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The Ravens have some pressing needs on their offensive line and General Manager Ozzie Newsome also said that the team will look to upgrade at wide receiver.
Addressing both of those areas could be a priority in this April’s draft, and this week’s NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis will be an important part in determining who the Ravens end up taking.
Here are five offensive players to look out for at the combine:
WR Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina
The big receiver heads into the combine with arguably the most to prove out of any wide receiver in this draft. Recent reports say that Jeffery’s weight has ballooned, and that he weighs as much as 240 pounds – a size more fitting for a tight end than a receiver. If he comes into the combine and looks too big or out of shape, that could considerably hurt his draft stock. Also, his 40-yard dash time will be critical because there are concerns that he struggled to get separation in his routes. A 40-time in the 4.4’s or low 4.5’s would dispel some of the concerns about his speed and likely cement his place in the first round.
OG David DeCastro, Stanford
The Stanford product is considered by many draft experts to be the best guard in this year’s draft, making him a likely top-20 pick. He will be interesting to watch at the combine because if he doesn’t perform particularly well in some of the drills, then he could see his stock decline. If he drops down draft boards, then he might be available when the Ravens draft at No. 29, potentially making him a steal late in the first round.
OC Peter Konz, Wisconsin
With starting center Matt Birk contemplating retirement, the Ravens are planning to bring in another center and many draft experts expect Wisconsin’s Peter Konz to be that guy. Not many centers get drafted in the first round, so Konz will have to show NFL scouts at the combine that he is worthy of first-round consideration.
WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
Floyd is considered by many draft experts to be a top five wide receiver that will end up going in the first round or early second. Like most receivers, his 40-yard dash time will go a long way in determining whether NFL teams think he is fast enough to merit a first-round selection. Floyd’s interviews will also be important, as he was suspended at Notre Dame after being arrested for drunken driving. Scouts and general managers will want to make sure those lapses in judgment are behind him.
WR Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers
Sanu is a big-bodied wide receiver (6-foot-2, 215 pounds), and his stock appears to have risen in recent months. Most mock drafts have him as a second-round selection, but a strong showing at the combine could solidify his place in the first round, especially if he is able to post a 40-time in the low 4.5’s. The biggest concern about Sanu is the lack of breakaway speed, which could steer teams away from him in the first round.