General manager Eric DeCosta didn’t select a tight end in last month’s draft, but that doesn’t mean the Ravens haven’t pondered replacing former first-round pick Hayden Hurst.
In the process of signing four more rookie free agents on Wednesday, Baltimore officially added one of its most intriguing undrafted options in Oregon tight end Jake Breeland. The 6-foot-5, 252-pound senior made 26 catches for 405 yards and led all Pac-12 tight ends with six touchdown receptions in just six games before sustaining a season-ending injury last year.
“We thought he was a strong prospect,” DeCosta said in a conference call with Ravens season-ticket holders. “We thought he was one of the best tight ends in the draft this year prior to his ACL injury that he suffered in October. We’re very, very excited to get him. I think that was a great job recruiting throughout to get him.”
Regarded as a better receiver than blocker over 30 career games with the Ducks, Breeland finished with 74 receptions for 1,225 yards and 13 touchdowns in his collegiate career with 24 of those catches going for 20 or more yards.
After trading Hurst to Atlanta in March, the Ravens will need a third tight end to complement 2019 Pro Bowl selection Mark Andrews and standout blocker Nick Boyle. In the midst of praising Breeland, DeCosta also mentioned fellow undrafted rookie Eli Wolf, who caught 13 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown at Georgia last season after transferring from Tennessee.
“He’s probably not as household of a name as Jake, but he’s another guy that we felt was a draftable prospect,” DeCosta said. “We’ve got two guys that we think have a realistic chance to possibly make our team. As you all know, tight end is a very important position on our offense, so we feel very, very good about that.”
The Ravens also announced the undrafted signings of James Madison outside linebacker John Daka, Wake Forest punter Dom Maggio, and Iowa linebacker Kristian Welch. Eighteen rookie free agents are now officially under contract.
Baltimore also signed three more draft picks to four-year contracts on Wednesday: third-round defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, fourth-round guard Ben Bredeson, and sixth-round wide receiver James Proche.