OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens recently met with University of Kansas cornerback Aqib Talib during an official visit at their training complex, according to his agent.
After declaring for the NFL draft following a junior season where he was named the Orange Bowl MVP, Talib is a projected first-round draft pick.
However, character issues were raised following Talib's reportedly admitting at the scouting combine that he had tested positive for marijuana three times at Kansas. Talib was also suspended for two games in 2006 for undisclosed disciplinary reasons.
A few published reports indicated that Talib had informed Kansas coach Mark Mangino that he would test positive prior to one of the tests, a point that Mangino refuted recently.
"Everything's been great from the teams as far as Aqib," said Todd France, Talib's agent. "He's been doing a great job with the teams during his visits."
It's unclear what effect the revelation will have on Talib's draft stock one year removed from wide receiver Calvin Johnson, defensive end Gaines Adams and defensive tackle Amobi Okoye admitting to smoking marijuana in the past. Apparently, it didn't hurt their prospects as Johnson went second overall to the Detroit Lions with Gaines drafted fourth by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Okoye going 10th to the Houston Texans.
Talib has repeatedly said he has matured significantly since the birth of his daughter nearly a year ago. Talib has had over 10 visits to NFL teams.
Athletically, there are few questions about Talib.
At 6-foot, 202 pounds, he's a big cornerback with decent speed with a 4.45 clocking in the 40-yard dash. He registered a 38-inch vertical leap, a 10-11 broad jump and a 1.50 time in the 10-yard dash at the combine.
In three seasons, the Texas native totaled 162 tackles, 13 interceptions and 43 pass deflections.
"When the ball is in the air, I find a way to get it," Talib told reporters at the scouting combine. "I can play man coverage, I'm a pretty good tackler. I'm a big Deion Sanders fan. I always want to be the shutdown corner, the Prime Time of my team."
A freshman All-American selection, Talib also played wide receiver for the Jayhawks with five touchdowns out of nine receptions. As a sophomore, he led the nation with 22 pass deflections.
Talib is known for making impact plays in the open field and outleaping wide receivers to pick off passes. He draws high marks for his hands, instincts and aggressiveness with some analysts downgrading him for risk-taking and not having ideal timed speed or consistency.
Ravens secondary coach Chuck Pagano put Talib through drills during his Pro Day on the Kansas campus.
Talib doesn't lack for self-confidence after helping propel Kansas to national football prominence over the past few seasons.
"They want interceptions at corner," Talib said. "If you have good hands, it shows you can make plays on defense. It matters a great deal."
NOTES: The agent for linebacker Bart Scott and offensive guard Jason Brown said he remains in preliminary talks with the Ravens regarding contract extensions with no numbers discussed yet. Both starters are in the final year of their contracts. "Everybody showed their cards from the beginning," Harold Lewis said. "Bart and Jason have told me they want to be Ravens for life, and the Ravens have indicated they want them both back." ...
The Ravens have scheduled a private workout with Michigan State wide receiver Devin Thomas after interviewing him at the scouting combine. ...
The Ravens completed visits with Delaware quarterback Joe Flacco and Troy cornerback Leodis McKelvin on Monday. ... Michigan quarterback Chad Henne is scheduled to visit today. ...
The NFL regular-season schedule is expected to be released today.
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.
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