Baltimore Ravens: Which undrafted free agent could make the team?
The Baltimore Ravens signed a number of undrafted free agents, but which ones are most likely to make the team this season?
The Baltimore Ravens signed a number of undrafted free agents, and while, more often than not, UDFAs don’t make much of an impact on any NFL team, there have been a share of them who have made major impacts. Hall of Famers Kurt Warner and Warren Moon, as well as Antonio Gates, James Harrison, Wes Welker, Arian Foster, these were all UDFAs who had major impacts in the NFL.
Now, I don’t necessarily think that any of the UDFAs the Baltimore Ravens signed will play to the level of any of the mentioned players, but there are a few that could make an impact on the Ravens team this upcoming season and beyond.
The first player I could see making the team is former Utah wide receiver Tim Patrick. Patrick had a good year in 2016 for the Utes, having at least five catches, 100 yards, and a touchdown in three games, including one against USC star and first-round draft pick Adoree’ Jackson.
Patrick had some trouble staying healthy in college, but he’s an athletic, talented wide receiver. He has excellent speed and is good at getting separation, he’s quick enough at the line of scrimmage to beat press coverage, and has decent hands.
The downside to Patrick, though, is that his route tree is extremely limited, he’s raw, and can sometimes give away routes. That being said, he makes for a good slot receiver if you need someone to run deep, and there have been plenty of wide receivers in the NFL who have made careers out of being “run straight fast” players.
The next player who could make the team is former Arizona State receiver Tim White. White is similar to Patrick in that he’s also an excellent athlete. A collegiate triple-jumper, White has the ability to win jump balls more often than not. He’s got great quickness and has the ability to break some ankles running routes.
White is a bit small and lanky, standing at 5’11” and just 175 pounds. Whether he can make tough catches across the middle of the field remains to be seen, thanks to that small frame, and similar to Patrick, he lacks the knowledge and ability (as of now) to run more complex routes. That being said, you can teach route-running, you can’t teach athleticism.
The final guy who I think has a good shot at making the team (maybe even the best shot) is former Oregon State player Ricky Ortiz, who is entering the team as a fullback. Ortiz is versatile to say the least. During his time at Oregon State, Ortiz played fullback, linebacker, running back, and tight end.
Ortiz is 6’0″, 232 pounds, he’s a strong guy and has a fair amount of special teams experience as well. He’s a decent blocker but can also be a solid receiver, something the Ravens used Kyle Juszczyk for a lot last year.
Ortiz could easily make the team simply by necessity, as he’s the only listed fullback on the roster right now, with Juszczyk leaving for San Francisco. Now, that doesn’t mean the Ravens won’t sign one of the free agent fullbacks out there.
Someone like Marcel Reece, who showed in his time in Oakland to be a very capable running back and receiver, could fit into the Ravens system relatively easily. Other players like Jerome Felton or Zach Line could end up on the team too.
But as of now, Ortiz is it, and he’s got some talent. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Ravens toss him out there and see what he can do out of the backfield.