Daniel Brown had to wake up from his dream nearly a week ago when the first of three organized team activities started.
Until then, the undrafted rookie receiver from James Madison still couldn't believe he was on the field with Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.
"It's crazy. You grow up watching Joe Flacco on TV and you hear about how great of a quarterback he is," said the 6-foot-5, 225 pound Brown, from Windsor, Va. "You never actually think you're going to catch a pass from him and then you come out and run routes and everything he throws is on point.
"It is a crazy feeling to be on the field with him at the same time. But now that we're in OTAs, they are prepping us for training camp where you earn a job and make a living in the NFL. It's no longer a dream, this is where I begin to earn my spot."
Brown is getting the opportunity many Americans would welcome; a shot at the big leagues. The odds are against him making the roster because there are times when he appears too stiff, slow and a tad awkward.
And then there are times when he catches everything thrown near him like he did a few weeks ago in the rookie minicamp. So, he has good size, hands and potential. And maybe with another year, he could possibly work his way from the practice squad to the regular game-day roster.
"I couldn't even ballpark my percentages, but I will do the best I can do every day, regardless of what they ask me to do on offense or special teams," said Brown.
The OTAs are made for these kinds of players and the Ravens have had their share of success with undrafted rookie free agents. Former inside linebacker Bart Scott was one along with running back Priest Holmes and center Mike Flynn.
Current Raven Justin Tucker is now at the top of that group. About to enter his fourth season, the former Texas Longhorn might be the best kicker in the NFL.
"There are no guarantees in this league unless it is specifically written, guaranteed in your contract," said Tucker. "My only guarantee was to myself that I was going to try my hardest every day to be a part of this team and part of this city.
"It makes no difference what situation you are in. What I have found out is that the difference between the guys in this league who are successful and the ones that are good and great is the ability to be able to hit that switch at the right time to be able to separate themselves."
Brown kept an eye on the Ravens during the offseason. He noticed they didn't re-sign veteran receiver Torrey Smith, which meant the team was going to give young receivers like Kamar Aiken, Marlon Brown and Michael Campanaro chances.
Even when the Ravens selected receiver Breshad Perriman with their No. 1 pick nearly a month ago, Brown signed a free agent contract with the Ravens, choosing them over Miami, Indianapolis, Atlanta and Washington.
"This was the best place to come and compete," said Brown.
Brown is intriguing because he has decent speed, running the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds, and strong hands. His big hands, long arms and 32-inch vertical leap make him an ideal target inside the red zone.
As a junior, he caught 42 passes for 665 yards and eight touchdowns and he followed up with 42 receptions for 606 yards and seven touchdowns last season.
Brown was a dean's list student. Growing up in Virginia, he earned postseason awards in both high school basketball and baseball. In football, he drew very little interest.
"I never thought this would become a reality," said Brown. "Coming from a little school, not getting any looks and walking on the college team. Wow, I'm glad to be just getting the opportunity."
Whether a rookie is undrafted or drafted, they all go through the same growing pains. They all have new systems to learn and playbooks to study. The tempo in practice is faster and so are the players. Instead of days being filled with classes, they are lined up with meetings and weight-training sessions either before or after practices.
Days are often hectic.
"I've been here a month now and every day gets a little easier," said Brown.
There are a lot of guys like Brown competing for jobs in the NFL. Fans like to find and cheer for one or two, because we like underdogs. It becomes irrelevant at times if he makes the roster or not.
"Everything has to be very precise, exact and on point," said Brown. "Going in and out of routes have to be fast and tight because all the defenders in the league are good. Technique and positioning are very important things.
"I think I have done well, and it's getting better. Overall, though, I love what I'm doing. All I can do is give my best, and we'll see what happens. Either way, I'm living out a dream."