NFL combine notebook: Terrapins off to fast start

Street Talk NFL combine notebook: Terrapins off to fast start

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INDIANAPOLIS – The University of Maryland contingent at the NFL scouting combine put on a blazing display of speed headlined by wide receiver Torrey Smith running the 40-yard dash between 4.37 and 4.43 seconds.

“I’m pretty sure the NFL is fast, but I can run well,” Smith said. “My speed will definitely be one of my strengths as I head to the next level.”

Smith had one of the top times of any wide receiver, ranking competitively with Abilene Christian’s Edmund Gates (4.37), Fort Valley State’s Ricardo Lockette (4.37) and Alabama’s Julio Jones (4.39).

Smith isn’t quite as fast as former Maryland wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who ran a 4.3 two years ago. However, Heyward-Bey has been a bust with the Oakland Raiders.

Smith has been mentioned as a strong candidate for the Baltimore Ravens’ 26th overall pick of the first round.

Meanwhile, Maryland running back Da’Rel Scott ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds.

That’s the best time of any running back, solidifying his reputation as a potential homerun threat.

Scott, who rushed for 708 yards last season, ranked ahead of Auburn running back Mario Fannin (4.38 seconds).

Rushing for 200 yards on 13 carries, Scott was named the Most Valuable Player in the Military Bowl.

STRONGMAN: Oregon State strongman defensive tackle Stephen Paea put on a staggering feat of strength, shattering the NFL scouting combine bench press record with 49 repetitions of 225 pounds.He broke the previous mark set by Arkansas offensive guard Mitch Petrus, who put up 45 reps.

"I did OK, I didn’t do great," Paea said. “I wanted to do 50. I think I can go back and do another one. I came prepared for the worst, and I did my best.”

A two-time winner of the Morris Trophy as the Pac-10 Conference’s top defensive lineman, Paea recorded 14 career sacks and 29 ½ tackles for losses.

Paea underwent surgery after damaging his lateral meniscus in his right knee during a practice drill at the Senior Bowl with Dr. James Andrews performing the procedure.

A magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed the injury. Initially, Paea was hopeful that it wasn’t serious at all.

The 6-foot-1, 311-pounder has bounced back quickly from the injury and expects to be running again by next month.

“I just planted on it wrong, through contact,” he said. “It was a little clean-up. In a month from now, I’ll be full speed.”

ED REED FAN:UCLA safety Rahim Moore, the top-ranked player at his position, is a huge fan of Ravens safety Ed Reed.

Moore said he has spoken to the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year at length on several occasions, getting advice about football and life.

“That’s one of the smartest men I’ve ever met,” said Moore, who’s expected to meet with the Ravens. “When I first got on the phone with him, I almost started crying. That’s a good guy to look up to. He’s what you call a pro – not only on the football field but off the field.”

Meanwhile, the Ravens are scheduled to meet with University of Miami cornerback Brandon Harris.

"I think I am more excited than they are to meet them," Harris said. "It’s always been my dream to be here and shake some of these coach’s hands."

QUICK HITS: The Ravens met with University of Florida junior safety Will Hill, who also met with the Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears and the Houston Texans. … The Ravens spoke with Maryland outside linebacker Adrian Moten, a late-round target. Moten recorded 15 ½ career sacks. "They can move me around," Moten said. "I can play all three linebacker positions for sure." … The Ravens and the Washington Redskins met with Virginia Tech cornerback Rashad Carmichael. Carmichael also spoke with team officials at the Senior Bowl. … The Ravens met informally with Georgia defensive end-outside linebacker DeMarcus Dobbs.  Dobbs also met with the San Diego Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans. … The Ravens met with LSU running back Stevan Ridley. He also met with 13 other teams, including the Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins and Chargers. … Ohio State safety Jermale Hines met with the Ravens. … Imposing, athletic Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith said he has 28 meetings scheduled this weekend. With the Ravens’ need at cornerback, it’s unlikely they’re one of the four who are passing on talking with Smith.


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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 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. 

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