Mock Draft Spotlight: Jermaine Gresham

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ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay both have Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham going to the Ravens at No. 25. Here's a little more information about Gresham just in case they're right.

There aren't many (if any) question marks about Jermaine Gresham's talent.

Gresham has the size (6-6, 258) and speed to make defensive coordinators lose sleep. He's got the college statistics to show he knows how to play the game.

The reason why Gresham is projected to be a mid-to-late first round pick is that he had knee surgery before his senior year and didn't play football all last season.

But that durability concern could make Gresham a bargain. And it could give the Ravens a long-term tight end answer and additional vertical weapon.

The Ravens currently have one of the league's top pass-catching tight ends in Todd Heap, but Baltimore drafted Heap in 2001 when they already had Shannon Sharpe. Heap, 30, has played all 16 games four of the past five years, but has also been bothered by back issues among other ailments.

Baltimore also doesn't have much depth at tight end, so it seems likely that would be addressed at some point in the draft. Edgar Jones and Davon Drew are the only other tight ends on the roster. Jones is slotted to move more to a fullback role and Drew spent 2009 on the practice squad.

Gresham could have been a high first-round pick if he had come out of college after his junior year, in which he caught 66 passes for 950 yards and 14 touchdowns and battled Oklahoma State tight end Brandon Pettigrew (who the Ravens were reportedly highly interested in) for the nation's top tight end billing.

According to NFLDraftScout.com's evaluation, Gresham also has the acceleration to get past linebackers, consistently threaten the deep seam and become a major red zone threat. The deep middle of the field and the red zone are two places where the Ravens are specifically looking to improve in 2010.

Gresham had a good but not spectacular showing at the Combine. He had the fifth-highest vertical and broad jumps, but didn't crack the top group in any other category. Reports are that he looked good at his pro day, which was attended by 31 of the 32 NFL teams.

Most importantly, Gresham has looked healthy this offseason. If that holds true, it could eliminate the one blemish on his record.

"I'm just anxious to get somewhere and start playing because I've been out all year," Gresham recently told The Oklahoman. "It doesn't matter where I go or where I'm picked. As long as I get an opportunity, I'll be happy."

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