The fast pace of the NFL is something that Ravens undrafted rookie cornerback Tramain Jacobs grew accustomed to during his time at Texas A&M.
Every day, Jacobs was challenged mightily in practice by the talents of star Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel and imposing wide receiver Mike Evans.
Trying to prevent "Johnny Football," the Cleveland Browns' first-round draft pick, and Evans, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' first-rounder, from reaching the end zone provided daily lessons for Jacobs.
"It was good to go up against Mike and Johnny every day at practice," Jacobs said during a telephone interview Monday night. "They were two of the best players I ever played against. They prepared me very well to make the transition to the NFL."
Jacobs is making his bid for a roster spot with the Ravens after being passed over in the draft and signing a three-year contract that includes a $4,500 signing bonus.
He chose the Ravens after considering the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns and the New Orleans Saints, liking the opportunity with the Baltimore secondary after they didn't draft any cornerbacks to go with returning starters Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith and backups Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson.
"I saw they didn't draft any corners, and Baltimore was one of the spots I would have liked to go to anyway," Jacobs said. "That they happened to not draft any corners, it was a big plus for me.
"I'm off to a good start. Right now, I'm still in the learning process. I'm making some plays out there. I'm doing pretty good out there."
Jacobs recorded 55 tackles, 13 pass deflections and two interceptions during two seasons at Texas A&M after the Louisiana native transferred from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
Jacobs said there are some parallels from what he did in college to the schemes he's now absorbing from Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees.
"It's similar in bits and pieces," Jacobs said. "There are some things that are different. It's the same as with any college player, there's a lot to learn. I believe I'm picking it up pretty well."
Jacobs said he's received invaluable mentoring from older players, like Webb and Smith.
"I've learned a lot from them," Jacobs said. "They've been great. Being a rookie, they really put us under their wing. They've taught us about the league, what to do and what not to do. They've been very helpful."
While there's an opportunity for Jacobs, there's also a lot of competition from his fellow rookies. The Ravens signed Middle Tennessee State cornerback Sammy Seamster, Oregon cornerback Avery Patterson and North Carolina A&T cornerback Deji Olatoye as free agents following the draft.
"I believe it will be competitive," Jacobs said. "Everybody is trying to make the roster for a great organization. We're looking forward to it. We compete every day and we're all getting better."
At 5-foot-11, 182 pounds, Jacobs ran the 40-yard dash in 4.50 seconds at his campus Pro Day workout, where he also had a 32 1/2 inch vertical leap and a 9-6 broad jump.
Jacobs was the sixth-ranked defensive back by SuperPrep and was a triple jumper on the track team in high school growing up in Covington, La., before attending junior college.
"I'm a hard worker," Jacobs said. "Off the field, I'm quiet and laid-back. I do my job. I don't party. I'm a to-the-point person. I'm proud of what I'm doing."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun