Late For Work 3/25: Harbaugh: Ravens Could Add Two Corners

Plus the Baltimore Sun’s mock draft, McCrary to help pass rushers and a WR to visit Baltimore.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Thursday, March 25th, 2010 at 8:07 am | Categories: Late For Work, Ryan Mink

Harbaugh: Ravens Could Add Two Corners

Because nobody knows for sure yet when cornerbacks Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb will be back next season, Head Coach John Harbaugh told the Baltimore Sun that the Ravens are considering adding two cornerbacks to the roster.

Washington expects to be back in time for training camp, but Webb is more of a mystery at this point.

Harbaugh said he will gauge how the two starters are moving around in drills in June to see if they might be ready for camp. If they can’t work out, Washington and Webb could potentially land on the physically-unable-to-perform list, which could hold them out of practice or sideline them for at least six games if they aren’t off the list when the regular season starts.

Either way, Harbaugh will have a contingency plan in place. That plan, he said, could be signing two veteran free agents or signing a free agent and drafting a cornerback.

If the Ravens go the free-agent route there are still solid options remaining, including Lito Sheppard, Nick Harper, Philip Buchanan, Dre Bly, Nathan Vasher, Fred Smoot and Ken Lucas. Frank Walker is also a possibility, as Harbaugh has shown interest in bringing him back.

Some of the top cornerbacks in the draft are Joe Haden (Florida), Kyle Wilson (Boise State), Devin McCourty (Rutgers), Kareem Jackson (Alabama) and Patrick Robinson (Florida State).

“You can’t have enough corners,” Harbaugh said.

Baltimore Sun Reveals Mock Draft

If you’re an avid reader of Mock Draft Monitor, you’ll know that many media outlets think the Ravens are going to take Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham with their No. 25 overall pick in the upcoming draft.

Well, add the Baltimore Sun’s Keith Van Valkenberg to the list. C’mon maaan.

“I know what you’re thinking. You’ve waited three days to see who the Ravens might pick in this mock draft, and now you finally get here and it’s the same guy everyone has been predicting the Ravens will take for the last month, including Kiper and Todd McShay,” Van Valkenberg conceded. “Some great insight, right? But I’ll assure you, I wrestled with this for the better part of a week, trying to come up with a selection that made more sense.”

Van Valkenberg believes Gresham “is the one player who has enough talent and the potential to be an all-Pro,” at where the Ravens are drafting and that he would be a useful weapon in opening up the middle of the field in the passing game. Van Valkenberg doesn’t think Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick is worthy of that high of a pick.

But above all, the Sun scribe believes the Ravens would be best served by trading down, perhaps out of the first round completely, to pick up perhaps another second-round pick and a third.

With the extra picks, Van Valkenberg said drafting a cornerback such as Rutgers’ Devin McCourty near the top of the second round and then a tight end with their later second-round or perhaps a third-round pick would make sense.

McCrary to Work With Pass Rushers

The Baltimore Sun is also reporting that former Ravens defensive end Michael McCrary has said he will be a volunteer coach with the Ravens at various times before the 2010 season.

McCrary, who finished his career in 2002 as the Ravens’ then all-time sacks leader, would probably work with the defensive linemen and outside linebackers on their pass-rush techniques.

“I’ve worked with him before earlier in my career, and he taught me some of his old tricks,” Terrell Suggs said of McCrary. “I look forward to getting out there with him again. I’m sure he will be able to teach me some things.”

WR Williams to Visit Baltimore

Syracuse wide receiver Mike Williams is scheduled to visit Baltimore, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post.

Williams (6-2, 204) has the talent to be one of the top wide receiver prospects in this year’s draft class, but he left Syracuse in November of his senior season and missed all of 2008 due to academic suspension.

The former Orangeman had 49 catches for 746 yards and six touchdowns in 2009 before he left. He notched 60 receptions for 837 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2007. Williams has great athleticism and run after the catch ability.

NFLDraftScout.com projects him to be drafted somewhere in the third or fourth round, but because of his character concerns and a less-than-stellar Combine showing it could be even later.

Divisional Games to Come Late

Now we know why it’s taking longer than usual to announce the Week 1 prime time and Thanksgiving games.

Pro Football Talks reports NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is seeking to give teams a heavy dose of divisional opponents in Weeks 16 and 17 to help improve the chances that teams will still have to play their starters at the tail end of the year to secure playoff spots. Goodell was bothered last year when elite teams, such as the Indianapolis Colts, limited their best players in the final few weeks.

“It is still an issue and I spoke to the Competition Committee about it on Sunday,” Goodell said. “One of the key things we’re doing in the short term is in our scheduling. We’re trying to schedule, potentially, Week 17 will be all division opponents. And maybe even a large part of Week 16.”

Quick Hits

  • The New York Jets and head coach Rex Ryan will be the subject of the HBO series on NFL training camps, “Hard Knocks,” according to the Houston Chronicle. The Texans were also in the running.
  • I can’t believe LFW almost missed this grand opening. Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco debuted on “Dancing with the Stars” Monday night. And of course he had Terrell Owens in the front row there to watch him.

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