Brick buildings and dense woods frame the Baltimore Ravens’ practice fields, providing a setting that is tough to beat anywhere in the NFL. The soundtrack tends to be less idyllic, but that's not a knock. Chatter from veteran defender Terrell Suggs serves as an entertaining soundtrack when a speaker system isn't sampling coach John Harbaugh’s music playlist to simulate crowd noise (if opposing stadiums play Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, this Ravens team isn't likely to be fazed).
As the Ravens’ minicamp was winding down late last week, my eyes kept returning to a 6-foot-7, 298-pound figure with surfer’s blond hair and a sleeveless jersey revealing biceps worthy of the additional exposure. Brent Urban, a fourth-round pick from Virginia, has caught coaches’ attention. He has little pedigree but is making sufficient impact this offseason to raise initial hopes and expectations for the season.
There are plenty of similarly intriguing candidates around the league. A few come to mind after visiting the Ravens, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins over the past few weeks. I’ve put together a list featuring Urban and nine others who are generating buzz based on their OTA performances, including another potential find in the Seattle secondary, a tight end in Green Bay and wide receivers galore.
Brent Urban, DE, Baltimore Ravens: There are a few candidates in Baltimore, including defensive lineman Kapron Lewis-Moore, a 2013 sixth-rounder coming off ACL surgery, and Ricky Wagner, who could wind up starting at right tackle after playing mostly as a sixth blocker last season.