Ravens host several prospects, CB, RB, OL

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens are leaving no stone unturned in their quest for draft prospects. Please keep reading for further details on who's been visiting One Winning Drive.

The Ravens worked out Syracuse cornerback Tanard Jackson this week at their training complex. Regarded as a potential first-day draft prospect, Jackson improved his workout numbers significantly at his Pro Day from what he posted at the NFL scouting combine in February.

Jackson, who met with Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome and the defensive coaching staff, registered a 4.47 in the 40-yard dash after running a 4.52 at the combine. He recorded a 34 ½ inch vertical leap, two inches higher than his best showing in Indianapolis.

"I think the Ravens like him a lot," Jackson's agent, Ken Sarnoff, said in an e-mail.

At 6-foot, 192 pounds, Jackson is capable of playing cornerback or safety. He even played linebacker in some nickel packages last season.

"A lot of teams like me at the safety position," Jackson told reporters at the scouting combine. "I think it's just the system that I'll be drafted into that will determine where I'll be playing. The coaches like the versatility, the fact that I can play corner and safety, so it's an advantage for me right now."

Ravens assistant secondary coach Mark Carrier attended Jackson's workout on the Syracuse campus.

Other NFL scouts and coaches in attendance included the Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers.

A Silver Spring native, Jackson visited the Buccaneers after leaving Baltimore. He will visit the Jets next week.

Jackson is a three-year starter who made the All-Big East team as a senior. He had 62 tackles, two interceptions, two sacks and two forced fumbles last season.

Meanwhile, Ravens secondary coach Dennis Thurman attended Fresno State cornerback Marcus McCauley's Pro Day workout. At 6-foot-1, 203 pounds, McCauley flashed 4.37 speed.

Afterward, McCauley said that Thurman spent a lot of time giving him pointers and encouraging feedback.

While physically gifted, McCauley has struggled with his consistency, suffered a concussion during the second game of last season and was benched late in the season for poor play.

He's still expected to be picked at some point during the first three rounds of the draft.

University of Tennessee offensive lineman Arron Sears visited the Ravens on Wednesday. Sears is an All-SEC selection who has played every line position except for center.

NFL scouts have given Sears high marks at both guard and tackle, but he likely projects best to guard.

Sears headed down I-95 to visit the Washington Redskins following his job interview with the Ravens.

The Ravens had blue-chip California-Berkeley running back Marshawn Lynch in for a visit even though he's likely to be drafted in the top half of the first round. The Ravens have the No. 29 overall pick of the first round.

NFL teams often bring players in that are unlikely to be available when they're on the clock, just as Baltimore did last year when they flew in future Tennessee Titans starting quarterback Vince Young for a meeting.

There's always the possibility that Lynch could slide due to a few off-field issues. In January, Lynch was accused of sexual assault by his girlfriend, but law enforcement officials declined to press charges, citing "grave inconsistencies" in the woman's accusations.

The report still raised eyebrows throughout the league.

A year ago, Lynch's car was hit with gunfire in Oakland while attending his younger sister's graduation. Lynch called it a case of mistaken identity, adding that the shooter called his mother's house to apologize.

In the past two seasons, Lynch has rushed for 2,602 yards and 21 touchdowns.

NOTE: The Ravens released offensive tackle Daniel Oliphant, a former Division III lineman from Colby University.

He was recently released by the Cologne Centurions, an NFL Europe team he was allocated to by the Ravens.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland.

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