As a part of our coverage here at Russell Street Report, we’ll be featuring the best prospects all across the board in any situation the Ravens might come across. Whether it’s a receiver in the first round, a quarterback in the sixth, or a guard in the third, we’ll cover the Ravens best options in any scenario.
Barring any trades, the team will pick in the middle of each round—so we’ll see who is available when the Ravens are projected to select their upcoming stars. This will make it easy for you the fan to look at what the Ravens are seeing in future NFL prospects.
Here are a few safety prospects to look at in the fourth round. Our first player is a national champion from Florida State.
Terrence Brooks, Florida State
Ozzie Newsome said that he wanted a playmaker; he might find one in this former Seminole.
Brooks possesses great speed for a defensive back. Many safeties don’t have the elite speed of corners, but you certainly can’t say that about Brooks. He wasn’t able to show elite skills in coverage on tape, but not for a lack of trying. Few times was Brooks truly tested against skilled receivers, so it’s tough to get a true look at what he’ll do when faced with a tough test, something that could drop him to the fourth round.
Another thing that might hurt Brooks’ stock is the way he plays. Unlike many in this class, the safety doesn’t have a mean-streak on the field. He’ll definitely need to play with more aggression at the next level. The question that remains is this: is that something that can be taught?
Should Brooks still be available when the Ravens select in the fourth, I expect them to take a hard look. On tape, he showed great speed and the ability to react and diagnose certain plays seemingly before the offense ran them.
Kenny Ladler, Vanderbilt
Sometimes, a risk is necessary in a draft. Because the Ravens might only have a compensatory pick in the fourth, Ladler might be an option with a late round pick.
Ladler didn’t excel in a true pass coverage role, but his ability to be around the ball is a promising trait. He certainly made plays in college, totaling over 180 tackles and seven interceptions in his last two years at Vanderbilt.
He thrived in the run game, but clearly needs improvement in coverage. Here’s what CBS Sports had to say about the former Commodore:
Strengths: Tight-skinned athlete with broad shoulders and a well-built frame for the position. Instinctive defender who diagnoses the action quickly and attacks, whether it be toward the line of scrimmage vs. the run or in reading the eyes of the quarterback to break on a pass. Good straight-line speed and possesses an impressive initial burst, as well as good closing speed.
Generally a reliable open-field tackler with a history of delivering big hits, many of which result in forced fumbles (team-leading five in 2013). Steadily improved throughout his career with starting experience at both strong and free safety. Valued special teams contributor on the punt and punt return units.
Ladler might not be able to start right away, but he projects to be a player that could learn with NFL coaching.