With the NFL Scouting Combine underway in Indianapolis, Northern Iowa offensive tackle Trevor Penning continues to be a prospect linked to the Ravens.
Charles Davis of NFL Network sees Penning as Baltimore's kind of offensive lineman. He plays with an edge, a physical blocker who looks to demoralize the man in front of him. Penning had a strong week of practice at the Senior Bowl and is looking to double-down on raising his draft stock at the Combine. Davis believes Penning has the potential to start as a rookie for the Ravens at right tackle, or at left tackle if All-Pro Ronnie Stanley isn't ready Week 1 following ankle surgery.
"I don't see any reason why he (Penning) can't be a rookie starter," Davis said during an interview with Garrett Downing of Ravens Media. "He's got good footwork. He plays with power. He's got an edge to him, a nastiness. It means something to him to try and dominate people."
Adding playmakers to the defense is another priority for the Ravens, and Baylor safety Jalen Pitre is a prospect Davis is enamored with. Pitre brought plenty of heat as a blitzing safety with eight sacks during his Baylor career, and he also had four interceptions and a pair of pick-sixes.
Ravens starting safety DeShon Elliott is a free agent and Davis feels Pitre is going to be a difference-maker for the team that drafts him.
"He has instincts, he tackles," Davis said. "I watched him at the Senior Bowl. Always around the football. I developed a huge man crush on him. Eager to watch him run, jump, all those things. But just as far as raw playing? Reminds me of…Tyrann Mathieu, Antoine Winfield. I think those guys have this instinctive way of playing the game and finding the football."
Steelers General Manager Plays It Close to Vest Regarding QB Search
During his podium session Tuesday, Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert fielded questions about the team's search to replace retired quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Malik Willis of Liberty and Kenny Pickett of Pittsburgh are two quarterbacks at the Combine being linked to Pittsburgh, but speculation persists that the Steelers may trade for a veteran quarterback if the opportunity presents itself.
Colbert, who will retire after the draft, stuck to the company line that all options were on the table. However, he believes several quarterbacks in this year's draft will become NFL starters.
"I think there's quality starters available at that position for sure," Colbert said. "There might not be the number of players at that position that there have been in the past, but it's certainly good quality. There's going to be starting NFL quarterbacks coming out of this class for sure."
Duke Tobin Says Bengals Are Pushed By AFC North Rivals
The Bengals are kings of the hill in the AFC North after winning the division and representing the AFC in the Super Bowl. However, Director of Player Personnel Duke Tobin has arrived in Indianapolis knowing that the Ravens, Steelers and Browns will continue to pose serious competition in the AFC North.
"We have nothing but high regard and respect for the teams in our division," Tobin said. "Our division doesn't go away. It's full of teams that are well-organized, well-coached and they have good players. We feel like if we can develop a team that can win our division, we also have a team that can beat the other divisions as well."
Tobin thinks the Bengals' success will make Cincinnati a more attractive destination for players in free agency.
"I've always thought Cincinnati was a destination spot," Tobin said, smiling.