Ravens To Scout LBs, Pass Rushers Today

There are a few outside linebackers and defensive ends to keep an eye on.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Saturday, February 25th, 2012 at 10:51 am | Categories: 2012 Scouting Combine, Combine, Ryan Mink

Day 3 of the NFL Scouting Combine welcomes the linebackers and pass rushers.

While the Ravens led the AFC in sacks last year with 48, General Manager Ozzie Newsome said he can’t have enough players who can get to the quarterback.

Baltimore also may need an inside linebacker as Jameel McClain is an unrestricted free agent and Ray Lewis is one year older.

Fans will be interested in hearing from the following players:

DE Chandler Jones, Syracuse
Junior; 6-foot-5, 270 pounds
The younger brother of Ravens defensive tackle Art Jones, Chandler has a totally different looking body. He’s lean and has long arms and athletic prowess. While he’s considered somewhat of a raw prospect, the physical tools scouts drool over are there. He missed five games due to a knee injury last year.
Top question: How raw is he?

ILB Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State
Junior; 6-3, 245
A big-hitting YouTube sensation, Burfict has a lot of questions to answer at the combine. Scouts have called him inconsistent and questioned his maturity. But there’s a ton of talent there that could be brought out more under the guidance of a veteran locker room like the Ravens’.
Top question: Has he matured?

ILB Dont’a Hightower, Alabama
Junior; 6-3, 266
A huge linebacker, Hightower stands out from a pure physical standpoint. He’s strong and is a physical tone-setter. The two-time team captain is a leader, but some pundits have also questioned whether he leaves plays on the field. Partly because of his size, he’s not as great in coverage.
Top question: Enough of a playmaker to be a first-rounder?

DE Nick Perry, Southern California
Junior; 6-3, 250
He’s a physical specimen that will more than pass the eye test. His speed helped him notch 9.5 sacks last season and 21.5 over his three-year career. Perry isn’t as strong against the run, or in pass coverage quite yet, but if Baltimore’s looking for pure sacks, he’s a good option at the end of the first round.
Top question: Can he develop into more than a pass rusher?

DE Cam Johnson, Virginia
Senior; 6-4, 267
Johnson has great size and provides a good balance of setting the edge against the run and getting to the quarterback. Johnson impressed scouts at the Senior Bowl, upping his stock into the third or perhaps second round. He doesn’t have a ton of production with 12.5 sacks in his four years.
Top question: Is he a full-throttle player?

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