Ex-Maryland players Smith, Scott impress at NFL scouting combine

Former Terps receiver, running back stand out with 40-yard dash times

February 27, 2011|By Jamison Hensley, The Baltimore Sun

INDIANAPOLIS — Aren't turtles supposed to be slow?

The Maryland Terrapins had impressive showings Sunday, running some of the fastest times at this year's NFL scouting combine. Da'Rel Scott ran the best time for a running back, and Torrey Smith posted the fourth-best among wide receivers.

Smith's best time (4.43 seconds) — which fell short of Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey (4.3) — will help him in his effort to solidify his status as a first-round pick in the draft. He has been linked to the Ravens (No. 26) and New England Patriots (No. 28).

Smith's first attempt was unofficially recorded at 4.37 seconds, but it was later changed to 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."

Abilene Christian's Edmund Gates (4.37) and Fort Valley State's Ricardo Lockette (4.37) increased their draft stock by running the fastest times for wide receivers.

"That's going to get my attention, but I'm going to look at the tape to see if that translates," former Ravens coach Brian Billick said on the NFL Network. "I'd much rather have a hurdler because that's explosion."

Scott is hoping his performance will get him drafted. At Maryland, he finished second on the team in rushing last season with 708 yards. But he was named Most Valuable Player of the Military Bowl, in which he ran for 200 yards on 13 carries.

At the combine, the next-fastest running back was Auburn's Mario Fannin (4.38).

Moore idolizes E. Reed

UCLA's Rahim Moore, considered the top safety in the draft, considers the Ravens' Ed Reed his mentor.

Moore's cornerbacks coach met Reed at Ravens training camp and got the two players connected. Moore said he has talked to Reed multiple times, including one 45-minute conversation.

"That's one of the smartest men I've ever met," Moore said. "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. Big ups to E-Reed."

Moore thinks he has an interview scheduled with the Ravens. Although safety isn't a priority in this draft for the Ravens, Dawan Landry is expected to become a free agent and Reed turns 33 at the start of the season.

"For me to be able to play with Ed, it would be like going to heaven. Really, it would," Moore said. "I know he's the best safety, in my eyes, of all time. So, if I want to be mentioned and taught under a guy like that, I want to soak up as much information as I can. I'm going to be a sponge."

Linebackers get tenders

Ravens starting inside linebacker Jameel McClain reportedly received a second-round tender as a restricted free agent, which essentially guarantees he'll remain with the team next season. The Ravens had to protect McClain because a low tender would have given them no compensation (he was undrafted) if another team signed him.

Two other linebackers, Tavares Gooden (low tender, which means a third-round pick as compensation) and Dannell Ellerbe (low tender, which means no compensation because he was undrafted), also received tenders.

Ravens talk to Moten

Adrian Moten, a Maryland outside linebacker and team captain, said he talked briefly with the Ravens. A tough but undersized linebacker, he's considered a late-round prospect who will contribute on special teams.

"I'm going to do my best and open a couple of eyes hopefully," said Moten, who is from Suitland.

Moten is trying to show that he's more than a special teams player at the NFL level. His 151/2 career sacks rank 12th all time at Maryland. His four interceptions last season were tied for second among Division I linebackers.

"They can move me around," Moten said. "I can play all three linebacker positions, for sure."

End zone

LSU's Stevan Ridley said he has talked to 13 teams, including the Ravens. The powerful running back (he's 5 feet 11, 230 pounds) could get selected in the fourth or fifth round. … Florida safety Will Hill, a middle-round prospect, said the Ravens were one of five teams he has met with at combine. The knock on him is he lacks maturity, according to many draft experts. … Virginia Tech's Rashad Carmichael talked to the Ravens at the combine after meeting with them at the Senior Bowl. The 5-9, 185-pound cornerback is expected to go in the middle rounds. … Ohio State safety Jermale Hines, who is a late-round prospect, talked to the Ravens.

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

ywitter.com/jamisonhensley

    Baltimore Sun Articles
    |
    |
    |
    Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.