By Jonathan Munshaw
Offensive guard Robert Myers was projected by a number of draft analysts and experts to be selected in the sixth or seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft April 30-May 2.
The lineman from Tennessee State nearly fell to the sixth round before the Ravens used their fifth-round compensatory pick (No. 176 overall) to take Myers.
"It was a great experience," Myers said May 5 on Glenn Clark Radio of his phone call from the Ravens telling him he had been drafted. "Everyone was screaming and stuff. It was a pleasure getting that call, because it's what I've been working on my whole college career."
Leading up to the draft, Ravens offensive line coach Juan Castillo went to Tennessee State to work out Myers individually. After the workout, Myers said Castillo displayed "high interest" in him.
Coming out of his four seasons with the Tigers, Myers had the size for the NFL, standing 6-foot-5 and weighing 326 pounds. However, following the NFL Scouting Combine in February, teams grew wary of his athleticism. He ran the 40-yard dash in 5.44 seconds at the combine, completed the three-cone drill in 8.1 seconds and ran the 20-yard shuttle in 4.91 seconds.
On his NFL.com draft page, Myers is described as an "average lateral athlete" who is "not overly quick."
The Ravens most likely have their starting offensive line rotation set for next season, barring any injuries, so Myers won't be expected to start right away, which could give him time to develop that quickness.
During the pre-draft process, Myers said he'd be open to being coached by Castillo and described him as "great." Myers also said he'd be willing to learn any position along the line, although he played right guard and right tackle during his college career.
"I want to be considered a starter," Myers said.
Myers won't be alone in his transition to the NFL. Ravens defensive back Anthony Levine also attended Tennessee State, although he and Myers were never on the team at the same time. Still, Myers said he and Levine had a working relationship prior to the draft and talked often.
"We know each other fairly well. It's just a good thing that he's there, to have a little brother bond and talk to me through the hard times and teach me how to become a professional. It'll be easy for us to relate," Myers said.
As a senior, Myers helped anchor a Tigers line that didn't allow a single sack during the team's final four games of the season and ranked 18th in the Football Conference Subdivision in sacks allowed per game.
He did sustain an ankle injury while preparing for the Jan. 24 Reese's Senior Bowl, but Myers said it is completely healed.
Student-athletes from FCS schools don't get invited to the Senior Bowl often. But Myers said carrying the flag for a smaller school is something he takes pride in, and it's something that gives him motivation going to the next level.
"You really don't know [about the skill level] if you haven't played in our league of football," Myers said. "I feel like it's not that much of a difference. … I feel like I have to go in now and show everyone that I'm one of the best linemen of the draft."