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The Ravens' long search for a young big-play wide receiver might only take them a short distance.

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock strongly linked former Maryland wide receiver Torrey Smith to the Ravens and their 26th overall pick.

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"If you're talking about the Baltimore Ravens, they're looking for a vertical guy," Mayock said in a conference call Thursday. "They're looking for a guy that flies, and Torrey Smith fits that."

Smith was asked on Twitter whether he's been told by people that he would look good in purple.

"A lot of Ravens fans," Smith responded. "Haha."

Last season as a junior, Smith averaged 15.7 yards per catch and scored 12 touchdowns. Mayock predicts Smith will run somewhere around 4.35 or 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine and said the 6-foot-1, 205-pound wide receiver is "really special" when it comes to running vertical and crossing routes.

But the question has never been Smith's speed. It's his ability to get free against sizable NFL cornerbacks.

"Do I believe he's physical enough with the ability enough to get off press coverage consistently?," Mayock said. "It's something he's going to have to get better at."

Mayock said the Ravens would "love" to draft a cornerback in that spot in the first round, but he doesn't believe they will find the right value.

"After [Prince] Amukamara and Patrick Peterson, there is a drop off," Mayock said of the top two cornerback prospects. "And I'm not sure the kid from Texas, Aaron Williams, and I don't like the Miami kid up there, Brandon Harris. So I don't think there is a fit for the Ravens at corner at 26."

Other than wide receiver, Mayock can see the Ravens selecting a hybrid defensive lineman-linebacker in the first round. The Ravens tried to fill the pass-rush void with Sergio Kindle last season, but the second-round pick has yet to suit up in the NFL because of a head injury.

Some defensive end-linebackers mentioned by Mayock were: Missouri's Aldon Smith, Temple's Muhammad Wilkerson and Cal's Cameron Jordan.

"I think those kind of guys make a lot of sense," Mayock said. "I do think a receiver will be there, and I do know that some of those defensive linemen and linebacker types that they like will be there."

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