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South Florida corner Chris Dunkley got 'good vibe' during Ravens visit

South Florida cornerback and kick returner Chris Dunkley visited the Ravens last week and came away encouraged by the trip.

"It was really good," Dunkley told The Baltimore Sun. "I got a very good vibe. It was awesome to be there. I met with Ozzie Newsome. I did my physical. I talked to their secondary coach, Chris Hewitt. I talked to their special teams coach, Jerry Rosburg. I got a good vibe from the Ravens."

During his visit to the Ravens, the Florida transfer spent time with former Gators and Ravens safeties Matt Elam and Will Hill. Dunkley works out with Elam during the offseason in south Florida. He was at the Ravens' training complex last Wednesday, the same day that cornerback Jimmy Smith signed his four-year, $48 million contract extension.

"I'm best friends with Matt and real good friends with Will Hill," Dunkley said. "I've been training with Matt. That's my guy. He's ready to go this season, trust me. He's been working very hard to get ready."

Dunkley also visited the New England...

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NFL draft position-by-position breakdown: Offensive linemen

The Ravens’ insistence on taking the best player rather than targeting their biggest need adds to the shroud of mystery that annually surrounds the organization heading into the NFL draft.

While draft pundits have been consistent in projecting the Ravens to use their 26th overall pick on either a wide receiver or a cornerback, general manager Ozzie Newsome has shown that he’s not afraid to do the unexpected.

It would be foolish to dismiss the possibility that Newsome will use the pick to further bolster a position of perceived strength or even trade it to add to the team’s middle-round draft haul.

Until April 30, the first round of the 2015 NFL draft, The Baltimore Sun will examine the Ravens’ depth at each position, the potential of them adding to that spot early in the draft and some of the players who they could target.

The Ravens will enter the three-day draft with 10 picks: one in each of the first, second, third and sixth rounds, and three each in the fourth and fifth rounds.


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Miami tight end Clive Walford met with the Ravens, sources say

University of Miami tight end Clive Walford had a predraft meeting with the Ravens, according to NFL sources.

Walford dominated Senior Bowl practices, especially in red-zone drills. He is the second-ranked tight end in the draft, behind University of Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams. He's generally graded as a second-to-third-round draft pick.

The Ravens are in the market for a tight end due to tight end Dennis Pitta's uncertain status. Pitta has dislocated and fractured his right hip twice in the past two seasons.

Walford ran the 40-yard dash in 4.79 seconds at the NFL scouting combine during which he also bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times, had a 35-inch vertical leap and a 10-foot broad jump.

The 6-foot-4, 251-pound tight end was a second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection and a third-team All-American last season. He was a finalist for the John Mackey award.

Walford tore his meniscus and missed the Hurricanes' bowl game.

As a junior, he started every game and caught 34 passes....

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Ask Mike Preston about the NFL draft

Do you have a question about what the Ravens might do in the NFL draft, which begins Thursday?

Send an email to sports@baltimoresun.com with your question. It might be answered by Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston in a Q&A that will appear on baltimoresun.com this week.

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Joe Flacco upbeat about new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman

The arrival of offensive coordinator Marc Trestman brings a professorial quality to the Ravens' offense.

Bespectacled with a rich vocabulary, Trestman is well-versed in the stock market, took and passed the bar exam and earned a nickname, "The Quarterback Whisperer," for his work with Steve Young and Bernie Kosar.

Although Trestman and Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler were not successful together -- particularly last season, which ended with Trestman being fired as head coach following a 5-11 nose dive -- he's made a good impression so far on quarterback Joe Flacco.

"Everybody likes Marc, I think he's a bright guy," Flacco said Saturday night during a Special Olympics Maryland event in at Al Packer Ford in White Marsh. "I think he's running the meetings well. I think he's doing some really good things. We're evolving a little bit. I think he's going to be a good fit."

The expectation is that Trestman will use a lot of former offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak's zone-blocking system...

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Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta still hopeful that he'll play in 2015

Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta enjoyed being back at the team facility last week, taking part in workouts with his teammates. He hopes that was just the start of a significant comeback.

Pitta, who has had surgeries to repair a fractured and dislocated hip each of the past two years, said Saturday that his goal remains to be on the field for the 2015 season. But he said it’s too early to know whether that will be possible.

“We still have some time to be able to assess where I’m at,” said Pitta, who appeared with quarterback Joe Flacco at Casino Night at Al Packer's White Marsh Ford to benefit Special Olympics Maryland. “I sure hope that I’ll be on the field next year. That’s my hope; that’s my goal. We’ll just see if we can get there.”

The Ravens have said they are leaving the decision to Pitta and his doctors. Ravens coach John Harbaugh has said Pitta’s hip is fully recovered, but whether he returns to the field is up to the 29-year-old..

Pitta suffered his second dislocated and fractured...

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