barely matters. What matters is how Green-Beckham comes across in his interviews.
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To say that DGB has had his share of run-ins with the law is an understatement. He has been arrested, suspended and accused of violent crimes. John Harbaugh and the Ravens won’t be patient with a player who keeps getting into trouble, so they’ll need to be confident that DGB’s problems are behind him.
Further, teams will want to know if DGB is a student of the game. Considering his limited route tree, I doubt it. But he has a chance to make a good impression. If he takes advantage of it, DGB will be a first-round pick, and possibly even a Raven.
How do all those big receivers run?
Jaelen Strong, Devin Funchess, Tony Lippett, Breshad Perriman… there are a lot of big, talented receivers in this draft with questions about their speed. Some are borderline first-round picks, and all would see a huge boost in their draft stock if they run well at the combine.
Every year, there is a big receiver who shoots up draft boards thanks to a phenomenal combine. One of those big receivers (including guys I may not have mentioned) will probably fit that bill. So who is it going to be?
Can Marcus Peters handle coaching?
Whether or not he choked a coach as the rumors said, Marcus Peters definitely got kicked off the University of Washington football team due to his inability to handle coaching. The Ravens are starved for cornerbacks, and there is no questioning Peters’ talent. John Harbaugh is not afraid to tear into a player, though, so the Ravens will need to know how Peters will respond to that. That’s where the interview comes in.
Who are the Ravens interested in?
Finding out who a team is interested in is not difficult. Pay attention to who the Ravens interview and who the Ravens go out of their way to watch. Those are the guys the Ravens are most interested in.
Now, this isn’t a foolproof method. Teams look at players they aren’t interested in as smokescreens, and occasionally, teams won’t show any public interest in a player they actually have their eyes on. That said, the Ravens have always been relatively transparent. Everyone and their mother knew the Ravens wanted Jimmy Smith in 2010, for instance.
So pay attention to the list of players the Ravens meet with. There is a good chance that list will contain several of the Ravens’ draft picks.