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Baltimore's Charles Tapper Would Love To 'Do Great Things' With Ravens


Charles Tapper remembers celebrating Super Bowl XLVII.

He was a freshman at Oklahoma at the time, but watching the Ravens hoist their second Lombardi Trophy "felt like yesterday" for the Baltimore native. What Tapper remembers most is seeing video from the team's championship parade through the city, and all the emotion that accompanied it.

"That kind of brought the city together and helped the city out," Tapper said. "When things like that happen, the city comes together. We need more things like that and I want to be part of that one day."

Tapper grew up in Baltimore and attended City College for high school, and as he's preparing to enter the NFL Draft he has dreams of getting the call from his hometown team.

"I would love to play for that defense," Tapper said. "My whole family grew up Ravens fans. I grew up a Ravens fan, grew up watching them every Sunday.

"I could do so much there if I was drafted there, to help the city."

Tapper, 6-foot-3 and 271 pounds, is generating some buzz after an impressive performance at the NFL Scouting Combine over the weekend. The pass rusher posted the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.59 seconds) of any defensive lineman, and that could boost him up teams' draft boards.

He is projected as a mid-to-late round pick, which could make him a quality value pick for the Ravens as a pass rusher. The first-team All-Big 12 selection had seven sacks, 10 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and three passes defensed last year at Oklahoma.

Tapper was just one of the local prospects participating in the combine over the last week. Maryland defensive linemen Quinton Jefferson and Yannick Ngakoue, safety Sean Davis and kicker Brad Craddock were also in Indianapolis.

Jefferson and Ngakoue both decided to forgo their senior seasons to enter the draft early, and they are regarded as mid-round prospects. Jefferson is an interior defensive lineman, while Ngakoue is more of an outside edge rusher.

"I think for my size and my position, I'm very athletic," the 289-pound Jefferson said. "I think I'm very fast and I think it helps me inside, helps me be productive and make plays inside against those guards because they're not as athletic and don't really like to move in space."

Jefferson had 39 tackles and 6.5 sacks last year for the Terps. Unlike Tapper who grew up rooting for the Ravens, Jefferson is actually a Pittsburgh native who said that cheering for the Steelers is in "the DNA."

Ngakoue, a native of Bowie, MD, is a premier pass rusher who set the Maryland record with 13.5 sacks last season.

"I consider myself both [an end and outside linebacker]," Ngakoue said. "Teams will be looking for a lot of pass rushers in this year's draft. I feel like I can make an impact quickly just because I came from a program that taught us a lot of discipline and taught us about hard work and worth ethic. I feel like I can come in and contribute Day 1."

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