Penn State's Odrick fits the Ravens' mold

OWINGS MILLS - Everything Jared Odrick does connotes toughness, power and a sense of purpose. From how the Penn State defensive lineman anchors the line of scrimmage with big hands, aggressiveness and a strong base of leverage to his firm handshake, Odrick is all business. And several NFL teams want to be in the Odrick business.

Because of his capability of playing defensive end in a 3-4 scheme or how he can operate as an athletic interior lineman in a 4-3 set, Odrick is steadily climbing on draft boards as Thursday's NFL draft approaches.

With his intensity, technique and productivity, the Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Year could go anywhere from the top dozen selections or he could land with the Baltimore Ravens' 25th overall in the first round.

"Jared Odrick plays like a Raven," Ravens director of player personnel Eric DeCosta said. "I think he's impressive. He can help you as an interior defender and as a pass rush guy. He had a great career at Penn State."

The 6-foot-5, 304-pounder has generated a lot of buzz through his impressive performances on the NFL draft circuit. From the Senior Bowl to the NFL scouting combine, his Pro Day workout and a series of visits and private workouts, Odrick is drawing high marks.

The highest he would probably go is the Browns' seventh overall pick. If he's still available when the Ravens are on the clock, they're considered unlikely to pass on the Nittany Lions' standout.

"He fits what they want as a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme; he's a perfect fit," said Russ Lande, a former NFL scout who covers the draft for the Sporting News. "He's a long-armed, tall kid who can hold the point of attack and he's athletic enough to make plays. He's a hard worker, a competitive kid, just what you want for that position."

Odrick has drawn favorable comparisons to Oakland Raiders defensive end Richard Seymour, a former Pro Bowl selection during his days with the New England Patriots.

The Patriots, who draft three spots ahead of Baltimore, are another potential destination for Odrick. Drafting 18th overall, the Pittsburgh Steelers also have a high grade on Odrick.

"I think I bring a lot of versatility at multiple positions that I've played before and am capable of playing in the future," Odrick said during a combine interview. "I like to think I'm a high-character guy. I get along with everybody on the team. Somebody who's going to work hard. "You're gonna get a hard worker out of me, somebody who is going to fight for a starting spot and earn respect. That's what you're going to get when you're dealing with Jared Odrick."

It's entirely possible that Odrick won't be available for the Ravens, Patriots or Steelers. Once considered a late first-round draft pick, Odrick's stock has gone up in league circles to the point where he's one of the eight players the NFL invited to attend the draft in New York.

"I've got Jared Odrick as the 25th best player in the draft, but defensive linemen are always selected much earlier than people expect," said Tony Pauline, who covers the draft for Sports Illustrated. "I think he'll be gone by the Ravens' pick."

Could Odrick fall further than anticipated? Unlikely, but possible.

"The fact that he's got a great motor and had great production in college is his highest testament," NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said. "It will be tough for some of those teams at the end of the first round to pass on him."

Last season, Odrick recorded 43 tackles for Penn State with seven sacks and 11 tackles for losses. Ranked behind Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy, Odrick is now in contention with Dan Williams to be the third defensive tackle drafted.

The Ravens lost Justin Bannan and Dwan Edwards in free agency and signed a bridge type of player in veteran Cory Redding to play left defensive end. With his productive background in the ultra-competitive Big Ten and big, sturdy frame, Odrick is expected to step in quickly and make an impact as a starting defensive lineman as a rookie.

"I think I'm quicker than a lot of defensive tackles in the country," Odrick said. "My size and capability to play inside or outside and constantly command a double-team and play through it and make plays, that's what separates me. There's a learning process for everything. That's something I'm not afraid of or don't think I can't handle."

NOTES: Offensive gaurd Marshal Yanda signed his one-year restricted free agent tender and exclusive-rights free agent running back Jalen Parmele signed his qualifying offer. ... Former Ravens first-round pick and starting quarterback Kyle Boller signed with the Oakland Raiders.

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