Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
The Baltimore Ravens will be front and center at the NFL Scouting Combine, which begins next weekend, and draft guru Mike Mayock lists the top five at each position based on his pre-Combine rankings.
A lot can happen att he NFL Scouting Combine, the 2013 version which begins on February 23rd. Players can see their draft stocks rise and plummet depending on what happens during their short but extremely important stint in front of the coaches, scouts and other front office personnel, much less the assembled media.
While so many of the drills and tests the players are put through will never translate to success or failure on the gridiron, others will greatly affect when and where a player ends up suiting up at the next level, if at all. A super fast 40-yard dash can take a marginal player and make him a top-ten draft pick (see Darrius Heyward-Bey). However, a disappointing 40-yard dash time can also be the doom of your draft day.
The Ravens will be looking, of course, for the best player available if and when they pick, currently slotted with the 32nd and final pick of round one.There are players ranked by Mayock at the inside linebacker position to possibly fill the vacancy crested by the retirement of Ray Lewis.
If Ed Reed either retires or does not re-sign, then the safety position's importance could jump up the list of the team's priority. The same goes if LT Bryant McKinnie is not a member of the team for 2013. Of course, by the time the draft comes around in late April, veteran free agency will be winding down and the Ravens could look to find value with one or more experienced veterans will to take a discount to play for the defending Super Bowl Champions with a chance to return to the Big Game.
A lot will come into clearer view during the Combine, but then again, much will become fuzzy with the ups and downs of the tests, drills and interviews the players will be put through during the Combine. Stay tuned and get ready to watch what is debated as either the NFL's most interesting or boring spectacle of the year.