Tag Archive | "Bronson Rechsteiner"

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Jackson’s one-time rival, pro wrestler’s son headline Ravens’ UDFA signings

Posted on 01 May 2020 by Luke Jones

A quarterback who once got the best of 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson headlined the initial list of undrafted free-agent signings announced by the Ravens.

Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley was a three-year starter and co-Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year last season, but his high school defeated Jackson and Boynton Beach to win a Florida district title in 2014, something the Ravens star hadn’t forgotten when reports surfaced about Huntley joining Baltimore. At 6-foot-1 and 196 pounds, Huntley is undersized for the position and doesn’t have the strongest throwing arm, but his athleticism and accuracy — he owns the Utah record for career completion percentage at 67.2 percent — make him a rookie to watch during the preseason.

Huntley passed for 3,092 yards, 19 touchdowns, and just four interceptions while rushing for 290 yards and five touchdowns last season.

The other notable signing was Kennesaw State fullback Bronson Rechsteiner, the son of professional wrestler Rick Steiner and nephew of former WCW heavyweight champion Scott Steiner. The 5-foot-10, 223-pound fullback averaged 8.1 yards per carry last season and rushing for 1,496 yards and nine touchdowns in 48 collegiate games.

Rechsteiner has expressed interest in eventually following in the footsteps of the Steiner Brothers, who are regarded as one of the better tag teams in professional wrestling history. He posted on his Twitter account that he was working out with WWE Hall of Famers Diamond Dallas Page and Jake “The Snake” Roberts on Friday.

On Thursday and Friday, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta also announced the signings of Missouri center Trystan Colon-Castillo, Redlands cornerback Jeff Hector, and Alabama Birmingham kicker Nick Vogel. Considering Baltimore’s history of developing successful specialists, Vogel is in a good environment to learn from three-time Pro Bowl kicker Justin Tucker and put himself in position for a potential NFL job elsewhere.

Announcements of undrafted signings have been more deliberate than usual so far with the realities of the coronavirus pandemic making what can already be a chaotic post-draft signing process more difficult with front office members, coaches, and scouts not allowed at the team facility in Owings Mills. However, director of player personnel Joe Hortiz praised the pre-draft preparation of player personnel coordinator Mark Azevedo, who runs point on the undrafted rookie signing process for the organization.

Many more signings are expected to be announced in the coming days.

“It’s been constant dialogue in the buildup for what’s about to happen,” Hortiz said toward the conclusion of the draft on Saturday. “We’re organized. We’re ready to go, and the main thing in free agency is everything is done via communication — phone calls to the agent, phone calls to the players. Our guys have been doing that throughout the process leading up to this.

“Once this draft ends, we’re going to get rolling on it and knock it out hopefully quick. The technology we have with Zoom and Webex, we’re able to communicate to each other through that, so I expect it to go off without much of a hitch.”

The Ravens normally hold their annual rookie minicamp the weekend following the draft, but teams are limited to virtual workouts and meetings this spring.

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Twelve Ravens thoughts following 2020 draft

Posted on 29 April 2020 by Luke Jones

With the 2020 NFL draft in the books and the Ravens shifting attention toward an unprecedented virtual offseason workout program, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. Baltimore’s draft haul has been widely praised as it is, but Eric DeCosta also used 2020 fifth-round picks to acquire Pro Bowl selections Marcus Peters and Calais Campbell. We know many draft choices don’t pan out, of course, but the Ravens sure took advantage of value.

2. Marlon Humphrey’s fifth-year option being exercised was elementary as he’s projected to make $10.244 million in 2021, but he’s already been a team MVP and a first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection prior to turning 24. He’s one more big year away from commanding top-of-the-market money at cornerback.

3. The career of D.J. Fluker has been pedestrian compared to first-round expectations, but his signing is a reminder of keeping expectations in check for rookies, especially without normal offseason workouts. Ideally, a young guy with a higher ceiling seizes the right guard job, but Fluker raises the position’s floor.

4. Whenever anticipating a position battle, I remember how much angst there was about the Ravens making no meaningful addition to replace right tackle Michael Oher in 2014. Rick Wagner, who had barely played as a fifth-round rookie, stepped in as an immediate upgrade for the next three seasons.

5. Speaking of competition, Jaylon Ferguson and Tyus Bowser had to be pleased to see no edge defenders taken in this draft class. Ferguson will compete to start and was in no roster danger, of course, but players like Bowser in the final year of their contract are always vulnerable.

6. J.K. Dobbins will try to break this post-Super Bowl XLVII run of second-round picks: Bowser (2017), Kamalei Correa (2016), Maxx Williams (2015), Timmy Jernigan (2014), and Arthur Brown (2013). Talk about “meh,” but I suppose the Ravens did OK trading their 2018 and 2019 second-rounders.

7. How the ground game shakes out with four running backs and the greatest single-season rushing quarterback in NFL history will be interesting — there’s only one football — but there’s no shortage of motivation. Mark Ingram was essentially put on notice and Gus Edwards and Justice Hill dropped down the pecking order.

8. Devin Duvernay will be an interesting wild card with good hands and an uncanny ability to gain yards after the catch. Considering how many screens he ran at Texas, I wouldn’t be surprised to occasionally see him lining up in the backfield and also motioning into jet sweeps.

9. After drafting exactly one wide receiver (Breshad Perriman) in the first three rounds from 2012-2018, the Ravens have selected three (Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, and Duvernay) in the last two drafts. Somewhere, Joe Flacco shrugs his shoulders.

10. Not only is Mike Tomlin getting inside information from Maryland wide receiver Dino Tomlin, but former Terps interim head coach Matt Canada became Pittsburgh’s quarterbacks coach in January. Anthony McFarland and Antoine Brooks landing with the Steelers was hardly a shock.

11. The gap is sizable between the Ravens and the rest of the AFC North on paper right now, but Cincinnati and Cleveland had strong drafts and Pittsburgh appeared to do OK despite trading its first-round pick for defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick last fall. Much talent was added to the division.

12. I’m not going to pretend to have any great insights into the Ravens’ reported (and unofficial) class of rookie free-agent signings, but I just hope the addition of Kennesaw State fullback Bronson Rechsteiner means his uncle shows up in Owings Mills at some point.

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