Kurt Warner, Priest Holmes, Antonio Gates, Arian Foster, Jeff Saturday. Just a few of the games best players who were signed as undrafted free agents. The Ravens have a few UDFA guys of their own that have had success. Bart Scott, Jameel McClain, Dannell Ellerbe, and Justin Tucker.
Here’s some quick notes on the guys making this years Ravens UDFA class who would like to make a name for themselves in the NFL. The order is the order the players were listed on the Ravens website, and appears to be the order signed. Consider the first few names the better players of the undrafted class.
TE- Matt Furstenburg , Maryland – Had an Impressive combine. Comparable to Dennis Pitta’s combine. I thought he would be drafted. His dad played college football, one sister plays college basketball, and the other sister plays college lacrosse. Sounds like Matt came from a pretty competitive upbringing. Not a great blocker according to scouts. But great athletic ability with a 4.6 40-yard time. Could be a special teams force as he tries to make the roster in some fashion.
OT- Jeff Braun, West Virginia – I think to term is “road grader.” Braun led the team in knockdowns as a sophomore and senior, second as junior. He started every game in the last 3 years. Looks durable, strong, versatile, a poor man’s Barrett Jones without the knee injury. Great in the community as well.
OT- Rogers Gaines, Tennessee State – Considered a project. High potential at 6’6” 334 lbs. with a nasty streak. Plays through the whistle, and will level anyone standing around away from the play. Quick off the ball, but the knock on him is he plays with a high pad level, and gives up too much ground in pass protection.
DE/LB – Brandon Copeland, Penn – Hails from Sykesville and went to Gilman. Copeland is a three-time 1st team all-Ivy League. Also the cornerstone of a defense that hasn’t lost an Ivy League game in over two seasons, and three straight Ivy League titles. He’s a winner.
QB – Trent Steelman, Army – Jets are the only team that sent a scout to watch the guy. A Ravens scout called Trent and said he planned on being there, but couldn’t make it because of a family issue. Fast, 4.47 40-yard, unofficial. An option QB could give them a wrinkle to use a couple times a year. Maybe challenges Tyrod Taylor. Harbaugh loves competition. Looks like Taylor, Caleb Hanie, and Steelman will compete for two spots. I would think they do carry 3 QBs now that Boldin, the previous emergency QB, is gone.
RB – Ray Holley, Louisiana Tech – Averaged 5.2 yards per carry and 9.5 yard per catch, seven TDs.
DB – Brynden Trawick, Troy – Led the Sun Belt in tackles in 2011 (123). A safety that always seems to find the ball carrier on running plays.
TE – Murphy Halloway, Ole Miss – He hasn’t played a down of college football. But the three year starter as a power forward on the Rebels basketball team has hopes of being the next Tony Gonzalez, Jimmy Graham, or Antonio Gates.
DE – Will Pericak, Colorado – Played in all 48 games of his college career. The Ravens love those durable guys.
WR – Gerrard Sheppard, Towson – NFLdraftscout.com doesn’t have a picture of him, and they misspelled his name in one of their reports. Sheppard left UCONN along with then assistant coach, Rob Ambrose, to start in Towson for him.
CB – Moe Lee, Utah – Converted from WR to play corner at Utah. Only started six games in his senior season. Not much to see here. Especially since a Google search of “Moe Lee” suggested “Moe’s Tavern”.
CB – Jose Cheeseborough, Florida International – Started every game of the last three seasons.
OL – Jordan Devay, Memphis – Won the DeAngelo Williams award. That’s not a joke. It’s the award Memphis gives to its Most Valuable Player. Second team Conference USA, elected to play in the East/West Shrine Game. He plays every position on the O-line, but mostly lines up at left tackle.