The Ravens have set their radar on evaluating a deep class of defensive players.

Among the players they've scheduled to meet with at the NFL scouting combine: towering SMU defensive end Margus Hunt and LSU junior inside linebacker Kevin Minter.

Hunt is a 6-foot-8, 277-pound former shot put and discus athlete from Estonia who's projected as a 3-4 defensive end prospect. He bench pressed 225 pounds 38 times.

Hunt said he has weighed as much as 295 pounds and could easily bulk up again.

"I have a formal meeting with the Ravens tonight," Hunt said. "I would love to play for them and go to Baltimore. Baltimore has a great Eastern European community."

Hunt blocked 17 kicks at SMU, including an NCAA record nine field goals, finishing his brief career with 31 tackles, eight sacks and an interception. He's proven to be a quick study as a football player.

"I have so much to catch up on," Hunt said. "I've been playing the game for four years. I have a lot of skills to work on."

Minter is an All-Southeastern Conference selection and was named the Tigers' Most Valuable Player, recording 130 tackles (15 for loss) and four sacks last season, with an interception and a forced fumble.

The 6-foot-1, 245-pounder received a third-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board and still decided to declare early for the draft.

"It was a hard decision," Minter said. "I thought about it a lot and it was a decision I had to make for my family."

Minter said he would love nothing more than to be drafted by the Ravens and replace retiring middle linebacker Ray Lewis: "To follow in those footsteps," he said, "it would be a real honor."

awilson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/RavensInsider