The NFL National Scouting Combine officially opens today in Indianapolis.
The annual event gives teams around the league a chance to scout and interview the top prospects ahead of this year's draft. Baltimore's entire scouting department and coaching staff will head west to set up shop at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The combine has grown into one of the biggest offseason events for the NFL, and there will be around-the-clock coverage throughout the next several days.
Here's an overview of the events and some storylines to follow:
Wednesday, Feb. 18: Tight ends, offensive linemen, special teamers meet with the media. Head Coach John Harbaugh has a press conference scheduled for 2:15 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 19:Quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers meet with the media.
Friday, Feb. 20:Defensive linemen, linebackers meet with the media. On-field workouts for tight ends, offensive linemen and special teamers.
Saturday, Feb. 21:Defensive backs meet with the media. On-field workouts for quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers.
Sunday, Feb. 22:On-field workouts for defensive linemen and linebackers.
Monday, Feb. 23:On-field workouts for defensive backs.
What Else To Track?
Harbaugh's Press Conference
The Ravens head coach will talk with reporters Wednesday afternoon where he will likely be asked about a handful of lingering questions like tight end Dennis Pitta's health status and an update on the 2015 plans for veteran wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. With free agency also around the corner, Harbaugh will likely face questions about where the Ravens stand in negotiations with key free agents like wide receiver Torrey Smith and running back Justin Forsett.
Much of the attention at the combine focuses on the on-field workouts, particularly the 40-yard dash. NFL Network will televise 45 hours of coverage from the combine, and the top performers on the field will generate the most buzz for the next couple weeks. But the more important part of the week is arguably what happens behind closed doors when teams get a chance to meet with players individually. Every team is allowed to conduct 60 formal interviews, and that's where teams will put players to the test to get a sense of their football IQ and personality.
3 Players To Watch
WR Devin Smith, Ohio StateThe big-play receiver from the National Champion Buckeyes could turn some heads at the combine this week. NFL Network's Mike Mayock believes that Smith could break the combine record for the 40-yard dash that running back Chris Johnson set in 2008 with a time of 4.24 seconds. Smith is projected by many draft analysts as a late first-round pick, where he could be a target for the Ravens, but his stock could skyrocket if he does set a new record.
RB Todd Gurley, GeorgiaA first-round running back has largely become a thing of the past in today's NFL. But Gurley (and Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon) could break that trend this year. Gurley was considered the best running back in the NFL and a likely Heisman candidate before suffering a torn ACL midway through the season. He's still working his way back from the injury, but his medical reports will attract plenty of attention from teams around the league.
TE Maxx Williams, MinnesotaThe need for a tight end could become more pressing depending on Pitta's status and the offseason plans for veteran free agent Owen Daniels. If the Ravens look to the draft to bolster the tight end group, then Williams would likely be at the top of their list in a weak tight end class. He's a strong receiving tight end that would fill an immediate need, and the Ravens will get a good look at him this week to determine if he's deserving of a first-round grade.