OWINGS MILLS — The Baltimore Ravens certainly arenâ€™t alone in their search for offensive lineman.
Several of their NFL brethren are in need of big guys who can block, including the two teams drafting just ahead of the Ravensâ€™ 29th overall pick of the first round. The New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots hold the 27th and 28th picks of the first round, respectively.
The Saints had four highly-rated linemen in for visits this week, including: USC center Ryan Kalil, Central Michigan offensive tackle Joe Staley, Auburn offensive guard Ben Grubbs and Akron offensive guard Andy Alleman. Staley, a 6-foot-6, 302-pound left tackle prospect who ran a 4.79 at his Pro Day in front of representatives of all 32 NFL teams, also has met with the Rams.
Meanwhile, University of Texas offensive tackle/guard Justin Blalock, who visited Baltimore along with University of Tennessee tackle/guard Arron Sears earlier this month, has visited the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. The Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year has also visited the New York Jets and St. Louis Rams.
Sears has visited the Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Arkansas offensive tackle Tony Ugoh, who has visited Baltimore, also had visits with the New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders.
Alleman, a 6-foot-4, 305-pound converted defensive lineman who has bench pressed 465 pounds and ran a 5.04 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine, said he had a good talk with Ravens assistant offensive line coach Greg Roman at his campus workout. The Massilon, Ohio native also noted heavy interest from the Cleveland Browns.
â€œI think Baltimore would be a natural fit for me,â€ said Alleman, who transferred from the University of Pittsburgh. â€œI just hope to get my named called as early as possible, and I would love to play for a physical football team like the Ravens. I’ve been watching guys like Ray Lewis for years, and it would be an honor to play there."
NOTES: Fresno State cornerback Marcus McCauley said he got some pointers from Ravens secondary coach Dennis Thurman at his Pro Day. At 6-1 and 203 pounds, McCauley flashed 4.37 speed. McCauley has visited the Patriots, Jets, San Diego Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles. â€¦ Brigham Young quarterback John Beck, who has already met with the Ravens, also had visits with the Carolina Panthers, Saints and Detroit Lions.
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland.