OWINGS MILLS — The Baltimore Ravens’ search for an explosive deep threat might not be located far away.
As in he’s currently right down the road in nearby College Park.
In the opinion of NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, University of Maryland wide receiver Torrey Smith would be an excellent fit for the Ravens’ 26th overall pick of the first round.
"If you’re talking about the Baltimore Ravens, they’re looking for a vertical guy," Mayock said during a conference call. "They’re looking for a guy that flies, and Torrey Smith fits that. He’s a guy that’s going to run 4.35 or 4.38 or something in there. You see vertical speed."
The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder caught 67 passes for 1,055 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, averaging 15.7 yards per reception.
The previous year, Smith registered 61 receptions for 824 yards and five touchdowns. In three seasons, he caught 152 passes for 2,215 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Mayock questioned whether Smith is prepared to escape from strong bump and run cornerbacks.
"You don’t see him up against press," Mayock said. "You just see him run vertical routes, crosses and bubbles, and he can do that. I mean, he’s really special when it comes to those kinds of routes.
"Do I believe he’s physical enough with the ability enough to get off press coverage consistently? It’s something he’s going to have to get better at."
The Ravens have been linked to several cornerbacks in mock drafts, including Texas’ Aaron Williams and Miami’s Brandon Harris. However, Mayock doubts that any of those corners are worthy of selection at that point in the draft.
He rated Harris as a third-round prospect.
"When you start to compare him to what’s left on the defensive board when you get to where Baltimore’s drafting at number 26, I think they’d love to find a real good corner around there, but you tell me.
"After Prince Amukamara and Patrick Peterson, there is a drop off. And I’m not sure about the kid from Texas, Aaron Williams, and I’m not sure I like the Miami kid up there, Brandon Harris. So, I don’t think there is a fit for the Ravens at corner at 26."
Because this is such a deep defensive end class with as many as eight or nine projected to go in the first round, Mayock said he thinks defensive line or a hybrid outside linebacker could make sense for Baltimore if they don’t go wide receiver.
"I do think a receiver will be there, and I do know that some of those defensive linemen and linebacker types that they like will be there," Mayock said. "I think at that point, I think Aldon Smith (Missouri) will be there. I think Muhammad Wilkerson (Temple) will be there. I think those kinds of guys make a lot of sense. Cameron Jordan (Cal), if he was there, they all make sense."