Undrafted Rookies Separate Quickly


Who is it going to be this year? 

The Ravens have had an undrafted rookie make the season-opening 53-man roster for 11 straight years, tied for the third-longest streak in the NFL behind Indianapolis and Kansas City.

During Head Coach John Harbaugh's era, Baltimore has unearthed undrafted talent every year.

Over the past seven years, the list includes linebacker Jameel McClain (2008), linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (2009), long snapper Morgan Cox and linebacker Albert McClellan (2010), linebacker Josh Bynes (2011), kicker Justin Tucker (2012), safety Brynden Trawick (2013), and tackle James Hurst and linebacker Zach Orr (2014).

While there are still a lot of practices to go, Harbaugh agreed with a reporter's notion that undrafted rookie free agents who will eventually make the team or become successes in the league make themselves known pretty quickly.

"You see the guys right away who are going to have a chance to play at this level, because you see the athleticism, the ability to pick things up quickly," Harbaugh said. "[It] doesn't take long to spot a guy that has a chance."

Harbaugh of course wasn't going to name any players who caught his eye during last weekend's rookie minicamp, where there were 15 undrafted rookies and more tryout players.

"[I'm] really, really impressed with the group," Harbaugh said. "Credit our coaches and our scouts for the job they did with this class. Can't wait to see where they go five years from now when we look back, but I think a lot of these guys are going to have great careers."

Below are three undrafted rookies to keep an eye on. These aren't players Harbaugh specifically pointed to, but they were intriguing in the two days at rookie camp:

WR DeAndre Carter, Cal State – SacramentoCarter is short in stature at 5-foot-8, but has big-time quickness. He logged a school record 99 catches for 1,321 yards and 17 touchdowns last year, and could be a factor on special teams. Harbaugh was asked about Carter Saturday, and said he "has done a really nice job as a receiver, and he has looked good as a punt returner."

S Nick Perry, AlabamaPerry was considered a possible seventh-round draft pick. He's a hard hitter with good size at 6-foot-1, 201 pounds. He already has somewhat of an advantage considering he comes from Alabama's complex, Ravens-like defense. Once Perry can hit, he should make even more of an impression.

ILB Trey DePriest, AlabamaDePriest started 39 games for the Crimson Tide, and like Perry, that gives him an advantage in catching on in Baltimore. He finished with 237 tackles, including 17.5 for loss. He was a member of two national championship teams. The Ravens have a history of keeping undrafted linebackers, particularly ones who can contribute on special teams.

Get a look at the 15 players who are vying for a spot on the season-opening Ravens roster.

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