Bobby Rainey, Deonte Thompson Make The Team


Head Coach John Harbaugh said this was the best class of rookie free agents he'd had during his five years in Baltimore.

The best of the best was running back Bobby Rainey, wide receiver Deonte Thompson and kicker Justin Tucker.

They made the 53-man roster Friday, becoming the latest in a long line of Ravens rookie free agents to beat the odds and make the team.

"It's a blessing – a long time coming," Thompson said. "I had to work for it; nothing was given to me. I had to bust my butt every day and hard work pays off."

Thompson beat out veteran Logan Payne and rookie free agent Dorian Graham for the final spot at wide receiver. The Ravens placed rookie sixth-round pick Tommy Streeter on injured reserve, which also helped create room for Thompson.

The Florida speedster caught on early this summer. He began shining in organized team activities, and developed a quick chemistry with quarterback Joe Flacco. Thompson carried that over to minicamp, and training camp.

He showed up in the preseason games too, notching 10 catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Thompson finished with an 11-yard fingertips grab in traffic in the fourth and final preseason game.

While getting reps at the crowded wideout position will be difficult for Thompson in the regular season, he could contribute on special teams and be a player alongside Jacoby Jones at kick returner.

Thompson said he was still sweating it out in a morning special teams meeting before being told he made the team by Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron and Wide Receivers Coach Jim Hostler.

"Huge relief," Thompson said. "I knew I had a great camp, great offseason, great preseason, but I still wasn't sure. I definitely think I proved I can play in this league."

Rainey made the team while second-year running backs Anthony Allen and Damien Berry did not. Considered a long shot at first considering the Ravens also drafted Bernard Pierce in the third round, Rainey continually made plays in practice.

Like Thompson, he transferred that to the game as well.

Rainey led the Ravens in receiving this preseason with 14 receptions for 163 yards and two touchdowns, showing how valuable a weapon he is in the passing game. Pierce is considered more of a runner than receiver, so Rainey complements him well as a backup to Ray Rice.

Rainey ran 23 times for 55 yards, a 2.4-yard average. He had a long of 13 yards.

"I'm excited, but the guys that were competing at the same position, I feel bad for them," Rainey said. "At the end of the day, I guess we both know how this business goes. I'm happy inside though."

The 5-foot-8 product from Western Kentucky hadn't yet texted his mom or siblings that he made the team as of this afternoon. He was just soaking it in.

"I'm trying to keep my routine," Rainey said. "[My mom] will be the first person I call. I'm not texting anybody."

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