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The Ravens double-dipped at the back end of the fifth round and came out with an intriguing pair of prospects
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First, at pick No. 164 overall, Baltimore nabbed Texas cornerback Chykie Brown. With the 165th, they grabbed Mississippi State defensive end Pernell McPhee.
The Ravens had a desire to get bigger at cornerback in this year’s draft and have done exactly that by nabbing6-foot-2 Jimmy Smith in the first round and Brown in the fifth.
Brown is a prospect with great tools who coaches could eventually turn into a starter. He stands in at 5-foot-11, 191 pounds, ran a 4.37 40-yard dash at his pro day, and has very long arms.
Brown split time and often played ahead of former Texas cornerback Curtis Brown, who the Pittsburgh Steelers selected with the 95th-overall pick. Chykie (pronounced SHOCK-ee) started nine games at cornerback last year, logging 19 tackles, including two for loss and a sack.
He was often in press coverage, similar to Smith.
“That’s one of the strongest parts of my game,” Brown said. “I do that pretty much all the time. Coaches give me the opportunity to do whatever I want to do, so I choose to press.”
Brown’s best season came as a junior when he started 14 games and was voted an honorable mention All-American by Pro Football Weekly. He notched 44 tackles and one interception, which he returned for a 77-yard touchdown.
The senior only had two interceptions in his college career, however.
“Some of them, I got my hands on the ball and got a little too excited and let it go,” Brown said. “But most of the time, I didn’t get the ball thrown to me at all. If it did come my way, I had perfect coverage and it just got overthrown or was too short.”
However, injuries have been a problem throughout his college career. He missed the final three games of the 2010 season (broken forearm) and five overall. An ankle injury limited him to three games as a sophomore. Brown said his forearm isn’t quite 100 percent yet.
Brown, who said he was visited by Head Coach John Harbaugh and taken to dinner at On The Border, roomed with current Ravens linebacker Sergio Kindle for two years at Texas.
“I’m back up there with family, so I’ll feel more comfortable when I get out there and play,” Brown said.
“I hope the old Sergio I know gets his head all straight and just comes back and is the Sergio that you all thought he would be. God knows he’s a great player, so I just hope he comes back as strong as he ever was.”
McPhee was one of the nation’s highest-touted defensive linemen coming out of high school, but had to attend Itawamba Community College instead of heading to Southern Mississippi due to academic issues.
In two years at the junior college level, McPhee dominated with 33 sacks. By the time he joined Mississippi State, the competition was stiffer, but the 6-foot-3, 280-pounder still led the team with five sacks and 12 tackles for loss in 2009.
He followed that with 9 1/2 tackles for loss, a pair of sacks, four pass breakups and a team-leading 12 quarterback hurries last season. McPhee, who posted 88 career tackles for the Bulldogs, earned first-team All SEC honors both years, as voted by the coaches.
Immediately following the pick, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said McPhee needs to work on his consistency and is known more for his run-stopping ability than his pass rush.
“He’s solid in games, average in others,” Kiper said. “He’s a kid I think can be a run stopping defensive end and is just average in the pass rush.”
The Ravens will certainly work on pass rush with McPhee, as he is still considered raw having played only one year of high-school football at Anquan Boldin’s Pahokee High School.