Ravens Undrafted Rookie Trend In Jeopardy


Finding diamonds in the rough has become a bit of a tradition in Baltimore over the years.

Players like linebackers Bart Scott and Dannell Ellerbe, kicker Justin Tucker and wide receiver Marlon Brown all arrived in Baltimore as undrafted prospects considered longshots to make an NFL roster. Just last year, offensive tackle James Hurst, linebacker Zach Orr and running back Fitzgerald Toussaint suited up in the playoffs after making the Ravens as undrafted rookies. 

For 11 straight seasons, the Ravens have opened the season with at least one undrafted rookie on their 53-man roster.

That streak is in jeopardy this year.

No undrafted rookies made the initial roster, and if nobody is moved up by Week 1, the trend will officially end.

The Ravens cut seven undrafted rookies over the weekend as they trimmed the roster from 75 to 53 players. They also traded undrafted rookie center Nick Easton to the San Francisco 49ers.

Easton may have been the top candidate to stick around into the regular season because on his performance in the preseason – he was graded as the team's top overall player by Pro Football Focus – but the Ravens already had a deep group at center with Jeremy Zuttah, John Urschel and Ryan Jensen.

Instead of just cutting Easton, the Ravens dealt him for a future draft pick.

"That's what you aim to do," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "Nick could have made our team, too, if we didn't have as much depth."

Other undrafted rookies on the roster bubble were running back Terrence Magee and safety Nick Perry. Magee had a good preseason and played himself in contention for a roster spot. Perry also drew high marks during training camp as Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees said "he's going to be one of those free-agent guys that are going to have a future in this league."

But the Ravens ultimately didn't have room for either player when it came time to build the final roster. Perry was added to the practice squad.

The caveat to the undrafted rookie streak is that the Ravens could still make moves over the next few days to continue it. The 53-man roster is never truly "finalized" and last year they added Toussaint to the active roster the day before the season opener. 

The Ravens currently have just two healthy running backs on the active roster with Lorenzo Taliaferro nursing a knee injury, and Magee is a candidate to end up back on the team if the Ravens make an addition there.

Baltimore trimmed its roster down to 53 prior to Saturday's 4 p.m. deadline.

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