The NFL may soon have another Flacco on its hands.
According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, Michael Flacco, the younger brother of polarizing Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe, will enter May's draft:
Joe Flacco's brother, Michael, has declared for the NFL draft. former baseball prospect is raw but athletic and very intriguing ...— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 8, 2014
The 26-year-old Flacco played tight end at the University of New Haven this past season following four years of minor league baseball in the Baltimore Orioles' farm system as a (probably elite) first baseman.
Per ESPN's Adam Caplan, the 6'5", 245-pound athletic specimen caught 30 balls for 591 yards and nine scores for the Division II school in what was his first season of college football.
Unsurprisingly, there was very little buzz on Flacco, who has two years of eligibility remaining, in terms of this year's draft before this announcement. Neither ESPN nor CBS Sports listed him in their draft rankings, while the latter put him as the No. 22 tight end in the class of 2016.
Still, there is plenty of potential here, as evidenced by this marvelous one-handed grab:
Back in July, New Haven head coach Pete Rossomando talked about Flacco's unique skill set, via Fox Sports' Mike Garafolo:
"He's 6-6, 250 and can run. You can use those guys," Rossomando said with a laugh. "We worked him out, we were able to watch him run around. He's very raw and he needs some seasoning to get to that next level.
"But if he does the things we ask, the sky is the limit for him."
It's not just D-II schools that can use those kind of guys. As the NFL continues to grow into more of a passer's league, big, athletic pass-catching tight ends who can bust the seam and control the red zone a la Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham are becoming extremely integral.
When will Flacco be drafted?
At 26 years of age with just one season of college football under his belt, Flacco undoubtedly comes as a risk and will need to prove himself during the combine and pre-draft workouts.
Nevertheless, with his size and athleticism, he's a high-upside prospect who would make sense as a late-round pick or undrafted free agent.