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Ravens Brass Checking Out Tackles

Eric DeCosta confirmed the Ravens interviewed three offensive linemen Thursday night.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Friday, February 25th, 2011 at 11:52 am | Categories: 2011 NFL Combine, Mike Duffy

The Ravens have had their eye on offensive linemen so far at the NFL Scouting Combine, interviewing three Thursday night, according to Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta.

And with a potential need to add depth at offensive tackle, there are several prospects that could be intriguing in the first round.

The general consensus puts Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi, Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo, USC’s Tyron Smith, Derek Sherrod of Mississippi State and Colorado’s Nate Solder as the top five, and surely a few of them will be available when the Ravens draft at No. 26. 

Carimi and Sherrod confirmed to reporters that they spoke with Ravens officials Wednesday night, while Costanzo said he met with the Ravens at the Senior Bowl.

Carimi was outwardly confident when he stepped to the podium in the media workroom.

“I’m looking at where I’m at and trying to improve, trying to show people why they really should draft me,” said the 6-foot-7, 315-pound mauler.  “There’s no con to it. They should draft me because I’m the best tackle coming out this year. I already know that I was likely to become a first-rounder. My goal is to be the highest tackle drafted in the first round.”
 
When told of Carimi’s assessment of being the draft’s best tackle, Costanzo said, “That’s his opinion.”
 
But Castonzo could claim a piece of that title, as well.  At 6-foot-6, 305 pounds, he owns solid size, and Castonzo, a former prep tight end, has quick feet and hands.  What’s more, Castonzo was a biochemistry major, which attests to his intelligence.
 
Smith is also expected to go high.  He faced some of the nation’s best competition in the Pac 10, and impressed when he weighed in at 307 pounds, up 22 from his listed weight of 285 pounds, and hands that measured 11 inches, among the largest at the combine in recent history.
 
Sherrod (6-foot-5, 321 pounds) said he is a physical and intelligent talent who can make an immediate impact.
 
“I’m a very physical, competitive, intelligent offensive tackle that can come in right away and help out whatever organization I’m with right away,” he said.  “That’s my plan, go in right away and help out. I’m definitely very NFL-ready at left tackle.
 
“I feel like the SEC is the best conference in college football. Look at every SEC game, and it’ll be very physical and hard-fought. That’s the epitome of the league. That’s going to help any player who competes in that conference.”
 
Finally, the 6-foot-8, 314-pound Solder is another converted tight end who drew a lot of attention with a standout performance at the Senior Bowl, punishing defenders in drills. 

“When I go out there, there’s not one guy that I don’t want to do everything better than, at every single level,” said Solder.  “That plays out in a lot of ways.  If it’s smash him into the ground and shut up his mouth, then that’s the way I’ll do it.”

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