Ravens-related edition of winners and losers from NFL scouting combine

With the NFL scouting combine set to end Monday, the NFL offseason will reach a new phase.

Teams can officially start contacting the representatives of pending free agents a week from today. Free agents can sign after 4 p.m. March 14. With teams trying to get their salary caps in order before the start of free agency, this figures to be a busy week for roster cuts and maneuverings.


That will garner plenty of attention this week, but before looking forward, let’s review the winners and losers of the scouting combine. The choices below are Ravens-related, which is why Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and Central Florida linebacker Shaquem Griffin, who stole the show at the combine, are not included.

It would be surprising if the Ravens are in the first-round quarterback market, but they should have a chance to take a shot at finding Joe Flacco's successor in the middle-to-later rounds.



Brandon Carr: Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome didn’t make any definitive comments about who is and isn’t in danger of being cut in the next two weeks. However, he stressed that the Ravens need six quality cornerbacks, and he also praised how Carr played in 2017 and the impact he made on the locker room. Even though the Ravens are in a relatively tight salary cap situation and releasing Carr would open $4 million of space, it seems unlikely the team would make such a move with the questionable injury statuses of Jimmy Smith and Jaylen Hill.

Austin Howard: A 16-game starter at right tackle last season, Howard has been mentioned as a potential salary-cap casualty. However, the Ravens don’t have an obvious replacement for him on their roster. And the draft might be an extremely tough place to find one if the performance of some of the top offensive tackles at the combine is any indication. Perhaps, the Ravens feel differently than other talent evaluators, but this is not a good offseason to need a starting-caliber offensive tackle. That bodes well for Howard.

Marlon Humphrey: This isn’t directly related, but team officials were interviewing draft prospects Friday night when they learned that third-degree robbery charges against the young cornerback, stemming from a January arrest for allegedly swiping a cellphone charger from an Uber driver, had been dismissed by a Tuscaloosa, Ala., district court judge. Neither the Ravens nor Humphrey ever seemed concerned that the legal matter would become a problem, but I’m sure the 2017 first-round pick is happy to have it behind him as he ramps up preparation for an important season.

DJ Moore: The perception was that the Maryland receiver was on the rise even before the combine. Then, he got to Indianapolis, measured in at 6 feet and then placed among the top five receivers in 40-yard dash, broad jump and vertical jump. A projected second-round pick coming in, Moore convinced some that he could go in the first round. Some evaluators are now saying Moore and not Alabama’s Calvin Ridley is the best receiver in the draft. Suddenly, the Ravens considering the 2017 Big Ten Receiver of the Year with their first pick doesn’t look like such a stretch.

Running backs: Barkley is the headliner and rightly so, but this running back class is loaded. From LSU’s Derrius Guice to Georgia’s Sony Michel and Nick Chubb to Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson to USC’s Ronald Jones II to Alabama’s Bo Scarbrough to Notre Dame’s Josh Adams to Miami’s Mark Walton to North Carolina State’s Jaylen Samuels to several others, there is something for everybody. It’s not a significant need for the Ravens, but it would seem like a missed opportunity if they didn’t inject speed and elusiveness to their backfield this year, given the strength of the class that was on display last week.

Tight ends: Like running backs, this position group was also very impressive in Indianapolis. It still seems quite possible, if not likely, that no tight ends come off the board in the first round. However, the second and third rounds should be fertile turf for teams looking for tight ends. Count the Ravens in that group. A field-stretching tight end is one of their biggest needs. On Day 2 of the draft, they could have their choice of South Dakota State’s Dallas Goedert, South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst, Oklahoma’s Mark Andrews and Penn State’s Mike Gesicki. All performed well in Indianapolis.

Micah Kiser: “I’m not the biggest person here, the fastest or the strongest, but I’m smart and I’m a productive football player. I like to marry those two together.”


Orlando Brown: Brown, the son of the former Ravens offensive tackle of the same name, was unanimously flagged as the combine’s biggest bust. The mammoth offensive tackle entered the week as a likely first-round pick and exited it with some evaluators saying he could fall all the way to Day 3 of the draft. That’s what happens when you bomb the various physical tests. He appeared to be a logical pick for the Ravens at 16, but that’s not happening. In fact, other than maybe Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey, there probably isn’t a tackle worth taking where they’re drafting in Round 1.

Maurice Hurst: It was tough to not feel bad for the Michigan defensive tackle who couldn’t participate at the combine after medical tests diagnosed a heart condition. Hurst is going to undergo further testing and it isn’t clear how this will alter his draft status. The interior defensive lineman was viewed as a likely first-round pick. The Ravens probably wouldn’t have selected him given team owner Steve Bisciotti’s comment last month about the unlikelihood that they’d take a defensive tackle first. However, the Ravens do need an interior pass rusher and they’ve picked Michigan defensive linemen in back-to-back drafts.

Evans is considered one of the top inside linebackers in the draft.

Jeremy Maclin: Again, Newsome didn’t directly address Maclin’s status. But he also declined an obvious opportunity to say that the veteran wide receiver is in the team’s 2018 plans. When asked whether Maclin would be back, Newsome said no decisions have been finalized. His comment later that the Ravens are planning on changing the look of their receiver room foreshadows Maclin’s expected release. Maclin never appeared comfortable with the Ravens, and releasing him would save $5 million of space the team badly needs.

Calvin Ridley: The consensus top wide receiver in the draft, Ridley didn’t have a bad week. It’s just that he was outperformed by several other receivers, including the Terps’ Moore. While he ran well, Ridley finished with the worst vertical and broad jump numbers out of any of the receivers in Indianapolis. Ridley will still likely be the first receiver off the board and be gone before pick 16, but it’s suddenly not that big of a stretch to think he could fall to the Ravens. Whether they’d take him is a different story.

Mike Wallace: Wallace should do just fine on an otherwise underwhelming free-agent wide receiver market. He had two solid seasons with the Ravens in which he rehabilitated his value and reputation. He has flaws as a receiver, but he still adds a dimension teams need. However, Newsome’s comment about a pending wide receiver makeover doesn’t bode well for his return. It’s not out of the question that he does, but the Ravens appear to have other targets at receiver.

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