This week, the league released the names of the draft prospects invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, which begins on Feb. 28. The list contains only one player from a Maryland-based school: Terrapins cornerback William Likely. Wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo graduated from Maryland before playing his final college season at Syracuse.
As for the players who will be in Indianapolis to work out, meet with teams and also speak to reporters, there are plenty who should garner significant interest from the Ravens. Here are 10 of them:
Derek Barnett, OLB, Tennessee: The smart money is on the Ravens taking either a cornerback or a pass rusher with their first-round pick, and Barnett is one of the players who figures to be under consideration if he’s available. Barnett had 32 sacks and 52 tackles for loss in three seasons for the Volunteers. He led the SEC with 13 sacks last year. The Ravens need a young edge rusher, and Barnett would fit the bill.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State: Cook is a three-down running back who is capable of going the distance every time he touches the ball. His style fits what the Ravens are looking for as a complement to Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon. He probably fits better than the draft’s other top back, LSU’s Leonard Fournette. A good performance at the combine and Cook could be gone by the time the Ravens are on the clock.
Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan: The Ravens have vowed to get quarterback Joe Flacco some help this offseason and Davis checks a lot of boxes. Though there will be questions about the competition he’s faced, Davis’ numbers are off the charts. He had 5,278 career receiving yards and 52 touchdowns at Western Michigan. Many pundits believe he’s the top receiver in the draft. He won’t participate in the combine because of ankle surgery, but teams will be lining up to speak with him.
Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama: Foster reportedly won’t participate in the combine because of shoulder surgery. He will be there to meet with teams, and the injury shouldn’t affect his draft status too much. He’s considered the top available inside linebacker and he’s an intriguing candidate to slot in alongside another former Alabama star, C.J. Mosley, as a replacement for the retired Zachary Orr.
Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State: A ball-hawking, instinctive safety, Hooker has drawn comparisons to former Raven Ed Reed. He’s still raw, but the talent and physical tools are undeniable. Many draft analysts believe he’ll be go in the top 10. If he falls, the Ravens bear watching, given their need for youth and playmaking ability in the secondary.
Sidney Jones, CB, Washington: It’s likely that five or six cornerbacks will go in the first round, and Jones is expected to be one of them. Jones, who had nine interceptions and eight forced fumbles over three seasons with the Huskies, is ranked as the top corner in the draft by NFL Network’s Mike Mayock. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. currently projects Jones to go to the Ravens at 16 overall.
Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan: Peppers is one of 14 Michigan players who will be at the combine and he certainly has plenty to prove. There are questions about what position he fits best at in his transition to the next level. Any defense, however, could benefit from his skill set. Given the Harbaugh connection and the team’s needs, the Ravens are viewed as a potential Peppers’ suitor.
Teez Tabor, CB, Florida: Tabor and his college teammate, Quincy Wilson, are considered first-round corners and the Ravens will do extensive homework on both. Tabor, a Washington D.C. native, is a pure cover corner with big-play potential. He had nine interceptions and three touchdowns in three college seasons. However, he’ll have some questions to answer in Indianapolis about off-the-field issues.
Mike Williams, WR, Clemson: Would the Ravens use a first-round pick on a receiver for the second time in three years? It seems unlikely, even though there’s a need. If Williams is available in the middle of the first round, the Ravens will at least have something to think about as he profiles as the physical, playmaking receiver they’ve long coveted. How quickly he runs at the combine could go a long way toward determining his draft positioning.
Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama: Williams has one defining quality: he can get to the quarterback. He had 18 ½ sacks and 27 ½ tackles for loss in the past two seasons at Alabama. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome’s fondness for Alabama players is well-documented. Williams, though, has used some bad judgment off the field on multiple occasions and he’ll have to answer for that in Indianapolis.