Ravens met with Alabama free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, according to source
By By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun|
Apr 10, 2014 | 7:31 AM
The Ravens recently held a predraft meeting with Alabama junior free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, according to a league source.
Clinton-Dix, whose full name is Ha'Sean, has also visited the Detroit Lions and met with the Tennessee Titans.
Clinton-Dix is the top-ranked defensive back in the draft and could provide the natural center fielder the Ravens have been seeking for their defense. If the Ravens were able to land Clinton-Dix, they could shift Matt Elam to strong safety, where his tackling and physical nature would be more of an asset.
"I'm what you're looking for in a safety," Clinton-Dix said during the NFL scouting combine in February. "I make plays."
Clinton-Dix declared early for the draft after recording 52 tackles, two interceptions and six pass deflections in 11 games last season, when he was named a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection.
He was suspended for two games after an assistant coach loaned him money, but that's not expected to affect his draft stock.
The rangy 6-foot-1, 208-pounder had surgery on a torn meniscus in December and is believed to be fully healthy now.
At the NFL combine, Clinton-Dix ran a respectable 4.58 in the 40-yard dash and bench pressed 225 pounds 11 times with a 33-inch vertical leap. His 4.16 short shuttle and 11.63 60-yard shuttle were the top times at his position.
As a sophomore, he played in every game and led the Southeastern Conference with five interceptions. That included interceptions in the SEC championship win over Georgia and the BCS national championship victory over Notre Dame.
Clinton-Dix has drawn praise for his instincts, coverage skills and decisiveness with explosive closing skills. He's also an intimidating hitter. He has occassionally been overaggressive in pursuit and bit on play-action fakes and misdirection.
He's been compared favorably to Seattle Seahawks Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas and is regarded as well-coached by Alabama coach Nick Saban.
"I'm one of the best safeties in the draft because I played in Saban's system," said Clinton-Dix, a native of Orlando, Fla. who chose Alabama over Florida, Florida State, USC, Ohio State and Notre Dame. "I feel like I'm prepared for the next level. I'm a fast learner. I play fast. I study a lot of film. I study the opponent a lot. I fly around."