Eric DeCosta’s thoughts, Matthew Judon’s future and other Ravens story lines to follow at NFL scouting combine

Over 300 NFL draft prospects will arrive in Indianapolis this week for the 2020 scouting combine. On Tuesday morning, quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends will be the first to go through maybe the least important part of their schedule: meeting with reporters.

The three position groups were measured and began interviews with interested teams Monday, their first steps in a five-day job interview that will conclude with televised on-field workouts.


But with Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta scheduled to meet with reporters Tuesday for the first time since April’s NFL draft, prospect sound bites will be secondary to DeCosta’s thoughts on an important offseason. Here’s what to look out for — and who might make news.

Top story lines

1. Will the Ravens designate Matthew Judon with the franchise tag? The first day for teams to tag pending free agents was postponed to Thursday, and the Ravens will have 15 days in all to decide. But they’ve probably already figured out how they want to proceed with their Pro Bowl pass rusher. While keeping Judon won’t be cheap, the Ravens don’t have the salary cap space to win a bidding war if he hits the open market. By using the franchise tag, the Ravens can also explore trade possibilities.

2. What’s Marshal Yanda’s future in Baltimore? The Pro Bowl right guard, who turns 36 in September, was noncommittal after the Ravens’ season ended about whether he’d play out the final year on his contract. Yanda’s owed $11 million in 2020 — if he plays, that is — and DeCosta will want to know his roster status before free agency starts next month. Whether it’s this year or next, the Ravens will soon be without one of their best-ever linemen.

3. What are the Ravens’ plans for Brandon Carr? And, by extension, what are their plans for cornerback Jimmy Smith? Carr, 33, who played mostly at safety last season, has a $7 million team option for 2020, which the Ravens can decline. Smith, 31, was one of the NFL’s highest-paid cornerbacks last season, but he’s no longer atop the team’s depth chart. If there’s space for just one, who will it be, and at what cost?

4. What’s the Ravens’ offseason injury report? Center Matt Skura is working back from a torn ACL, MCL and PCL, and reserve safety DeShon Elliott missed even more time last season with his own knee injury. Wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown dealt with lingering foot and ankle problems. Cornerback Tavon Young missed all of last season with a neck injury, though coach John Harbaugh said last month that he wasn’t expected to miss any offseason workouts. DeCosta should have some updates on their health.

5. Where does the front office look next? The Ravens are already considered top Super Bowl contenders, and if Yanda and Judon return, two of the team’s top offseason objectives will be accomplished. There’s still plenty else to worry about, though, from patching up the defense’s front seven to working on contract extensions with homegrown stars to evaluating first-round prospects.

Tuesday’s intriguing prospects

Position in latest Baltimore Sun mock draft noted in parentheses.

  • Colorado wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. (No. 20)
  • Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins (No. 21)
  • Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (No. 24)
  • LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson (No. 30)
  • Texas Christian wide receiver Jalen Reagor (No. 46)
  • Georgia wide receiver Lawrence Cager (Calvert Hall)
  • Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry

TV schedule for on-field workouts

  • Thursday (quarterback, wide receiver, tight end): 4 to 11 p.m., NFL Network
  • Friday (offensive line, running back, special teams): 4 to 11 p.m., NFL Network
  • Saturday (defensive line, linebacker): 4 to 11 p.m., NFL Network
  • Sunday (defensive back): 4 to 11 p.m., NFL Network