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Ravens Aggressively Signing Undrafted Players

Posted Apr 28, 2013

Baltimore had 185 draftable players before the draft started, more than a typical year.

The Ravens had 185 draftable players on their board, more than a typical year.

That means there are better players than usual that didn't get selected in the 2013 NFL Draft.

It also means the Ravens' scouting department is aggressively hitting the phones looking to sign undrafted rookie free agents.

"I think last year we had the entire 150 wiped out," Ravens Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta said. "This year, I think we have about 15 or 20 guys still left on the front board as draftable prospects, so our scouts are doing a great job of recruiting those guys, trying to get those guys to come."

The Ravens allot a certain amount of money they are willing to spend on an undrafted rookie free agent. Then it's the responsibility of a coach or scout to convince their assigned players to sign.

Since undrafted players are free agents, they are allowed to sign with anybody, and thus the competition to ink them can get rather intense.

Baltimore has an edge because it has a strong track record of undrafted players making the team, having success and getting paid by either the Ravens or another team. The list includes running back Priest Holmes, linebacker Bart Scott, center Mike Flynn, linebacker Jameel McClain and most recently Dannell Ellerbe.

"We utilized that as a tool when we started recruiting guys two months ago, three months ago," General Manager Ozzie Newsome said.

DeCosta, Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz, National Scout Joe Douglas and Southeast Area Scout Mark Azevedo are in charge of the recruiting system. It includes Harbaugh and his phone number, as the coach is often brought in to seal the deal.

There are media reports that the Ravens have already signed many undrafted rookies. Some of the rookies tweeted the news themselves.

Here is the list of the players who have signed as undrafted free agents, according to The Baltimore Sun:

  • TE Matt Furstenberg, Maryland
  • OT Jeff Braun, West Virginia
  • OT Rogers Gaines, Tennessee State
  • DL/LB Brandon Copeland, Penn
  • QB Trent Steelman, Army
  • RB Ray Holley, Louisiana Tech
  • DB Brynden Trawick, Troy
  • TE Murphy Halloway, Ole Miss
  • DE Will Pericak, Colorado
  • WR Gerrard Shepard, Towson
  • CB Moe Lee, Utah
  • DB Jose Cheeseborough, Florida International
  • OL Jordan Devey,Memphis

The following players have been invited to next week's minicamp for a tryout, according to The Baltimore Sun:

  • TE Chris Harris, Elon
  • OL Steve Demilio, Elon

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