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6 front seven standouts from 2024 NFL Combine who fit the Ravens

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By: Joshua Reed

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Several front seven prospects tested and performed well.

The first day of on-field workouts at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine was Thursday. The interior defensive linemen, edge defenders, and off-ball linebackers took the field at Lucas Oil Stadium to try and impress pundits, analysts, and league executives alike.

It featured numerous impressive performances in the positional drills and feats of athleticism during the testing portion. This either confirmed what they showed on tape in college or will have evaluators going back to see what they might’ve missed.

Here are a handful of prospects that could fill positional need for the Baltimore Ravens or reinforce depth at others.

DT Braden Fiske, Florida State

NFL Combine
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The former Seminole was one of the brightest standouts and the star of the interior defensive line group, especially when it came to testing. His 4.78 time in the 40-yard dash was the fastest and his mark of 33.50 in the vertical jump was the highest of the entire position group.

Fiske also had the best broad jump with a mark of 9-foot-9 and the fastest 20-yard shuttle of 4.37 seconds. While he wasn’t the smoothest in drills, he showed hustle and violence attacking the bags, which reflected the relentless effort he showed on tape in college.

Although he’s a bit undersized at 292 pounds with shorter arms of 31 inches, the Ravens just had a sub-300-pound interior defensive lineman — Justin Madubuike — lead all interior defensive linemen in sacks in 2023. The Ravens are aggressively pursuing signing him to a long-year deal and all but confirmed that he’ll be franchise-tagged if they don’t reach an extension. However, that’s only a one-year placeholder with no guarantee that he’ll be on the team beyond the 2024 season.

After scoring an unofficial Raw Athletic Score of 9.92, which ranks 14th out of 1620 defensive tackles since 1987, any hopes the Ravens had of landing Fiske in the second round are likely gone. Fiske also dominated the week of practice at the 2024 Reese’s Senior Bowl, as well as the all-star game itself. His stock is skyrocketing and he might be in consideration for the late first round at this point, or early second at the latest.

DT Byron Murphy, Texas

NFL Combine
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If it weren’t for Fiske stealing most of the spotlight, the former Longhorn would’ve been the star defensive tackle. He impressed in both the testing and positional movement drills. Murphy recorded the third-fastest mark in the 40-yard dash (4.87), fourth-fastest 10-yard split (1.69), second-highest vertical leap (33), fifth-longest broad jump (9-foot-3), and put up the third-most bench press reps at 225 on Friday morning (28). Where he did slightly outshine Fiske was in the on-field drills with how smoothly he ripped through the bags and showed nice bend around the corners.

While his unofficial Raw Athletic Score of 9.08 wasn’t as off the charts as Fiske’s, it still ranked 150 out of 1620 defensive tackles since 1987. Murphy was already being viewed as a first-round lick and likely cemented that he’ll go n later than the bottom of Round 1. He could very well be a Top-20 pick after recording a career-high five sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss in 2023.

EDGE Darius Robinson, Missouri

NFL: Combine
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Maryland native Chop Robinson of Penn State blew up the combine with his off-the-charts testing. He likely solidified his spot as a Top-20 pick and decreased the chances of him sliding to the bottom of the first round where the Ravens pick.

However, that doesn’t mean they can target another promising prospect with the same last name, who also stood out on Thursday. The former Tiger didn’t post a blazing time in the 40-yard dash (4.95) and none of his other athletic testing numbers were off the charts. However, for a prospect of his physical dimensions, they were actually impressive.

Robinson performed much better during the positional drills. He showed the same alluring bend, power, and short area quickness displayed on tape in college and showcased at the Senior Bowl last month.

At 6-foot-5 and 285 pounds with 34.5-inch arms and 10’5/8-inch hands, Robinson’s best position at the next level will likely be as a five-technique. In the Ravens’ 3-4 scheme, he could kick out on the edge sometimes as they did with Madubuike in 2023 and both Za’Darius Smith and Pernell McPhee years ago.

His unofficial Raw Athletic Score of 9.64 ranks 60 out of 1620 defensive tackles since 1987 and he could very well be in play for the Ravens at No. 30 overall. He might still be around at No. 60 overall or if they trade out of the first round entirely, they could snag him earlier on Day 2.

EDGE Laiatu Latu, UCLA

NFL: Combine
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The former Bruin had perhaps the best all-around performance among the edge defenders on Thursday. He tested well and was exceptional he was in the on-field drills. Latu ranked Top-10 in the 40-yard dash with a 4.64, 10-yard split with a 1.62, and the broad jump with a 9-foot-8. He did his best work running drills to near perfection showcasing bend, body control, and violent hands when running through the bags.

Even though his unofficial Raw Athletic Score of 9.19 wasn’t sensational, ranking 134 out of 1637 defensive ends since 1987, Latu’s play on the field far exceeds any testing numbers. His technique as a pass rusher is far beyond his years as he already possesses an array of moves. He has history of potent production and tape that shows how consistently disruptive he can be with pads on.

EDGE Mohamed Kamara, Colorado State

NFL: Combine
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The former Ram was among the most impressive athletic testers of the entire day, confirming the explosiveness he showed on tape in college. Kamara briefly held the title of fastest 40-yard dash of the day when he ran a 4.57, which still was the third-fastest of his group as was his 10-yard split of 1.58. His broad jump of 10-foot-3 was in the Top-5 and his vertical leap of 34.5 was in the Top-10.

His lack of ideal measurables at 6-foot-1 and 248 pounds caused his overall Raw Athletic Score to be 8.56, which ranks 236 out of 1637 defensive ends since 1987. However, his composite explosion and speed grades were great and elite. There have been plenty of examples of undersized yet explosive pass rushers who have gone on to have success at the NFL level, including one of Kamara’s fellow CSU alumnus.

Free agent veteran outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett went undrafted in 2014 and became a two-time Pro Bowler, and two-time Super Bowl champion with two different teams, and has 63 career sacks including the playoffs.

LB Edefuan Ulofoshio, Washington

NFL Combine
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The Ravens are slated to have three of their five off-ball linebackers become unrestricted free agents in a couple weeks including 2023 Pro Bowler and Second-Team All-Pro Patrick Queen. It likely wouldn’t cost much to retain Del’Shawn Phillips or Malik Harrison, who spent most of last season playing on the edge at SAM. The franchise has a rich history of unearthing and developing undrafted players at the position, too. However, the former Huskie might just be worth a Day 3 pick given how well he tested on Thursday. Ulofoshio’s vertical leap of 39.5 inches and broad jump of 10-foot-8 ranked first among all linebackers. His 40-yard dash time of 4.56 and 10-yard split of 1.59 were the sixth and fifth-fastest of the position group.

Even more impressive than Ulofoshio’s athletic testing numbers was his performance in the position drills. His movements were fluid, his hips were loose and opened up well, and he showed soft natural hands when catching the ball. Many of his compatriots either struggled to haul in passes or caught them with their bodies. On the broadcast, NFL Network analyst and former Ravens’ scout Daniel Jeremiah mentioned how the coaches running the drills often called him forward to demonstrate.

Ulofoshio’s Raw Athletic Score of 9.55 ranks 121 out of 2649 linebackers since 1987. His composite speed and explosion grades were elite and the only knock on him is his less-than-ideal size at 6-foot and 236 pounds. Nevertheless, he fits the mold of an ideal Ravens linebacker prospect who was a team captain in college and possesses a high floor as a core special teams contributor. He could earn a role on defense someday if they don’t want to put all their eggs in the Trenton Simpson basket in 2024 and beyond.

Originally posted on Baltimore Beatdown – All Posts