The Ravens’ front office has long been admired for its decision making during the draft, but Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta and Company also take great pride in the work that they do in the couple of hours following its conclusion. Offensive lineman Mike Flynn and linebackers Bart Scott, Jameel McClain and Dannell Ellerbe are among the undrafted free agents that the Ravens have signed and developed into key contributors.
The Ravens won’t announce their latest undrafted free agent class until the players officially pass physicals and sign contracts, which will happen at some point before the start of the rookie mini-camp in the second week of May. But most – if not all of the names have come out and been confirmed – either on the player’s Twitter accounts, by their college athletic departments or in media reports.
Below are the undrafted free agents on the offensive side of the ball. The defensive players will be discussed in a follow-up entry.
Chris Anzenvino, Kent State, C: Anzenvino, who is 6-foot-1 and 295 pounds, started all 48 games at center during his college year and was twice named to the preseason watch list for the Rimington Trophy, the award given annually to the nation’s top center. Anzevino, a senior captain last season, will have long odds to make the roster, which will include at least four others capable of playing center: starter Matt Birk, holdovers Cecil Newton and Justin Boren and fourth-round draft pick Gino Gradkowski.
John Brantley, Florida, QB: A former Gatorade National Player of the Year in high school, Brantley broke Tim Tebow’s Florida high school record with 99 touchdown passes and then succeeded him at the University of Florida. Brantley, who is 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, started 23 games for the Gators, compiling a 15-8 record while playing for three different offensive coordinators. He has solid arm strength and good intangibles, but there are questions about his durability and his mechanics. He’ll battle veteran Curtis Painter for the No.3 quarterback job.
Lamont Bryant, Morgan State, TE: Bryant did a little of everything in his career for the Bears, including playing quarterback. Last season, Bryant (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) caught 21 balls for 371 yards and two touchdowns. He lacks the physical size and strength to be a blocking tight end and he’s also pretty raw as a route runner. He is athletic with good physical tools. He’ll likely have to beat out holdover Davon Drew and fellow undrafted free agent, Nick Provo, for the third tight end spot behind Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson.
James Carmon, Mississippi State, OT: Carmon, who went to City, doesn’t have to look very far for inspiration. Last offseason, wide receiver LaQuan Williams, who went to Poly, made the team as an undrafted free agent. Carmon is a converted defensive tackle so he’s still pretty raw. But he has the size (6-foot-6, 330 pounds) and strength to open up eyes in training camp. The Ravens have a bunch of young offensive linemen already on the roster, and they’re not afraid to take on projects at the position.
Jack Cornell, Illinois, OT/OG: Cornell played in 26 games the past two seasons, starting 19 of them. Last year, he started all 13 games at guard for the Illini. He was a team captain his senior season and the recipient of the Red Grange Award for his dedication to the program. After drafting two offensive linemen and adding five more as free agents, Cornell (6-foot-5, 295 pounds) will need to distinguish himself in training camp to make the team.
Chad Diehl, Clemson, FB: One of two fullbacks signed after the draft, Diehl has good size (6-foot-1, 257 pounds) for the position, and he also has the requisite mentality. He loves contact and taking on defenders as a straight-ahead blocker. However, he’s one dimensional, having gotten just six carries in his college career and catching just seven passes. Vonta Leach is obviously entrenched as the Ravens’ fullback, and the team doesn’t figure to carry another one on the roster during the regular season.
Bruce Figgins, Georgia, FB: Figgins is 6-foot-2 and 262 pounds, and he is a converted tight end having been moved to fullback before last season. He had 16 catches for 179 yards and four touchdowns for the Bulldogs. He made eight starts in 2011 and then was invited to participate in the East-West Shrine Game. The Ravens don’t figure to keep another fullback behind Vonta Leach, but Figgins does bring extensive special teams experience.