OWINGS MILLS - The Baltimore Ravens officially announced deals with 14 undrafted free agents Friday, including offensive lineman Jeff Braun (West Virginia), a Westminster native and Winters Mill graduate, and outside linebacker Brandon Copeland (Penn), who grew up in Sykesville and went to high school at Gilman in Baltimore.
Other particularly intriguing undrafted free agents include left tackle Rogers Gaines (Tennessee State) and tight ends Matt Furstenburg (Maryland) and Murphy Holloway (Ole Miss).
Gaines is big (6-foot-6, 334 pounds), athletic and described as a player with considerable upside. He's considered to be raw and very much a project, but he didn't allow a sack in eight games as a senior at Tennessee State last season and is also described as having been an effective run blocker in college thanks largely to his size, athleticism and physicality.
Furstenburg and Holloway, meanwhile, will compete for a reserve spot at tight end behind Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson.
Furstenburg had just 16 catches as a senior at Maryland last season, but he's considered to be a strong blocker and, especially after testing out well at the NFL scouting combine in February, was a player many thought would be selected at some point during the latter part of the NFL draft last weekend.
The 6-foot-3, 244-pound Furstenburg ran the second-fastest 40-yard dash among tight ends at the combine (4.62 seconds) and was also among the top performers at tight end in the vertical jump (35.5 inches), the 20-yard shuttle (4.35 seconds) and the 60-yard shuttle (11.76 seconds).
Holloway, meanwhile, hasn't played football since his sophomore year of high school, but he was a standout basketball player at Ole Miss and will look to become the latest former college basketball to successfully make the transition to tight end in the NFL.
Worth pointing out about Holloway, aside from his size (6-foot-6, 240 pounds), is that he was actually a very good college basketball player.
He was a four-year starter at Ole Miss, finished his career as the school's all-time leading rebounder and was a first-team All-SEC selection as a senior last season. He averaged 14.5 points and an SEC-best 9.7 rebounds as a senior last year.