OWINGS MILLS - In Steve Smith, Ravens rookie Michael Campanaro has already identified a teammate he can relate to.
Both Campanaro and Smith are listed at 5-foot-9, shorter than most NFL wide receivers. However, Smith has 12,197 receiving yards during his 13-year NFL career, earning Campanaro’s respect and admiration.
Campanaro met Smith this week while he was working out at the team’s practice facility. Companaro figures the more he learns from Smith, the better.
“We got a Hall of Fame receiver in there, Steve Smith, so it’s good just watching him and learning from a guy like that,” Campanaro said. “Torrey (Smith). Jacoby (Jones). Right now I’m just learning the playbook. I’m just going to keep working hard.”
The Ravens opened their rookie minicamp Friday, but practice was closed to the media, making it impossible to identify early standouts. However, Campanaro is a slot receiver who the Ravens find intriguing, after trading into the seventh round to get him. Campanaro was a Baltimore area prep star that went to River Hill High School in Clarksville, Md. before an outstanding career at Wake Forest.
After an impressive pre-draft workout for the Ravens, Campanaro was worried the Ravens wouldn’t draft him after they took quarterback Keith Wenning in the sixth round.
“My girlfriend is a huge Ravens fan, so she started talking crap about the Ravens,” Companaro said smiling. “Then they traded back into the draft. She was excited.”
Almost as excited as Campanaro is.
As a seventh-round pick, Campanaro knows the odds are stacked against him. But picking Steve Smith as a mentor is already a good move.