It’s still quite early, but if there’s one undrafted rookie free agent that seems to have a good shot of making this year’s team, it appears to be tight end
The former Maryland tight end has a solid mix of athleticism, receiving talent and blocking ability.
The Ravens don’t have many other options for a third tight end, especially after cutting fellow undrafted rookie Murphy Holloway on Tuesday. The only other tight end on the roster, besides
Furstenburg also reportedly received a $10,000 signing bonus, which is on the higher end for the budget-conscious Ravens. It shows their commitment to securing him.
Furstenburg had interest from other teams after the draft, including the Carolina Panthers, but chose Baltimore after getting a call from Head Coach John Harbaugh.
“[Coach] said, ‘We have a great situation here for you to be the third tight end,’” Furstenburg said. “This just seemed like the best situation, the best shot where I can make a team.”
Furstenburg has some intriguing potential as a receiver. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.62 seconds at the combine, the second-fastest time among all tight ends. In 2011, he was a big part of Maryland’s offense, catching 31 passes for 348 yards and two touchdowns.
But as a senior, Furstenberg hauled in just 16 passes for 206 yards and two scores. A large reason for the decline was that Maryland, due to a freakish number of injuries, had a freshman linebacker playing quarterback.
“I’d never say that’s a good thing to have,” Furstenburg said. “I think it hurt me a good amount. I probably would have had a few more receptions and we probably would have gone to a good bowl. But I don’t know.”
If Furstenburg is going to make the Ravens roster, it will probably be based less on his receiving potential and more on his blocking and special teams play. Baltimore’s third tight end last year, Billy Bajema, didn’t have a single catch, and was used primarily as an extra blocker.
Despite his smaller frame at 6-foot-3, 244 pounds, Furstenburg gets after his blocking assignments and has the agility to block on the move.
“I think I’m just a dead even mix of all,” Furstenburg said. “I just hope I can show them that I can make some plays down the field and be physical at the point of attack with blocking.”
Furstenburg comes from an athletic family. His father, Roger, played college football at Richmond. His sisters, Jill and Allison, played college basketball and lacrosse, respectively. Furstenburg was a two-sport high school star, and a three-time New Jersey state high school lacrosse champion.
Now he’s looking to show he’s next up in the Ravens’ long history of undrafted rookie success stories.
“It’s the same everywhere; you’ve got to prove yourself,” Furstenburg said. “Hopefully I make the team."