Ravens check out Devin McCourty

OWINGS MILLS -- During the same day that veteran free agent cornerback Marlin Jackson signed a two-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles one day after visiting the Baltimore Ravens, the team took a long look at another cornerback.

The Ravens had a strong presence at Rutgers cornerback Devin McCourty's Pro Day workout Wednesday with secondary coach Chuck Pagano running the drills with director of college scouting Joe Hortiz observing from the sidelines.

Plus, Ravens running back Ray Rice cheered on his former Rutgers teammates during a workout session that was broadcast live on the Internet. "I need Devin on the Ravens," Rice told reporters. "I'm here trying to draw attention to him."

McCourty is a potential late first-round draft pick who improved his stock at the NFL scouting combine with 40-yard dash times in the 4.4 range. By all accounts, he had another strong workout back on the Rutgers campus as Pagano put him through a diverse battery of drills to test his range, hands, acceleration and flexibility.

Pagano seemed impressed with McCourty's abilities.

McCourty blocked seven kicks at Rutgers and intercepted four passes during his final three seasons.

What separates McCourty from the large pack of talented cornerbacks jockeying for position? "I think being a complete football player and not just a corner or a nickel," McCourty said during the NFL scouting combine. "Being able to do everything a coach wants on special teams, too."

The 5-foot-10, 193-pounder is known for his cover skills and athleticism.

And he offers another dimension with his work on special teams.

"He might be the best special-teams value in the draft in addition to being a potential starting corner," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. "He's a gunner and a jammer, and he's a return guy. I think he could fit in quickly in the nickel package. He's a very, very physical defensive back. Most people have him going in the second round, but he could be a legitimate late first-round pick."

NOTES: Jackson 26, signed with Philadelphia, which is banking on him recovering from his second torn anterior cruciate ligament. Jackson is a former first-round draft pick who has intercepted four career passes. The Eagles plan to move him to free safety. ... The special Ravens-themed cake that Duff Goldman of "Ace of Cakes" fame and Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata collaborated on in December will be unveiled at 10 p.m. today on the Food Network.


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