As a part of our coverage here at Russell Street Report, we’ll be featuring the best prospects all across the board in any situation the Ravens might come across. Whether it’s a receiver in the first round, a quarterback in the sixth, or a guard in the third, we’ll cover the Ravens best options in any scenario. Barring any trades, the team will pick in the middle of each round—so we’ll see who is available when the Ravens are projected to select their upcoming stars. This will make it easy for you the fan to look at what the Ravens are seeing in future NFL prospects.
This one goes out to all of you dedicated Ravens fans out there. You love this team—a team made up of many undrafted and under-the-radar players who have made it to the big stage. In this class, we have a multitude of sleeper wide-outs that have the potential to make an NFL team next year. Last year, Marlon Brown made contributions, catching 49 passes, seven for touchdowns. Will Ozzie Newsome find this year’s diamond in the rough? Here are two projected late-round surprises.
Matt Hazel, Coastal Carolina
I was fortunate enough to be able to watch Hazel in person during the 2013 season, and came away impressed.
Hazel was clearly the best player on the field, showing soft hands, quick feet, and highlight-reel grabs. While he does need help with route-running, Hazel is a player that will thrive with NFL coaching. He’s a dedicated young guy that is unlikely to have any off-field issues.
Coastal Carolina had a great year, earning a spot in the FCS playoffs. Hazel played a huge role in the Chanticleers offense, breaking his previous CCU record with 70 receptions.
Hazel has a future as a possession receiver in the NFL if he can stay on the right track and find a team that can groom and help him with some minor details. Can new Wide Receivers coach Bobby Engram help Hazel thrive?
Dri Archer, Kent State
It’s been a while since we’ve seen the Ravens acquire a small speedster at receiver. This year, Archer might be that guy.
Standing at just about 5’8”, Archer made the most of his time at Kent State by showing off his shiftiness and pure speed. Surprisingly enough, Archer didn’t play much of a receiving role in college; he should be labeled an “offensive weapon”. In 2013, he did average 13.1 yards per catch, but it was his ability to line up all over the field that got him attention from NFL scouts.
He was riddled by a few injuries last season, so we have to look back at 2012 to get a gauge on Archer. That’s no problem though – Archer ran for 1429 yards in his Junior year, averaging NINE yards per carry and 16 touchdowns. In the same season, he ran back three kicks for a touchdown and added four more TD’s in the passing game. Are you awake yet?
This season, he had only two kick returns, but one of them went for a 100-yard touchdown.
If you like big plays, Archer is your guy. No, he isn’t nearly as fine-tuned as most guys in this draft, but he’s worth taking a chance on late in the draft. Enjoy this highlight film below: