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NFL Combine: How Joe Flacco, Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley and more Ravens performed

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USA Today Sports

NFL Combine: How Joe Flacco, Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley and more Ravens performed

Imagine having to go on a job interview in front of 32 potential employers all at once.

That's what the NFL Combine is for college football players looking for a shot in the NFL.

For general managers and scouts, it's a chance to see which players would be the perfect fit for their organization.

With the combine comes a lot of overhype and in a few years, realization of quality players teams overlooked solely based off of numbers.

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One of the best examples to date is Tom Brady.

Everyone has seen the videos of a long and lanky Brady sluggishly running a 40. Looking at his combine footage, it's unlikely scouts expected him to go on to win five Super Bowls.

Then you have someone like Tim Tebow - an absolute star in college - that could never make a splash in the NFL.

Something radio and television host, Dan Patrick likes to do on his show is have NFL stars read their combine profiles out loud to see if they've aged well.

Let's take a look at a few current Ravens and their combine profiles.

QB Joe Flacco: 

Verticle: 28.5inches

Broad Jump: 110 inches

3 Cone Drill: 6.82 seconds

20-Yard Shuttle: 4.27 seconds

"Flacco is one of the more intriguing quarterback prospects of this draft. While he lacks the big name of some of the other highly ranked prospects, he possesses the prototypical combination of size and arm strength scouts are looking for. His steady improvement while at Delaware bodes well for his future development in the NFL, but Flacco's ability to handle the greater speed of the NFL is the determining factor of his final draft status." 

Srengths:  Prototype arm strength. Can make all of the NFL throws with ease. Adequate speed in his set up and delivery. Solid mechanics. Possesses an over-the-top delivery and good footwork. Isn't a finished product, but shows the tools worthy of development.

Weakness: Improved feel in the pocket, but still hangs on to the ball too long and isn't particularly mobile. Can slide up into the pocket to buy time, but isn't going to scare defenses with his scrambling ability. Tends to lock-on to his receivers.

Flacco's draft profile is pretty accuarte. Over the years, he's shown he has the arm strength to get the ball down the field but still lacks mobility and footwork to scramble when needed.

When Flacco decides to retire or is no longer with the Ravens, his NFL success will depend on who you talk to. While his record in the postseason and the run he went on down the stretch during the 2012-13 season earned him Super Bowl MVP, his performance of late has been mediocre.

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LB Terrell Suggs:

40-yard Dash: 4.82

Vertical: 33 inches

Bench Press: 19 reps 

While Terrell Suggs was explosive in college, his combine numbers concerned many ahead of the draft. Since he was picked tenth overall in the 2003 draft, he's been a prime example of why you can't always trust those numbers.

Suggs has a career 812 combined tackles, 573 total tackles, 239 assist and 125.5 sacks. Not to mention being voted to the Pro Bowl seven times and being named NFL Rookie of the Year in 2003 and NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2011. At 35-years old, he had one of his best seasons in 2017 after dealing with two Achilles tears and a torn bicep over the last five-and-a-half-seasons. 

ILB C.J. Mosley: 6.42 grade

Vertical Jump: 35 inches

Broad Jump: 118 inches

3 Cone Drill: 7.30 seconds

20-Yard Shuttle: 4.40 seconds 

Draft analyist, Mike Mayock had this to say about Mosley.

"He's such a solid football player. There are some concerns about his shoulder, but he was medically cleared by just about every team. He's a plug-and-play linebacker in a 3-4 defense. He pursues sideline to sideline. He improved on getting off blocks this year. This is a typical Baltimore Ravens solid football player; a solid pick." 

Bottom Line: "Smart, instinctive, fast-flowing, every-down linebacker capable of manning any position in a "40" front or steering a defense from the weak side in a "30" front, where he starred for a national-championship defense as a junior and carried the Tide as a senior. Has the football temperament, desire and work habits to emerge as a tackling machine in the pros. Has Pro Bowl potential."

Mosley's projected NFL potential has stayed true over the last four seasons.

The Ravens picked up Mosley's fifth-year option and 2018 will bring the final year of his rookie contract. Many have suggested the time is now for the team to put a long-term deal together with the inside linebacker. 

His performance over the last four seasons has been impressive, tallying up 318 total tackles, 156 assist, eight sacks, eight interceptions and six forced fumbles. The Alabama alum is the front runner to become the leader of the Ravens' defense when 35-year old, Terrell Suggs retires. 

Not to mention, he's been voted to three Pro Bowls over four seasons. The Ravens can tally up Mosley as a draft pick winner. 

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CB Jimmy Smith: 8.08 grade

40-Yard Dash: 4.46 seconds

Bench Press: 24 reps

Verticle Jump: 36 inches

Broad Jump: 123 inches

3 Cone Drill: 6.93 seconds

20-Yard Shuttle: 4.06 seconds

Strengths: "Smith has outstanding height for a corner coupled with good speed. Very effective in press-man using his length and size to jam and re-route. Can turn and run, recover when beat, and break up passes with his great leaping ability and ball skills. Likes to mix it up in run support and is also very physical here."

Weaknesses: "Hip stiffness in his angular, long build shows when playing off-man and breaking on underneath routes. Not as comfortable in zone as in press-man. Needs to be more consistent getting his head turned around to avoid interference calls. Must take better angles when tackling in the open field."

The Ravens drafted Smtih at No. 27 in the 2011 draft, and over the years, he's developed into one of the strongest cornerbacks in the league.

Per Pro Football Focus, Smith led cornerbacks in defensive passer rating during the first half of 2017, only giving up 12 receptions for 100 yards and allowing zero touchdowns. He was on track to have a huge 2017 season before going down with an Achilles injury in Week 13. It was also revealed he would be facing a suspension for PED use. 

A concern for Smith is the 23 regular-season games he's missed in six seasons due to injury. If 2018 brings good health for the 29-year old, the first-round pick will continue to be a playmaker.

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Steelers players plunder Le'Veon Bell's locker a day after missed deadline

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Steelers players plunder Le'Veon Bell's locker a day after missed deadline

Le'Veon Bell decided not to return to the Steelers this season, and his former teammates have apparently decided they can have his belongings. 

The All-Pro running back didn't sign his $14.5 million franchise tag by Tuesday's deadline, and thus is ineligible to play this season.

Steelers player were seen plundering his locker Wednesday in front of reporters. Defensive end Bud Dupree went right for Bell's cleats, thanking him for the Jordan brand shoes and saying he wishes Bell success.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told reporters he sent Bell his well-wishes, but got no response from his former backfield mate. 

It's unclear what Bell plans to do next, but it's crystal clear the Steelers have moved on, with his shoes in tow. 

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Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III prepared to start if hip injury sidelines Joe Flacco

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Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III prepared to start if hip injury sidelines Joe Flacco

Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson has had his fair share of life changing moments. 

Winning the Heisman Trophy in 2016, being drafted by the Ravens in the first-round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and come Sunday, possibly his first NFL start.

With Joe Flacco nursing a hip injury suffered against the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 9, the 21-year-old could be leading the Ravens for a full 60 minutes against division rival Cincinnati Bengals in what could be a defining moment of their season.

"I'm just going into it like any other week," Jackson said Wednesday. "Just preparing for whatever."

While Jackson has appeared in all nine games going 7-for-12 for 87 passing yards and one touchdown, he is the only first-round quarterback out of the 2018 draft that has yet to start this season. 

When asked how he would feel if his name is called Sunday, Jackson said he would have butterflies at first but added once the ball is snapped, "it's on."

Through the Ravens' first half of the season, how and when Jackson is utilized at either quarterback or receiver, has lacked consistency. Add in the lack of highlight reel passes from him and many are concerned he's not ready for an NFL start. 

The fast style of NFL play compared to that of college football was something Jackson admittedly struggled with throughout the preseason. But with nine regular season games under his belt, Jackson feels that is the area where he's taken the biggest strides. 

"Calling the plays," Jackson said. "Before I'd have to ask coach a hundred times, 'say it again, say it again,' but now he says it one time to me. Don't get me wrong, sometimes if [the call] is long or whatever I have to ask [coach to] say it again, but other than that I'm getting better with that."

Head coach John Harbaugh offered no insight on who would be their starting quarterback on Sunday and it can be expected he'll keep hush up until the last moment. Flacco was not on the practice field during media availability Wednesday, either. 

But let's not forget the other veteran quarterback on their roster; Robert Griffin III

For the first time since 2009, the Ravens decided to keep three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster for this very reason.

After sitting out of football for a year, RGIII was given a second chance in Baltimore, but has been a gameday inactive since the start of the season. If the week progresses and neither Flacco or Jackson seem ready, it could be the comeback of the once Offensive Rookie of the Year. 

"That's my job. That's why they brought me here," Griffin III said Wednesday on if he feels prepared to possibly start. "They brought me here to be a pro. They brought me here to help this team if need be. I try to help the defense every week on scout team and then do those [reps], and if my number's called I'll be able to go out there and lead this team."

Both RGIII and Jackson said that it would be "awesome" if they were named the starting QB on Sunday, but that no matter who it ends up being they're all here for one another.

"I'm going to continue to help [Lamar] just like I have all season because we're about the Ravens here," Griffin III said. "It's not about individuals. We've got a pretty daunting task ahead with this Bengals team and then just with the rest of our schedule, so we've got to make sure we make the most of every opportunity."

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