Each year it seems that NFL teams managed to find themselves one or two gems from the UDFA pool. Guys who could have been drafted but were not due to injury, production, or a myriad of other factors. Sometimes these players bounce around from team to team while others are out of the NFL after just one year.
Then there are those who, by sheer will and talent manage to stick around for long periods of time and become reliable starters. Most people know the names of UDFAs who have “hit” such as Kurt Warner or John Randle. In recent years the NFL has seen guys like Phillip Lindsay, Cory Littleton, or La’el Collins make a substantial impact as UDFAs.
But with a global pandemic affecting the movement of the league, undrafted players will have a much tougher time sticking around with OTAs and mini camps.
Despite this, here are three undrafted players who could make the Baltimore Ravens final roster.
Jacob Breeland – Tight End – Oregon
Given their run-heavy offensive scheme, the Baltimore Ravens tend to implement a lot of three tight end sets. This is done to free up running lanes for running backs, Gus Edwards and Mark Ingram. With the former first-round tight end Hayden Hurst shipped off to the Atlanta Falcons, the Baltimore Ravens are in need of a third tight end. Opting not to select one with any of their 2020 NFL Draft picks, they instead signed several from the UDFA wire.
Proving to be a sound blocking tight end for the Oregon Ducks, Jacob Breeland would be a good fit in the Baltimore Ravens offense. While not incredibly strong like Nick Boyle, Breeland plays a physical style of football where he can find success in the NFL. In space, Breeland stays patient while also keeping his feet churning to drive guys back.
But it’s not just blocking with Breeland, when targeted he displayed strong hands and good ball skills. His physicality allows him to win at the catch point despite his limited athleticism.
Chauncey Rivers – EDGE – Mississippi State
Despite a breakout season in 2019 from Matthew Judon, the Baltimore Ravens lacked a consistent pass rush from their other contributors. The next closest player in terms of sacks was third-year linebacker Tyus Bowser with 5 sacks. Veteran Pernell McPhee started the year off strong but lost the rest of the season due to injury. Also, rookie Jaylon Ferguson struggled to live up to his nickname during his first season.
Similar to tight end, the Baltimore Ravens were thought to address the edge at some point in the draft. As such the Baltimore Ravens seem to be betting on the players they hand in house. That said, the Ravens did add a few edge defenders from the UDFA pool.
One of which is former Mississippi State edge, Chauncey Rivers. Standing at 6-2 weighing in at around 262 pounds, Rivers is built very similar to that of Judon. Rivers shows good power with his hands and ability to consistently soften the pocket. While not great knee bender or incredibly flashy off the snap, Rivers does just enough to win.
The depth at the position for the Ravens may ultimately leave Rivers on the cutting room floor. But with a good showing in training camp, Rivers may have a shot at making the final roster.
Tyler Huntley – Quarterback – Utah
Last year, the Baltimore Ravens selected Penn State quarterback Trace McSorely to be the backup behind Robert Griffen III and Lamar Jackson. With trade rumors regarding Griffen III swirling this offseason, the Baltimore Ravens may look to shake up their QB room. As of now, their QB depth chart is made up of guys whose claim to fame was their prowess as mobile passers.
Which brings us to that of former Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley. Although his rushing attempts at Utah decreased over the years, Huntley can do quite a bit of damage with his legs. Huntley is definitely a developmental passer, but his ability to extend plays and quality arm could be enough to beat out a player such as McSorely.
Given that the Baltimore Ravens will sometimes implement plays with multiple QB such as their “Heisman Formation”, Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman may use Huntley’s athleticism to their advantage, and scheme up short-yardage run plays.
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- Baltimore Ravens: Three UDFAs That Could Make The Final Roster - May 30, 2020