INDIANAPOLIS — Just one still left Liberia as a child after a civil war devastated his residence country’s economic system in the 1990s. Another’s the cousin of one particular of the NFL’s finest gamers and most outlandish newsmakers. And then there are prime-tier large receiver draft prospective customers who went viral for the reason that of a shirtless image, broke a backboard in a significant college basketball recreation and moved midway across the country after his mother’s demise.
The Baltimore Ravens’ challenge? Examine all of these large receivers and decided regardless of whether any can rectify the team’s prolonged-standing offensive weak spot.
Baltimore’s prime conclusion makers viewed these gamers and met with a lot of of them last week throughout the NFL Scouting Blend in Indianapolis. And a slew of fans hope the Ravens will use the No. 22 in general decide to incorporate a receiver, specially for the reason that they released veteran Michael Crabtree earlier this offseason and could watch John Brown strike unrestricted cost-free agency.
“We’d adore to deliver in some younger guys and have them acquire a romantic relationship with [quarterback]Lamar Jackson relocating forward,” standard supervisor Eric DeCosta stated Wednesday.
Luckily for Baltimore, the draft class gives engaging alternatives at large receiver.
N.C. State’s Kelvin Harmon arrived in on the reduced close of the 40-lawn sprint instances at the placement group (he ran his in 4.6 seconds) but stays a significant-spherical prospect for the reason that of the toughness and talent he shown with the Wolfpack. An NFL.com scouting profile of Harmon promises he has “big-puppy swagger.”
Harmon stated he made his fearlessness after his relatives moved to New Jersey from Liberia and his dad acquired a occupation in an IKEA factory to make finishes satisfy.
“The lifestyle and the stuff that was instilled in me is continue to there: being a hard-employee, being a spiritual particular person,” Harmon stated.
Even though Harmon told reporters in Indy of his harrowing childhood Friday, Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown fielded queries about his cousin, Steelers large receiver Antonio Brown. The young Brown stated he often sought out information from Antonio but didn’t have a comment on his pending trade ask for.
In any scenario, Marquise Brown could bring in notice from the Ravens as a initially-spherical decide. Even though Brown sat out of Blend drills while recovering from Lisfranc surgical treatment on his foot, a lot of pundits consider he’s one particular of the speediest and most electric move catchers in the draft class. He figures to in shape properly with Jackson and the Ravens offense — as prolonged as overall health concerns fade.
Brown’s not nervous.
“A lot of receivers have experienced [Lisfranc surgery] and arrived back,” he stated. “I’ve talked to guys who have experienced it and arrived back, so I’m self-assured.”
Muscular wonder D.K. Metcalf relished an historic combine, managing a 4.33 40-lawn sprint, the speediest time for any player who weighed in at far more than 225 kilos. That performance might’ve allowed Metcalf to ascend out of the Ravens’ draft array in the initially spherical, but his Ole Skip teammate A.J. Brown produced far better college or university numbers and shines with the ball in his arms. Brown’s also a opportunity early-spherical goal.
N’Keal Harry’s an additional large receiver with eye-catching attributes. A indigenous of the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent, the former Arizona Point out star matched Metcalf’s variety of 27 bench press repetitions at the combine, tops amongst receivers. Harry used these kinds of power to shatter a backboard after.
“It was the close of the recreation, most likely about a few minutes still left,” Harry stated. “One of my teammates rebounded it and I just attempted to get down the court. I just went up and [when I] arrived down, the glass shattered.”
Iowa State’s Hakeem Butler didn’t enter the combine with as significantly excitement as Harry, Metcalf or A.J. or Marquise Brown, but he produced lots of hubbub in Indy. He calculated taller than any other receiver at 6 toes, 5 inches and sped by way of the 40-lawn sprint to publish a time of 4.48 seconds.
Butler’s likely to be obtainable late in the initially spherical or could slip into the next or 3rd. And if the Ravens scoop up the towering large receiver with lots of foot speed, Butler would have a homecoming of sorts in Appeal City.
He moved to Houston from Baltimore midway by way of significant college after his mother died of breast cancer in 2012.
“Baltimore, absolutely everyone is aware it is a rough place,” Butler stated. “But it is a town that taught me a lot. You gotta be a dawg. You simply cannot get no times off. You gotta go out there and take in, and it is a puppy take in puppy planet. Day-to-day I get that with me. Every person in this article sort of is aware my story, what I’ve been by way of.”
The Ravens undoubtedly know Butler’s story. They’re also aware of each other prime large receiver in a draft class ripe with intriguing skills, intriguing backstories and immense opportunity.
John Harbaugh conceded last week Baltimore has not finished properly drafting and establishing large receiver talent throughout his 11-yr tenure as head mentor. The Ravens could get a stab at flipping that narrative when the draft rolls all around in April, and they could do so by choosing a move catcher with lots to verify and lots to say.