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Trash-talking CB Alexander could be Ravens' target

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Trash-talking CB Alexander could be Ravens' target

INDIANAPOLIS - As Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander spoke Saturday at the NFL combine, the crowd surrounding his podium kept growing.

If the Ravens draft Alexander, having him, Steve Smith Sr., and Terrell Suggs on the same practice field could make the trash-talking insane.  Alexander is entertaining. He oozes with confidence. He talks a mile-a-minute. At times, Alexander sounded like he was delivering a sermon, rather than answering questions.

Folks on Twitter were crowning him the interview king of the combine.

“I don’t really talk trash, I speak facts,” Alexander said. “I’m more skilled than any cornerback in this draft. I’m just telling you what it is, and what you’re not going to do to me. If you get one (catch), good, I gave you that. You didn’t beat me.”

Does he ever get tired of hearing himself talk?

“This is me,” Alexander said. “Imagine me on game day.”

“Do you ever take a breath?” someone asked Alexander.

“I just did,” Alexander said. “Thank you.”

The Ravens need help at cornerback, and Alexander could be a target if he falls into the second round. As much as Alexander talks, he has things to prove leading up the draft. Some scouts wonder if Alexander, listed at 5-foot-11, has the height to deal with taller NFL receivers. Meanwhile, Alexander did not have an interception in college, raising concern about his ball skills, even though many quarterbacks were reluctant to throw in his direction.

Blanketing top receivers one-on-one in coverage was Alexander’s specialty in college. Some mock drafts have Alexander ranked as the third best defensive back behind Jalen Ramsey of Florida St. and Vernon Hargreaves of Florida.

Alexander will not run the 40-yard dash at the combine, still bothered by a hamstring injury suffered in the national championship game. He plans to run at his pro day next month, and the Ravens figure to watch him closely.

If the Ravens don’t take a cornerback at No. 6, and Alexander is still on the board late in the first round, perhaps the Ravens would even consider trading up to get Alexander. That would suit him just fine.

“Having Jimmy Smith on the other side (playing the opposite corner), I would love it,” Alexander said. “He’s a good corner.”

What would Alexander think about facing Steve Smith in practice?

“It would be gritty,” Alexander said smiling. “We’d keep it professional, but it would be fun. It would definitely get chippy. Whoever does grab me is getting a first-round talent, both on and off the field.”

Whoever drafts Alexander will definitely be getting a talker.

MORE RAVENS: Ravens meet with Flacco's agent at NFL combine

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As 2018 NFL Draft approaches, Ravens to host QB Lamar Jackson per report

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USA TODAY Sports

As 2018 NFL Draft approaches, Ravens to host QB Lamar Jackson per report

With 10 days until the 2018 NFL Draft, quarterback Lamar Jackson is set to visit the Ravens this week, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. 

The former Heisman Trophy winner is a projected first-round pick as he has proven to have success in the air and on the ground. 

While at Louisville, Jackson had 9,043 passing yards and 69 touchdowns. He also rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns. His NFL draft profile compares him to Michael Vick. 

RELATED: BEST QUOTES FROM RAVENS PRE-DRAFT PRESS CONFERENCE

The Ravens are in search of Joe Flacco's successor, but spending a first-round pick on a quarterback when there are other glaring needs is up in the air. However, assistant general manager Eric DeCosta isn't ruling out the possibility

"I feel like if there is a guy there that we think is really too good to pass up, we're going to take him," DeCosta told the team's website on the chance of drafting a quarterback in the first-round.

At their pre-draft press conference, GM Ozzie Newsome and DeCosta kept reiterating we could be surprised by who they pick at No. 16, if they do at all. 

While Jackson's numbers are impressive, he continues to be considered a late first-round pick as his build isn't up to typical NFL QB standards and scouts are concerned with his accuracy. What he does have in his favor is speed.

While fans are hoping for an offensive weapon, having Jackson learn under Flacco for a year (and maybe RGIII?) could rev up some excitement. 

RELATED: RGIII READY TO MOVE FORWARD AS NEW, GROWN PLAYER

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Heisman Trophy winner turned backup, Robert Griffin III fully embracing new role with Ravens

Heisman Trophy winner turned backup, Robert Griffin III fully embracing new role with Ravens

Robert Griffin III went from Heisman Trophy winner, to second-overall pick, to Offensive Rookie of the Year, to unemployed, to backup quarterback all in the matter of six years.

That's a rollercoaster of a career for a 28-year old, but RGIII is fully embracing the opportunity the Ravens have presented him with.

“I feel like I knew coming into this situation that this is Joe’s [Flacco] team," Griffin said at a press conference Wednesday.

"I understood that when I came in to work out; I understood that when I signed. I’m excited about the opportunity to learn from him. Whatever capacity the coaches ask me to help, that’s what I’m here to do. I’m here to compete, and I’m here to get better every single day – work hard. I think they saw that from me in the workout and in our general conversations together. I think they realize I’m ready for the opportunity and I’m ready for this role – whatever that role may be.”

RELATED: RGIII READY TO MOVE FORWARD AS NEW, GROWN PLAYER

Finding a backup quarterback that you can put some faith in during a time of desperation in today's league is a hard find, with the exception of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles. 

While Griffin hasn't played since January of 2017, he offers legitimate experience that isn't being offered by typical backups. 

 "I feel like I’ve been able to get a better grasp of how to play the game in the NFL, what coaches are looking for. I think that’s a benefit, whereas in 2012 when I came in, it was more so learning everything on the fly and just going out and playing. Now I feel like I have to ability to go out and play and also know what I’m doing, be able to protect myself better, get the ball to the guys that need to get the ball and help a team win – in whatever way that is.”

The Ravens signed RGIII on a one-year contract worth $1 million - we're assuming- with hopes he'll never see the field during the regular season. Griffin made it clear he understands that role, but is looking forward to learning how to lead a team under a ten-year veteran. 

RELATED: RAVENS 2018 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

“Most of my interactions with Joe have been at midfield. I really do look forward to getting in the quarterback room with him. It’s a great opportunity for me. I still feel like I’m a young player. I’m 28, but I feel like I’m 25. He’s been through a lot of things in his career, been to the pinnacle and won a Super Bowl – Super Bowl MVP. I think that’s a great opportunity for me to learn and learn from him, and to just see the way that he attacks the game of football, the way he attacks the meeting room, practice, interacting with teammates – all those types of things – the way he leads." 

The RGIII saga in Baltimore is an open book right now, one that could come with an interesting ending.