Round 6: Ravens Draft WR Keenan Reynolds At No. 182


The Ravens have made a splash late in this year's draft.

Baltimore selected Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds in the sixth round with pick No. 182, adding a versatile playmaker who can affect the game in a number of areas.

"It's a dream come true. Wow," Reynolds said to open his conference call with Baltimore reporters. "I've been playing football for 17 years now and all I've ever wanted to do is play on Sundays. To be able to play on Sundays now, for one of the most storied organizations in the league, it's a blessing."

Reynolds played quarterback throughout his career at Navy, and he thrived in its triple-option scheme. He has a knack for finding the end zone and set FBS records with 88 career touchdowns and 4,559 rushing yards by a quarterback. Reynolds finished fifth in voting for the Heisman Trophy last season.

"He reminds me a little bit of [Patriots receiver] Julian Edelman," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. "He has that kind of quickness and toughness."

Standing in at 5-foot-11 and 205 pounds, Reynolds does not project as a quarterback in the NFL, and the Ravens have him listed as a wide receiver. He played running back during the East-West Shrine game, and the Ravens could also try to use him in the return game.

When the Ravens talked with Reynolds Saturday afternoon, they told him to get ready to compete at receiver and returner.

"Being able to move around and be in space with the football is where I thrive, and I feel like that's where I'm going to find success at the next level," Reynolds said.

Reynolds actually has a connection to another draft pick by the Ravens: fourth-round Louisiana Tech running back Kenneth Dixon. Dixon briefly held the record for the most rushing touchdowns in FBS history (87), but Reynolds passed him a couple of days later. The two combined for 175 touchdowns over the courses of their college career.

Reynolds has spent the last few months working to make the transition from quarterback to skill player. He has recently been working with former Washington and Philadelphia return man Brian Mitchell to get experience as a punt returner. Head Coach John Harbaugh coached Mitchell in Philly.

"[Mitchell] brings an innovative style and also perspective of somebody that has returned punts," Reynolds said. "He can tell you what to look for, what it's going to be like when I'm back there, so I'm just excited."

Beyond what he's able to do on the field, a question with Reynolds is whether his military obligations will interfere with a career in the NFL. Graduates of the Naval Academy commit to five years of military service, but the Navy could allow Reynolds to play without going directly into service.

Take a look at photos from No. 182 pick Keenan Reynolds during his time at Navy.

That's what the Navy did last year for Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona. Reynolds said he's discussed the matter already, but will leave it up to the Secretary of the Navy.

"That's an excellent question and I think being in the area still, that's going to help my cause," Reynolds said. "But that's a call that's up to the Navy... Right now I'm just trying to bask in what the now is."

Draft weekend was an exercise in patience for Reynolds. He saw 181 players come off the board in front him, and he grew frustrated watching the draft from his home in Crownsville, Md.

"I was like, 'Man, why am I still around?' I was just upset," Reynolds said. "I knew I could play. I'm seeing guys come off the board and I'm like, 'I know I can play with these guys.'"

When the Ravens finally called, he described the feeling as a sense of relief and excitement. Reynolds is used to people overlooking his ability as a player. He was left off the invite list for last year's Heisman Trophy presentation and didn't even get invited to the NFL Scouting Combine.

"I've been proving people wrong my entire life," Reynolds said. "There were people who didn't even think I would get drafted. There were people who obviously didn't think I deserved to be in New York [for the  Heisman ceremony] and I just continue to try to prove them wrong, prove myself right. And I'm going to continue to do that."

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