Baltimore Ravens: Examining Their Undrafted Free-Agent Signings
At the end of April, NFL teams scramble to get ready for the draft, but there is no relief after the final selection as teams then proceed to sign up the remaining players.
The Baltimore Ravens have historically signed some solid players in undrafted free agency, including Jameel McClain and Dannell Ellerbe, so they are no stranger to this process.
This year, some major prospects fell through the cracks and into free agency, and the Ravens didn't hesitate to scoop up some of the best.
NFL Network listed all of the undrafted free agents. The Ravens signed:
Florida QB John Brantley; North Carolina CB Charles Brown; Morgan State TE-WR Lamont Bryant; Mississippi State OL James Carmon; Clemson FB Chad Diehl; Georgia FB Bruce Figgins; Slippery Rock WR Devin Goda; UAB DT Elliott Henigan; Baylor DT Nick Jean-Baptiste; Tennessee FB/LB Austin Johnson; Kent State DT Ishmaa'ily Kitchen; Alabama OL Alfred McCullough; Western Kentucky RB Bobby Rainey; Texas K/P Justin Tucker; Syracuse TE Nick Provo; Florida WR Deonte Thompson
A few of these players really stick out as either big college names or guys who have a legitimate chance to make an impact in 2012.
The biggest name on this list might be QB John Brantley, who was heir to Tim Tebow's throne at Florida. Brantley never managed to fill Tebow's shoes, but he did showcase solid arm strength and passing ability.
The Ravens are pretty much set with their top two quarterbacks, though, so Brantley will likely just be an extra arm at training camp.
Another well-regarded prospect the Ravens managed to snag is RB Bobby Rainey, who is a smaller back with some power. He could legitimately challenge Anthony Allen and Bernard Pierce for a spot on the roster.
Florida WR Deonte Thompson is a pure speed receiver, and while he is raw, he has the pure ability to at least stick around on the practice squad, and he could even play some special teams as well.
The biggest coup here was signing Baylor DT Nick Jean-Baptiste, who is a very stout nose tackle who surprisingly fell out of the draft. The Ravens could use someone to spell Terrence Cody, and Jean-Baptiste is talented enough to do just that. If any one of these players makes the final roster, it will likely be Baptiste.
The Ravens pulled in a great haul of undrafted free agents this year, nabbing several prospects that could have and likely should have been drafted. Expect at least one, and maybe more, of these prospects to make an impact in 2012.
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