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At the tail end of an interview with Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz, we asked him for his report on some of the top players at the Ravens’ positions of supposed need.
Hortiz didn’t have any notes with him. It was completely spur of the moment. And, quite frankly, it seemed like he could have detailed every player in the draft.
Here’s Hortiz’s take on five top pass rushers, delivered unfiltered to you:
DE Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue Senior; 6-foot-4, 267 pounds 2010 Stats: 70 tackles, 13 sacks, 26 tackles for loss
Blue collar, tough as the day is long. Really competitive player.
Very productive, always around the ball, smart, instinctive.
Has a good frame. Could go in there and tell him, get bigger and be a DE. He could also move and be an outside backer.
DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State Senior; 6-5, 294 2010 Stats: 48 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 interception
True end, 5-technique type guy.
In terms of a pass rushers, he’s more power than finesse. He’s a big guy who plays hard.
The most impressive thing about Heyward, to me, is when I was at the Sugar Bowl. Every time there was an important play to be made he would make it. Third-and-1, tackle for loss. Third-and-2, tackle for loss. He kind of has a way of making the impact plays at the right moment.
DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa Senior; 6-3, 281 2010 Stats: 52 tackles, 4 sacks, 7 tackles for loss
Another high-motor, typical Iowa player. He’s tough, works hard. He’s accustomed to an NFL-type program.
His numbers dropped off this year from last year. His sacks really fell off, but his presence didn’t. He plays hard, he’s got a really high motor. He was getting double and triple-teamed nonstop.
He’s a big, fast guy who can move his body and change directions. When you think about what he runs, I think low 4.8s, at 280-some pounds. That’s impressive.
DE Christian Ballard, Iowa Senior; 6-4, 283 2010 Stats: 43 tackles, 3 sacks, 10 tackles for loss
The bookend to Clayborne. He played on the left side. You see him move inside and out a little more.
He began his career as a tight end, moved over to the D-line. He’s kind of grown into a D-line position. He’s a guy that helped himself at the Senior Bowl, had a really good week and played a real good game.
Ran well at the combine, running 4.7s at 280-some pounds. Really big, athletic kid. He’s a little raw, fundamentally, but that’s to be expected from a guy that’s moved over from offense. A lot of upside.
OLB Justin Houston, Georgia Junior; 6-3, 270 2010 Stats: 56 tackles, 10 sacks, 1 interception, 18.5 tackles for loss
He’s 270 pounds and at his pro day he ran in the 4.5s.
Excellent bender, really gifted athletic ability in terms of rushing the passer coming forward. He bends really well, dip, turn the corner and closes well. He’s an underclassmen, needs some refinement in his game. As a pass rusher, he’s got a lot of natural tools and upside.
If you’re looking at him as an outside linebacker, he is going to need work in pass drops and awareness from that aspect.