The Baltimore Ravens moved into the next step of the off-season process Saturday night by bringing several valuable players that did not have their named called over the three-day process.
Along with their eight draft picks, a host of other potential Ravens will make their way into Owings Mills in two weeks with the chance to make the roster cut from 90 players in training camp to the 53-man roster when Baltimore opens up against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football September 10th.
During the 2011 season, several undrafted free agents saw playing time for the Baltimore Ravens. DE/LB Albert McClellan, who was brought in under the circumstances after the 2010 NFL Draft, and Maryland WR/KR LaQuan Williams both saw significant action on special teams and during the game contributing for a team that reached the AFC Title game.
Here is a list of Ravens rookie free agent targets hoping to have similar results who have reportedly been signed or invited to work out for a contract, per league agents, sources, or the players themselves. Highlights of the signings include former Florida QB John Brantley-the successor to Tim Tebow, Morgan State TE LaMont Bryant, Wake Forest SS Cyhl Quarles, and Florida WR/KR Deonte Thompson.
James Carmon, Mississippi State T:
The Baltimore native and converted DT has blocked a lot of good pass-rushers in his senior year at Mississippi State. In one year, he was asked to block South Carolina’s Melvin Ingram, Arkansas’ Jake Bequette, Memphis Dontari Poe, and Ravens 2nd-round pick Courtney Upshaw at Alabama.
Nick Provo; Syracuse TE
Provo’s work was with his hands alone. Struggled in blocking this year for the Orange.
Omar Brown; Marshall SS
Brown made plays in his Marshall career-even against FBS opponents like Ohio State and Virginia Tech.
Justin Tucker, Texas K
Kicked for 2 seasons and punted for four in his Longhorn career. Was carried off the field this season after GW-kick vs. Texas A&M.
Nick Jean-Baptiste, Baylor DT
A nose-tackle candidate who could back up Terrence Cody.
LaMont Bryant, Morgan State TE
Bryant got a call from offensive coordinator Cam Cameron hours after the draft. He asked Bryant, “Do you want to be a Raven?” Bryant said it was an easy answer. He drew interest from the Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, and Kansas City Chiefs and actually had to choose between the Ravens and the Chiefs in a quick phone decision Saturday night.
Jack Cornell, Illinois OL
Cornell started 13 games this year for the Illini at strong-side guard. Played some tackle his junior year in 2010.
Bobby Rainey, Western Kentucky RB
Coach John Harbaugh has been following him for months. He called him Saturday night to welcome him in. Says he models his game after Barry Sanders, and has a blue-collar approach to the game.
Devin Goda, Slippery Rock (PA) TE/HB
The fifth-year senior had an impressive 2011 in which he caught 75 passes for 1,028 yards and 11 TDs in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. Standing at 6’2, 213 lbs, he runs a 4.54 40-yard dash. The Oakland Raiders were another team vying for his services.
Chris Anzevino, Kent State C
The All-MAC honoree started 36 games for Kent State over the last three seasons.
Austin Johnson, Tennessee FB/LB
After playing FB previously at Tennessee, he switched to ILB for the Vols in 2011, leading them in tackles with 81 and interceptions with four. Faced a lot of adversity coming back from a pre-season arrest in which he was booked for disorderly conduct and public intoxication in which he reportedly fought with another man and was punching cars.
John Brantley, Florida QB
A highly touted high school prospect, John Brantley backed up Tim Tebow for two years at the University of Florida. He was also one of the reasons why Cam Newton transferred out of Florida to Auburn. Struggled with injuries the last two years at Florida, but still finished his Gator career with a completion percentage of 61.7 percent, 30 TDs, 18 INTs and 4,750 yards.
Cyhl Quarles, Wake Forest SS
Led the Demon Deacons in tackles this season and was moved all over the field this year for Wake Forest.
Deonte Thompson, Florida WR
The Florida WR struggled with drops his senior year, causing his quarterback, John Brantley, to look elsewhere in the Gator offense. Only had 21 catches in 2011. But his speed, which is reportedly in the 4.3′s could make him an excellent return candidate.
Charles Brown, UNC CB
An excellent cover corner, he had two interceptions and led North Carolina in breakups. Another return candidate for the Ravens.
Antoine McClain, Clemson OG
A pancake machine; he had 183 of them over 41 games in his four-year Tiger career.
Elliot Henigan, UAB DT
Played with a sports hernia throughout 2011 and still finished with close to 40 tackles. Either takes his guy out behind the line of scrimmage or is taken out of the play.
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