Feb 20, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers tight end Maxx Williams runs the 40 yard dash during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
There are always movers and shakers at the NFL Combine, and no teams are more affected than those picking in the latter half of the first round. A good performance can boost a coveted player’s stock, or a bad performance can send such a player’s stock careening. So the Baltimore Ravens have watched as many of their favorite prospects’ stocks have changed.
So far, the biggest mover has to be Jaelen Strong, who would have been a logical target for the Ravens had he been on the board late in the first round. The big receiver absolutely destroyed the combine, posting a 4.44 40-yard dash, a 42-inch vertical and a 123-inch long jump. Those are incredible numbers and much better than expected, so Strong has certainly made himself some money. Now that teams know he can jump out of the building, they will think even more highly of him as a red zone threat.
Phillip Dorsett, on the other hand, ran a blazing 40, but that was entirely expected. It shouldn’t change his draft stock, though Dorsett remains highly regarded.
The running back position saw slower 40 times than were expected, with Melvin Gordon and Duke Johnson in the 4.5s. Gordon’s stock shouldn’t change, but Johnson’s might. Johnson looks fast on film, but some teams who value the combine could be down on him. Same goes for Ameer Abdullah, who ran a 4.6. Abdullah jumped very well, though, leaping 42.5 inches in the vertical, so his quick-twitch ability cannot be questioned.
Maxx Williams was impressive at the combine, flashing smooth receiving skills and ranking near the top in almost every drill. He has the most upside of any tight end in this class, and it’s not close, as he cemented a first-round grade. His 10-plus inch hands are another plus.
On the defensive side of the ball, Vic Beasley blew up the combine. The talented edge rusher ran a 4.53 40-yard dash, benched 35 reps and posted a 41 inch vertical. Beasley is a quick twitch athlete who just made himself a lot of money. Further, Beasley guaranteed that he won’t be available when the Ravens pick, though that was a long shot anyway.
No doubt the Ravens have learned a lot more about different players, but those were the highlights. Keep an eye on the defensive backs today, as the Ravens have their biggest need in the secondary.