With the men in tights done in Indianapolis and draftniks weighing in on whose stock went up and down, it’s fun to look back and see how current Ravens performed back in the day.
Success at the combine is often an indication of good things to come in the NFL (and vice versa), but not always.
Have a look at some of the Ravens’ results:
2003 – OLB
Suggs’ 40-yard dash at the combine gave some talent evaluators pause. He ran it in the dragging 4.8-second range. He had an average vertical jump (33 inches) and just 19 bench press reps of 225 pounds. The average is around 25 for defensive linemen. Suggs slid a little bit in the draft and was scooped up by the Ravens at pick No. 10. His speed hasn’t proven to be a problem.
2006 – DT
The Ravens took Ngata with the 12th-overall pick, and part of his high draft stock could have been because of the explosion he showed at the combine. He leaped 110 inches in the broad jump, just three inches off the best mark of any defensive tackle. The big man put up 37 bench press reps of 225 pounds, a very solid showing.
2008 – QB
Flacco dominated the three-cone drill. He had the best time of any quarterback (by a longshot) with 6.82 seconds. The next closest was 7.01 seconds. By comparison, Ravens backup quarterback
2008 – RB
Like Flacco, Rice was the top performer at his position in the three-cone drill (6.65 seconds). His showing displayed fluidity in Rice’s hips and quickness to change direction. Rice was the third-fastest running back in the 20-yard shuttle (4.2 seconds). In terms of flat-out, straight-line speed, Rice wasn’t among the best. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds, falling out of the top 10. Eventual Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson set the record that year with 4.24 seconds.
2009 – C/G
The Ravens’ 2009 combine standout was none other than Shipley, who was drafted by the Steelers in the seventh round. Shipley had the second-best 20-yard shuttle drill (4.40 seconds) of any offensive lineman. His 33 bench press reps were tied for fourth most. Even his 31-inch vertical jump was impressive, tied for the sixth best.
2010 – TE
Pitta was a combine star. He entered with labels of not being very athletic, but was one of the most impressive performers at the position. Pitta not only had the best three-cone drill (6.72 seconds) in his class, but the fastest time of any tight end over at least the past nine years. He also had the tight ends’ best 20-yard shuttle (4.17) and the second-most bench press reps (27), four more than teammate
2011 – CB
Smith was touted as a physical specimen, and lived up to it at the combine. He was tied with the third-most bench press reps (27) at cornerback. Even with his large size for the position, he was tied for the seventh-fastest 40-yard dash (4.46).
2011 – WR
Smith is a speedster, and he proved it at the combine. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds, tied for the fourth-best spot at wide receiver. He was beaten by a couple track stars, Edmond Gates and Ricardo Lockette, and future Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowler Julio Jones. Smith’s 41-inch vertical leap was tied for the second best among wide receivers. Smith didn’t perform as well in the three-cone drill (6.72) or 20-yard shuttle (4.13).
2012 – LB
Upshaw only did the bench press at the combine and put up just 22 reps. That was only three more reps than the worst performer among combine linebackers. Upshaw’s draft stock was once thought to be in the middle of the first round, but he dropped to the Ravens early in the second round.
2013 – S
Known for being more of a football player than physical standout, Elam had a strong showing at the combine, but not spectacular. Elam ran the 40-yard dash in 4.54 seconds, tied for the sixth-best time among safeties. He had 17 bench press reps, tied for the seventh-best mark. His vertical jump (35.5) and broad jump (118.0) numbers were at and below the median.