The Ravens have a history of finding gems in the undrafted rookie free agent market.
There’s running back Priest Holmes, center Mike Flynn and linebackers Bart Scott,
So who will be this year’s undrafted steal?
The possibilities were officially released Friday afternoon, as the Ravens announced their crop of 14 undrafted rookies. The class has some interesting names.
TE Matt Furstenburg, Maryland
There’s tight end Matt Furstenburg, who was projected to be a late-round pick after posting the second-fastest 40-yard dash at his position at the NFL Scouting Combine (4.62 seconds).
The balanced (pass catching and blocking) University of Maryland product caught just 16 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown last year. His low stats can partly be attributed to the Terps having to use a linebacker fill in at quarterback after a rash of injuries. Furstenburg said he thinks that hurt his stock considerably.
Furstenburg joined the Ravens, he said, because they told him he would have a good chance of nabbing the No. 3 tight end spot behind
“A couple teams were interested, but this seemed like the best situation,” said the 6-foot-4, 244-pound Furstenburg. “Their tight end situation and the best shot at making a team. And it’s nice to be close to college.”
TE Murphy Halloway, Ole Miss
The Ravens’ class also includes tight end Murphy Halloway, who hasn’t played football since his sophomore year of high school. Halloway was a standout forward for the Ole Miss basketball team, which went to the Sweet 16 this season.
Other Notable Signings
There are a couple local products in linebacker Brandon Copeland, a three-time Ivy League champion at Penn who finished his career with 160 tackles, including 26.5 for loss and 11 sacks. The Gilman High School product will be changing positions from defensive end to linebacker.
Nearby Towson is represented by wide receiver Gerrard Sheppard. West Virginia guard Jeff Braun played high school football at Winters Mill in Westminster, Md.
Rogers Gaines is an intriguing offensive tackle prospect, standing in at a towering 6-foot-6, 334 pounds. He didn’t allow a single sack in his senior year, and dazzled scouts with his athleticism and nasty streak. He has polish to work on as a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) prospect.
Here’s the Ravens’ full list of signed undrafted rookie free agents (read full bios):
- G Jeff Braun, West Virginia
- CB Jose Cheeseborough, Florida International
- LB Brandon Copeland, Penn
- T Jordan Devey, Memphis
- TE Matt Furstenburg, Maryland
- T Rogers Gaines, Tennessee State
- WR Omarius Hines, Florida
- RB Ray Holley, Louisiana Tech
- TE Murphy Halloway, Mississippi
- DE Will Pericak, Colorado
- WR Gerrard Sheppard, Towson
- QB Nathan Stanley, Southeast Louisiana
- S Brynden Trawick, Troy
- T Joe Unga, Midwestern State
Baltimore also signed six of its draft picks, all to four-year deals: fullback