The Ravens wasted no time signing undrafted free agents immediately after the draft. Inking 14 of them to deals, we might just see the next NFL star come out of one or two of these prospects. Of those players, some may represent needed help for Joe Flacco.
Let’s take a look at some undrafted rookies that have the best chance to make an impact and be some of Flacco’s biggest targets.
Gerrard Sheppard, Wide Receiver, Towson: The hometown wide out has a chance to make the team simply because the receiving corps as it stands now is anything but set. An extra weapon for Joe Flacco would be greatly appreciated, and Sheppard could end up being the guy.
His pro-day was impressive to say the least, running a 4.4 40-yard dash and a vertical jump of 35 1/2 inches. He has hands that stood out tremendously at small-school Towson, and his passion for the game was made clear in his 1-on-1 interview with RSR’s Brian Bower.
Here’s a part from Brian’s interview that intrigued me the most:
“I try to mimic my game after Jerry Rice,” Sheppard replied when asked who he tries to compare himself to. “The guy had such sure hands and his route running ability to separate from defenders was incredible, not to mention how he carried himself off the field as well and that is who I try to mimic his work ethic.”
Murphy Holloway, Tight End, Ole Miss: There hasn’t been a Ravens UDFA that has been covered more than this guy. As you might already know, Holloway was a college stand-out in his career at Ole Miss—playing basketball.
He hasn’t played football since high school, so the Ravens are looking to get their own version of Jimmy Graham. Standing at 6’6, his athleticism certainly grabbed the attention of the Ravens’ brass. With Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson being Restricted Free Agents, Holloway might have a shot to fill a spot, even if just on the practice squad.
We haven’t seen him play yet, so it wouldn’t be fair to assume anything but he could be a great player.
Matt Furstenburg, Tight End, Maryland: Furstenburg ran the second best 40-time at the NFL Scouting Combine among tight ends, a 4.62. His athleticism and speed are elements of his game that caught the eye of the team.
His career at Maryland was good, but it had the potential to be great if it weren’t for the poor QB play in all four years that Furstenburg was there.
I fully expect the senior from Maryland to compete in camp, and maybe even earn a spot on the 53-man roster as the 3rd tight end.
Photo courtesy of BaltimoreSun.com