When the Ravens are on the clock Thursday night with the sixth overall draft pick in the NFL draft, they'll have several enticing defensive options. Depending on what happens in front of them, the Ravens could choose a relentless pass rusher or a physically imposing defensive end, a freakishly athletic inside linebacker or a lockdown defensive back. Finding the best fit from that group, however, may be more difficult than it sounds. Whether it has to do with health, size, position or ability to
In the 2004 and 2009 NFL drafts, Maryland had five players selected. In 2002 and 2006, three Terps were drafted by NFL teams. But in the past four drafts, only four Maryland players have been selected. In the fickle world of scouting and drafting, there can be myriad factors for the drop off: lack of talent, lack of development and, in some cases, lack of luck.
In their audition to impress the hordes of NFL scouts and officials at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday, former Maryland defensive linemen Yannick Ngakoue and Quinton Jefferson turned in solid performances during defensive linemen workouts.
About 15 minutes apart, Notre Dame's Ronnie Stanley and Mississippi's Laremy Tunsil stepped in front of a group of reporters at Lucas Oil Stadium and each claimed to be the best left tackle in the NFL draft.
Four former Maryland players were invited to the NFL scouting combine, which takes place from Feb. 23 to Feb. 29 in Indianapolis, Ind., the NFL announced Thursday. Brad Craddock, Sean Davis, Quinton Jefferson and Yannick Ngakoue all accepted invitations and will attempt to boost their draft stock alongside other top college talent.
When Maryland defensive linemen Quinton Jefferson and Yannick Ngakoue declared for the NFL draft after the end of the season, they joined a bumper crop of talent at the position. And because of that, the pair of former Terps could end up being "bargains" for the teams that draft them, ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said during an appearance on Glenn Clark Radio on Wednesday.
For Za'Darius Smith, a fourth-round NFL draft pick this year out of Kentucky, it will be his second opportunity to build on a strong performance. In the weeks that followed his big game against the Steelers, when he sacked quarterback Mike Vick on back-to-back plays, Smith's impact waned.
Through the first three-quarters of its schedule, Maryland has faced its share of dynamic aerial attacks. Bowling Green quarterback Matt Johnson threw for 491 yards in September. Penn State¿s Christian Hackenberg, a likely top pick in April¿s NFL draft, racked up 315 yards a few weeks ago. In mid-October, the Terps had to contend with Ohio State¿s two-pronged attack of J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones.
The Ravens are 1-6 and buried in last place in the AFC North division following their 26-18 loss to the Arizona Cardinals Monday night. They are a contender for the first overall pick in the NFL draft, not a playoff spot. Their season has been a disaster.