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ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary

Countdown to Combine: Defensive line


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Where the Ravens stand: The Ravens have one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL in Haloti Ngata, who was given the franchise tag this month. A decision will have to made over the future of nose tackle Kelly Gregg (due $3.5 million this season) because the Ravens might feel the need to start second-round pick Terrence Cody in 2011. Cory Redding is entering the final year of his contract. The Ravens have been developing dependable backups in Brandon McKinney, Lamar Divens, Arthur Jones and Paul Kruger.


Chances that the Ravens draft a DE in first three rounds: Moderate. The Ravens could address the need for a young pass-rushing defensive end. Trevor Pryce surprisingly left at the start of last season after being cut, Redding turns 31 during his contract season and Kruger has failed to live up to expectations. There is no need to draft an interior lineman this early. The Ravens have quality young depth at defensive tackle.


Possibly on Ravens radar: Cameron Jordan (Cal), Cameron Heyward (Ohio State), J.J. Watt (Wisconsin), Steen Friday (Virginia Tech), Muhammad Wilkerson (Temple).


Outlook: Jordan could have pushed himself to the top of the first round with a dominant Senior Bowl showing. Heyward, a big-bodied run stuffer who is the son of late Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, should be available at the bottom of the first round. Watt is a bullying defensive end who could creep into the bottom of the first round. The biggest riser could be Wilkerson, who has vaulted himself into a top-25 prospect after flashing a lot of potential in one of the weaker conferences.

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Oregon State’s Paea breaks Combine bench press record


Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea is unable to run or perform on-field drills due to arthroscopic knee surgery underwent in January. So he had one, solitary focus entering the 2011 Scouting Combine:


Bench press 225 pounds as many times as possible.


Paea more than aced the test, breaking the Combine record with 49 reps of 225. The previous mark was shared by current Giants guard Mitch Petrus, and NFL washouts Leif Larsen and Mike Kudla.


Unlike Larsen and Kudla — who had 45 reps of 225 — Paea can play. He twice won the Morris Trophy as the Pac-10′s top defensive lineman, piling up 29.5 career tackles for loss and 14 sacks despite facing constant double teams.


NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock is particularly high on Paea, projecting him as a potential late first-round pick even despite the knee surgery.


Said Mayock of Paea, “His strength in the weight room translates to the football


This guy will be a stud.

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Yeah... in the weight room. IMO the combine is a farce. So what if a QB can hit his receivers without being under duress. I suspect half the members here could actually look good throwing the ball without a 300+ pound DL or a pissed off blitzing LB looking to hammer him into the turf. The WR's running routes don't have to worry about the SS coming over the middle to knock the fillings out of his molars. That's where the rubber meets the road, and it usually the point where the wheels come off a players wagon. I want guys who excel in the real world, not some staged, non contact, punt pass and kick kiddie show.

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