9 Under The Radar Baltimore Ravens Players To Watch This Preseason
9 Under The Radar Baltimore Ravens Players To Watch In The Preseason
The first preseason game for the Baltimore Ravens against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is only days away now, and I can’t help but be excited for that. Preseason games are a double edged sword in a way. Usually all the football fanatics are so starved for football they’ll take anything by August. On the other hand, the wins and losses don’t matter in the preseason and the starters don’t play much, besides the third game. Still there are many things for Raven fans to look forward as far as the preseason goes.
Preseason games are when you can see future contributors make an impression for the first time. What I’m going to do is focus on nine Raven players that are little under the radar that could make an impression in this first game. Obviously guys like Joe Flacco, Terrell Suggs, and Haloti Ngata won’t be on the list. Why should they be? We all know what those guys can do already and they’ll barely be playing anyway.
I’ve also decided to leave off players like Matt Elam, Arthur Brown, and Brandon Williams. Not that I think they won’t make an impact on Thursday night, but because they’re higher draft picks. Their names are out there and they’re not so much under the radar.
The following players I have as a part of this slideshow are guys I expect to make some plays not only this Thursday in Tampa Bay, but for the remainder of the preseason. Enjoy the show and the start of the NFL Preseason.
Now here’s a guy I’m pretty high on. With the recent injury of Dennis Pitta and now Ed Dickson, Matt Furstenburg really has an opportunity to step up. As an undrafted rookie out of Maryland, Furstenburg ran the second fastest 40 time for tight ends at the combine. He’s got a big frame and good receiving skills. Furstenburg should make some noise this preseason.
Josh Bynes is another undrafted free agent that worked hard to make his way on the Ravens roster. With all the uncertainty at the inside linebacker spot, Bynes has a chance to possibly insert himself into the starting lineup with a strong preseason.
Albert McClellan is another undrafted guy that could compete for an inside linebacker spot. McClellan actually started a few games at outside linebacker and was pretty solid in those outings. The outside linebacker spot this season is loaded for the Ravens, so McClellan will shift to the inside to fill a void there. McClellan is solid in every sense of the word.
Aaron Mellette will have to fight and scratch and claw to make his way onto the Ravens depth chart. He could have a good chance though, because he’s more of a big bodied possession type receiver, which the Ravens desperately need right now. Look for Mellette to have an impact in the red zone passing game.
I considered not having Deonte Thompson on this list. His name is starting to get more out there. Thompson actually started last year as the kick returner but was replaced by Jacoby Jones after a fumble. Thompson is said to be the fastest player on the Ravens, which is becoming a real strength of their receivers. He runs pretty good routes as well. If this dude harnesses of all his talents then the sky's the limit.
Bobby Rainey absolutely lit it up in the preseason last year. Things didn’t exactly work out in the regular season with a move to the practice squad and later season ending IR. Still I expect Rainey to pick up where he left of last year. This dude is really exciting to watch, kind of like a miniature Ray Rice.
Omar Brown was a guy who made a name for himself last preseason. Brown seemed to always be around the ball. The safety position is a little thin for the Ravens now, but Brown will look to secure the No. 4 spot with another strong preseason.
Admittedly I don’t know too much about Anthony Levine, but I’ve been seeing his name pop up a lot when I read training camp reports. Like Omar Brown who I just talked about, Levine could work his way onto the roster at the thin position of safety.
John Simon was drafted in the 4th round but has been lost in the shuffle behind Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Courtney Upshaw, and Pernell McPhee. Simon will get a lot of playing time in the preseason to show off his pass rushing skills. Look for Simon to also make an impact on special teams since that will probably be his main role in the regular season.