Jimmy Garoppolo, Kelvin Benjamin, Keith McGill, Khairi Fortt visiting Ravens, per sources
By AARON WILSON
The Baltimore Sun|
Apr 01, 2014 | 7:36 AM
The Ravens are hosting Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, Utah cornerback Keith McGill and Cal outside linebacker Khairi Fortt for official visits Tuesday, according to league sources.
It's an interesting group at team headquarters, especially Garoppolo.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh emphasized during the NFL owners meetings that the team intends to plan ahead for the future as backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor enters the final year of his rookie contract.
The Ravens held discussions with quarterback Brandon Weeden before he signed with the Dallas Cowboys to back up Tony Romo, according to sources.
Garappolo is a rising draft prospect who has worked out privately for the Houston Texans and the San Francisco 49ers.
He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.61 seconds at the NFL scouting combine, where he met with the Ravens.
Benjamin grew up in Belle Glade, Fla., a football hotbed where he grew up chasing down rabbits out of the sugarcane fields.
"Everybody chased rabbits," Benjamin said during the combine. "They were good to eat. They're really good if you've never had them before, but that also helps you with speed and agility and stuff like that."
Benjamin is one of the biggest wide receivers to enter the NFL since Detroit Lions star Calvin Johnson. He caught 54 passes for 1,011 yards and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore last season, including the game-winning touchdown against Auburn in the BCS national title game.
"I just try to be physical, dominate at the highest point," Benjamin said. "I try to play small and let my size take care of the rest.
"I watch a lot of receivers. I don't just watch the big guys, I try to watch the little guys, too. You watch the smaller guys to imitate their quickness off the line."
Benjamin is drawing late-first-round grades.
Questions have been raised about Benjamin's maturity and work ethic, but he's hoping to assure teams he's ready to be a professional.
"Just growing up and being a man, I've learned to do the things you have to do to be a man," he said at the combine. "Before, I was basically just being a kid, doing kid things, not putting in the work you need to put in to be a great receiver."