Jack Cornell Impressing The Higher-Ups


Steve Bisciotti didn't have Jack Cornell's name on the tip of his tongue.

But it's always a good sign when you're an undrafted rookie and the owner and general manager know who you are.

"Ozzie [Newsome] actually likes that right tackle that's out there from Illinois undrafted," Bisciotti told 105.7 The Fan when referring to possible solutions for Bryant McKinnie's absence.

Cornell has created buzz at Ravens training camp, and is making a bid to land on the 53-man roster. Considering the offensive line is banged up, he was running with the first team before rookie Kelechi Osemele returned to practice and stepped in at right tackle.

Asked for his reaction to Bisciotti pointing out his potential, Cornell said, "Well, I better not screw up."

"That's pretty cool and definitely a good thing," he continued. "But I can't change anything, can't change my approach to practice or meetings. I've just got to keep getting better."

Cornell has done that so far. He's displayed good feet and can shadow defenders well. He also has versatility. He played tackle and guard in college and has even played some center for Baltimore.

Asked where he feels most comfortable, Cornell said, "on the field."

"Just plug me in and play me," he said.

Cornell is a 6-foot-6, 320 pounder who was a bit of a late bloomer. He played his first two years behind Jon Asamoah in college, who is now a starting guard for the Kansas City Chiefs. Cornell made 19 college starts.

While many rookie free agents say they expected to be drafted, Cornell did not.

He wasn't invited to the NFL Scouting Combine or even a regional combine. The Ravens were the only team that he worked out for. Only a couple teams expressed any interest.

"That's cool. It doesn't really bother me," Cornell said. "I'm just going to come to the team that wanted me and do the best I can. I know I have what it takes to make it in this league and I'm just trying to prove it every day."

How is he so sure he has what it takes?

"I love football and I always have," he said. "This is really, at the end of the day, all I really know how to do. Every day of my life, I was preparing for the National Football League, even as an elementary school kid playing pee-wee football. I always wanted to play in the NFL, and now that I have this opportunity I want to make the best of it."

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