IN SEARCH OF: Heir apparent to Ray Lewis

NFL Draft IN SEARCH OF: Heir apparent to Ray Lewis

Posted in NFL Draft
Print this article

The
Baltimore Ravens are interested in bolstering the linebacker position in
general.

They
also brought in Utah State inside linebacker Bobby Wagner and Cal inside
linebacker Mychal Kendricks for visits to team headquarters and worked out
North Carolina linebacker Zach Brown. All three are graded as potential
second-round picks.

Wagner
is a four-year starter, two-time captain and a three-time All-Western Athletic
Conference selection. He was voted the Most Outstanding
Player on the North squad during the Senior Bowl with seven tackles (one for
loss) and an interception and is graded as a solid second-round draft prospect.

The
6-foot, 241-pounder made an excellent recovery from a bout with pneumonia that
required hospitalization and prevented him from participating in the NFL
scouting combine.

Wagner
ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 and 4.47 seconds at his campus Pro Day workout
where he also had a 39.5-inch vertical leap and an 11-foot broad jump.
He
bench pressed 225 pounds 24 times, also registering a 7.09 in the three-cone
drill and an 11.72 in the 60-yard shuttle.

A
Ravens linebackers coach attended the workout.

Wagner
recorded a career-high 147 tackles as a senior with four sacks and two
interceptions.

He
finished his career with 446 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 29.5 tackles for losses, three
fumble recoveries and four interceptions.

Kendricks
is a 5-foot-11, 240-pound Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year who ran the
40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds at the NFL scouting combine.
He
also bench pressed 225 pounds 24 times, registered a 39.5-inch vertical leap, a
10’7” broad jump and a 4.19 in the 20-yard shuttle.

He
has drawn second-round grades from draft analysts.

Kendricks
recorded 106 tackles (14.5 for losses), one sack, a forced fumble, an
interception returned for a touchdown and two fumble recoveries. For his
career, the all-conference linebacker had 258 tackles (36.5 for losses), 13.5
sacks, seven fumble recoveries, four interceptions, five pass deflections and a
blocked punt.

A
former Wilde Lake standout, Brown has worked out for the Patriots and visited
the Chicago Bears, Tennessee Titans, Detroit Lions and the New York Jets.

An
All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection, Brown is one of the most athletic
players in the draft. The 6-foot-1, 244-pounder ran the
40-yard in 4.50 seconds at the NFL scouting combine and improved that time to
4.48 seconds at his campus Pro Day workout. Brown set a
school indoor track record with a 6.72 in the 60 meters three years ago.

Brown
was a Butkus Award semifinalist last season when he led the Tar Heels with 105
tackles (13.5 for losses), 5.5 sacks, three interceptions, three forced fumbles
and four pass deflections.

Over
the years, the Ravens have found starting inside linebackers everywhere from Ray
Lewis in the first round, Jamie Sharper in the second round, Ed Hartwell in the
fourth round and undrafted free agents Bart Scott and Jameel McClain.

“I
think there are some very good inside linebackers in every round,” Eric DeCosta
said. “You’ve got guys that are going to go very high in the draft, a guy like
Luke Kuechly from Boston College. Then, there are guys in the seventh round
that we covet that we think can come in and be demons on special teams
immediately and eventually have a chance to start.

“They
come in all different shapes and sizes. We’re excited about the class this
year, but it’s going to be weighed against the field at other positions and
we’ll pick the best player.”

Facebook Comments
Share This  
Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors.  More from Aaron Wilson

Close

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

Get More Information