Mailbag: Analyzing the Undrafted Rookies' Chances

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Shemar Bridges takes part in drills at the NFL football team's practice facility, Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Owings Mills, Md./Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Slade Bolden takes part in drills at the NFL football team's practice facility, Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Owings Mills, Md.

Mink: I agree with your assessment that an undrafted rookie has the best shot to make the team at wide receiver or inside linebacker. I'd also include outside linebacker as a possibility.

As of now, the Ravens have just four "locked in" wide receivers. I don't expect they'll keep six, but six undrafted rookies are competing to grab a fifth spot. Coaches mentioned Shemar Bridges (Fort Valley State) and Slade Bolden (Alabama) as two standouts so far. I think they have a shot to make it. Bridges (6-foot-4, 207 pounds) could help fill the void left by Miles Boykin's departure.

The Ravens have a long history of keeping undrafted inside linebackers and they have some depth to replace after the loss of Chris Board. L.J. Fort also has not been re-signed. Josh Ross (Michigan), Zakoby McClain (Auburn) and Diego Fagot (Navy) are all competing for a possible fourth spot, though Malik Harrison and Kristian Welch won't make that easy.

Baltimore also has a depth issue at outside linebacker with Tyus Bowser and David Ojabo both returning from Achilles tears. I still expect the Ravens to sign a veteran, but it could also be an opportunity for an undrafted rookie to stick. Jeremiah Moon (Florida) stood out in OTAs and has had a good start to minicamp and is competing with Chuck Wiley (Texas-San Antonio).

Downing: No word yet, but that's not necessarily a surprise. Jason Pierre-Paul reportedly visited the Ravens last week for a workout, but that doesn't necessarily mean that a deal is imminent. The Ravens only have two days left of practice before breaking for the summer and then returning to Baltimore in late July for the start of training camp. The coaches have been taking a hard look at the young outside linebackers in training camp like Daelin Hayes and Jaylon Ferguson, as they determine whether they need to bring in a veteran pass rusher for the season.

Justin Houston didn't sign with the Ravens last year until training camp was already underway, and that could be the case again this year if the Ravens opt to bring him back. The veteran pass rushers may also like to wait on signing a deal to see how the market shakes out early in training camp. Injuries can happen and suddenly a team could swoop in with a big offer to patch up a sudden need. I'm not ruling out the addition of Houston or Pierre-Paul, and time will tell if the Ravens want to make that move.

Mink: I don't think the Ravens will add a veteran inside linebacker. Bobby Wagner is a special player. While Baltimore didn't have the biggest need there after bringing back Josh Bynes, it made sense to at least explore that option. I think Baltimore is more likely to keep an undrafted rookie, as outlined above.

Downing: This question is about Odafe Oweh and rookie David Ojabo. If you didn't know this already, Oweh and Ojabo are both of Nigerian heritage and actually went to the same high school in New Jersey. They bonded and were thrilled about an NFL reunion when the Ravens selected Ojabo in the second round of this year's draft. Nigerian Nightmare is a nickname for the duo that I've heard tossed around and I'm on board with that. If Oweh and Ojabo develop into the type of pass rushers that the Ravens envision, then opposing quarterbacks will certainly have nightmares thinking about the two of them coming off the edge.

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