Draft Notes: Ravens, Giants, Lions, Bengals

The Ravens have committed plenty of time and resources to scouting prospects from smaller schools, writes Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. That extensive research paid off in 2008 when the team selected Delaware quarterback Joe Flacco. Since, the team has picked a number of players from small schools, including four of their ten selections last season.

“I think, in general, scouting has gotten better across the league,” assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said. “Teams are doing better jobs, so we’ve tried to find value by more closely looking at small-school players. Our scouts do a great job of going out there and evaluating those guys.

“We get the chance to see a small-school guy at the Senior Bowl, you get a chance to see him at the Combine to compare against the big-school guys. That’s always a big challenge. The other thing is, ‘How are players going to get better?’ At small schools, sometimes they don’t have the luxury of having a nice weight room, nutritional programs or support staff. We feel like sometimes these guys come into our facility… and get better quickly because they have the advantage of all these new things.”

Among the Ravens’ previous small-school selections are Flacco, Lardarius Webb and Gino Gradkowski.

Now, for some more Draft notes from around the NFL…

  • New Mexico State wide receiver Austin Franklin visited with the Giants, reports Wilson. The wideout had 52 catches for 670 yards last season.
  • Teddy Bridgewater could be a fallback option for the Bengalstweets ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. The team is seeking a cornerback and defensive lineman, but could select the Louisville quarterback if they decide he’s the best player on the board.
  • The Lions are looking for a center and Florida State’s Bryan Stork would be a very good option, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. The Rimington Trophy winner (awarded to the nation’s best center) would compete with veteran Dominic Raiola, who signed a one-year deal to return to Detroit earlier this offseason.
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