Now that he's a star in the NFL, it's hard to believe Stefon Diggs lasted until the fifth round of the 2015 draft.
Trying to contain Diggs will be a top priority for the Ravens during Saturday night's divisional playoff game in Buffalo. He's having a career season, leading the NFL in receiving yards (1,535) and receptions (127) in his first year with the Bills, and he's been a 1,000-yard receiver for three straight years.
Like every team, the Ravens had a chance to draft Diggs. They were well aware of him during his college career down the road at Maryland, and he played his high school ball at Good Counsel in Montgomery County.
Diggs attended the Ravens' local pro day before the 2015 draft, but he lasted until the Minnesota Vikings selected him with the 146th overall pick. Injuries were part of the reason, as Diggs missed time each of his three seasons at Maryland. But Diggs has never missed more than three games in an NFL season and has sat out just two the past three years.
"Boy, he's done great," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "I remember him well because he was here, we knew a lot about him and studied him. We just missed on him too, obviously, we could have drafted him up until that point and we didn't. I don't remember the exact details of it but unfortunately, that's one that got away."
Diggs has proven he should've been a first-round selection. And now the Ravens are focused on trying to stop him. How Diggs fares against the Ravens' elite starting cornerback duo of Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters will be a key to the outcome.
"He's a great player, great guy, local guy, all the respect in the world for him as player," Harbaugh said. "He's definitely a factor. I don't want to say public enemy, but he's Ravens enemy No. 1 right now, or maybe No. 2 or maybe No. 3. They've got a few of them over there. He's guy we've got to keep a good eye on."
Ravens Not Stressing About Snow
The potential for snowfall during Saturday's game continued to be a hot topic of conversation Thursday, but Harbaugh said the Ravens are confident they will handle whatever Mother Nature brings. Practicing with wet balls and putting emphasis on ball security during the week are normal procedures whenever inclement weather is anticipated.
"We do things with the balls and that kind of stuff," Harbaugh said. "We were outside Wednesday and Thursday, which was good. It doesn't really matter. Whatever we get we're going to go play in. The weather is not going to be a factor, I don't believe. It's going to be whoever plays the best football in the weather. I don't think we're expecting any kind of blizzard or anything crazy. It should be fine."
Proper footwear that provides the best traction can be crucial on a sloppy or icy field. Harbaugh said trusts the equipment department to help players decide which cleats to wear.
"Our equipment guys, led by (Equipment Manager) William Sheridan, (Assistant Equipment Manager) Kenico (Hines), they do a great job of educating the guys," Harbaugh said. "Guys go out before the game and work on it. Sometimes the field's in a little different shape before the game than it is during the game or the end of the game, so they have to change sometimes. But they're on it. The extent of my involvement is to say sometimes to Kenico or William, 'The guys are slipping. Take care of it.' And they do a great job of taking care of it."
Devin Singletary Could Be a Workhorse on Saturday
With Zack Moss (ankle) out for the remainder of the playoffs, Devin Singletary could be Buffalo's workhorse running back Saturday. He's a versatile back who rushed for 687 yards this season, and he's also a capable receiver (38 catches).
Last season against Baltimore, Singletary (89 yards, 17 carries) had an effective game. The Ravens are coming off one of their best run-stopping performances ever last weekend, holding Derrick Henry to 40 yards on 18 carries, but they can't afford to let up against Singletary.
"It's the same and it's different," Harbaugh said. "It's the same in the sense in that you've got to play good run defense. It's different in the sense that it's a very different offense. It's a pass-to-set-up-the-run offense. Same idea, but different task."
Harbaugh Is Getting a Mike Jones Education
Rapper Mike Jones received a free publicity boost this week, after USA Today reporter Mike Jones asked Lamar Jackson a question Sunday, and the Ravens' quarterback Lamar Jackson had fun with it. Jackson instantly thought of the rapper, not the reporter.
Jones has since reached out to the Ravens via social media with a recommendation for one of his songs, "Stay on the Grind," to be used as hype music this week.
Harbaugh was not on the cutting edge of these developments.
"I didn't know that," Harbaugh said. "I'm guessing we had it in practice because the guys were telling me there was some Mike Jones [music] in practice yesterday and today. I didn't recognize it, sadly, I have to admit."
Then Harbaugh jokingly mentioned one of his favorite artists.
"Does it sound like Tom Petty at all?" Harbaugh asked.