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The 25 best undrafted free agents in Ravens history from the league’s best kicker to a couple of other All-Pros

Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston picks his all-time top Raven at every position, including coach.

Before the NFL draft last month, The Baltimore Sun counted down the Ravens’ best and worst picks in anticipation of the team’s 25th season.

Now that the draft is over, college players who didn’t hear their name called will be signing with teams in the hopes of competing for a roster spot once training camp starts.

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With that in mind, here’s a look back at the top 25 undrafted players in Ravens history:

Coach Brian Billick leads offensive tackle Spencer Folau (71) and offensive lineman Edwin Mulitalo (64) in celebration as the Ravens defense prevents the Jacksonville Jaguars from scoring as time runs out in the fourth quarter at PSINet Stadium on Sept. 10, 2000. The Ravens won their season opener, 39-36.
Coach Brian Billick leads offensive tackle Spencer Folau (71) and offensive lineman Edwin Mulitalo (64) in celebration as the Ravens defense prevents the Jacksonville Jaguars from scoring as time runs out in the fourth quarter at PSINet Stadium on Sept. 10, 2000. The Ravens won their season opener, 39-36.(Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

25. Offensive lineman Spencer Folau

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Folau was an All-Big Sky honorable mention at defensive tackle at Idaho, but he switched to the offensive line after signing with the Ravens in 1996. The versatile lineman appeared in 29 games and started eight in five years in Baltimore, including four starts at tackle during the 2000 Super Bowl championship season. Folau, who’s now the strength and conditioning coach at McDonogh School, later played with the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints before retiring in 2005.

Ravens wide receiver Marlon Brown.
Ravens wide receiver Marlon Brown.(Tommy Gilligan, USA Today Sports)

24. Wide receiver Marlon Brown

Brown’s NFL career peaked in his first season after signing with the Ravens out of Georgia in 2013. He caught his first touchdown pass in his first career game, and in Week 14, he scored the game-winning touchdown with four seconds left to beat the Minnesota Vikings, earning NFL Rookie of the Week honors. He finished that season with 524 yards and seven touchdown catches, tied for the most by a rookie in team history, but didn’t score again the rest of his career. He later signed with the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears, but couldn’t stay on the field as he dealt with back and head injuries.

Ravens players celebrate in the locker room with the AFC championship trophy after defeating the Oakland Raiders, 16-3, in January 2001. From left, Michael McCrary, Tony Siragusa, Lional Dalton and Rob Burnett hold up the hardware.
Ravens players celebrate in the locker room with the AFC championship trophy after defeating the Oakland Raiders, 16-3, in January 2001. From left, Michael McCrary, Tony Siragusa, Lional Dalton and Rob Burnett hold up the hardware.(Staff photo by Lloyd Fox)

23. Defensive tackle Lional Dalton

Three years after signing with the Ravens out of Eastern Michigan in 1998, Dalton won a Super Bowl ring, playing in all 20 games as the Ravens defeated the New York Giants for the title. He recorded 46 tackles, nine tackles for loss, a sack and two forced fumbles in 50 career games (six starts) in Baltimore before ending his career with the Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans.

Baltimore's B.J. Sams (36) breaks an attempted tackle of the Packers' Mike Hawkins (37) and is off on a 59-yard punt return to the Green Bay 18.
Baltimore's B.J. Sams (36) breaks an attempted tackle of the Packers' Mike Hawkins (37) and is off on a 59-yard punt return to the Green Bay 18.(Sun photo by Lloyd Fox)

22. Kick returner B.J. Sams

Sams became one of the best return men in the league after signing with the Ravens out of McNeese State in 2004, leading the league in punt return yards and returning two punts for touchdowns as a rookie. He was named an All-Pro in 2004 and 2005, and finished his Ravens career as the franchise leader in kick return yards (3,161) and second in punt return yards (1,320).

The Ravens' Zachary Orr reacts after a play during the first half of a home game against the Washington Redskins on Oct. 9, 2016.
The Ravens' Zachary Orr reacts after a play during the first half of a home game against the Washington Redskins on Oct. 9, 2016.(Nick Wass / AP)

21. Inside linebacker Zachary Orr

Orr’s time with the Ravens was brief, but he turned himself into a key contributor after signing with the Ravens out of North Texas in 2014. After playing special teams his first two seasons, he started 15 games in 2016, finishing eighth in the league with 133 tackles and intercepting three passes to earn second-team All-Pro honors. But his NFL career ended after a postseason CT scan in 2017 revealed a rare congenital spine condition, putting him at risk of paralysis or worse if he continued to play. Days after Orr announced his retirement, the Ravens said he would join the team’s coaching and personnel staffs.

Ravens safety Anthony Mitchell returns a blocked field goal for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of a divisional-round game in Nashville against the Tennessee Titans on Jan. 7, 2001.
Ravens safety Anthony Mitchell returns a blocked field goal for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of a divisional-round game in Nashville against the Tennessee Titans on Jan. 7, 2001.(MARK HUMPHREY / AP)

20. Defensive back Anthony Mitchell

Mitchell didn’t become a starter until his third season with the Ravens after signing out of Tuskegee University in 1999, but he played an integral role in the team’s march to its first Super Bowl title as a rookie in 2000. In the fourth quarter of a divisional-round game against the Titans, Mitchell returned a blocked field-goal attempt 90 yards for a touchdown, giving the Ravens a 17-10 lead en route to a 24-10 victory. He finished his Ravens career with 91 tackles and three interceptions in 48 games.

Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe chases Colts quarterback Andrew Luck out of the pocket in the second quarter of a 2012 playoff game. The Ravens defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 24-9.
Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe chases Colts quarterback Andrew Luck out of the pocket in the second quarter of a 2012 playoff game. The Ravens defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 24-9.(Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun)

19. Outside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe

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Ellerbe signed with the Ravens in 2009 out of Georgia, where he earned second-team All-SEC honors. He recorded 41 tackles and an interception in 13 games (three starts) as a rookie, but didn’t receive regular playing time until the 2012 season. He had 92 tackles and 4½ sacks that year as the Ravens won their second Super Bowl title, and recorded a career-high 101 tackles and two interceptions the following season in 15 starts. He spent the next five seasons with the Dolphins, Saints and Eagles, winning a second Super Bowl ring in 2017 with Philadelphia.

Ravens linebacker Josh Bynes celebrates a tackle during the first half of a game against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, New York on Dec. 8, 2019.
Ravens linebacker Josh Bynes celebrates a tackle during the first half of a game against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, New York on Dec. 8, 2019.(John Munson/AP)

18. Inside linebacker Josh Bynes

Best known for making the final tackle of the Ravens’ victory in Super Bowl XLVII, Bynes signed out of Auburn in 2011. He played in 10 games, starting three, that Super Bowl-winning season, and started six games in 2013 before being relegated to the practice squad, where he was signed by the Detroit Lions. After three seasons in Detroit and two in Arizona, Bynes returned to the Ravens on a midseason free-agent deal in 2019, playing 12 games (seven starts). He signed a one-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason.

Ravens defensive back Anthony Levine Sr. stands on the field during the first half of a divisional-round game against the Tennessee Titans on Jan. 11 in Baltimore.
Ravens defensive back Anthony Levine Sr. stands on the field during the first half of a divisional-round game against the Tennessee Titans on Jan. 11 in Baltimore.(Nick Wass/AP)

17. Defensive back Anthony Levine Sr.

Levine spent two years on the Green Bay Packers practice squad after going undrafted out of Tennessee State, and even earned a Super Bowl ring in 2010. But he didn’t make his NFL debut until 2012 with the Ravens. Nicknamed “Co-Cap” as a tribute to his special teams oversight, Levine has become a valuable contributor and versatile defensive back for the past eight seasons, recording two interceptions, four sacks, a forced fumble and 130 tackles in 114 games.

Ravens center Matt Skura waits to snap the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of a preseason game Aug. 8 in Baltimore.
Ravens center Matt Skura waits to snap the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of a preseason game Aug. 8 in Baltimore.(Nick Wass/AP)

16. Center Matt Skura

Signed to the practice squad as a free agent out of Duke in 2017, Skura started 12 games as a rookie at right guard when All-Pro Marshal Yanda was lost for the season with an ankle injury. He became the team’s starting center in 2018 and started 11 games at center and guard last season before suffering a torn ACL, MCL and PCL during a Week 12 win over the Rams. He signed a one-year restricted free agent tender this offseason to stay with the team.

Ravens linebacker Patrick Onwuasor celebrates after sacking Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during a game Nov. 3 in Baltimore.
Ravens linebacker Patrick Onwuasor celebrates after sacking Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during a game Nov. 3 in Baltimore. (Gail Burton/AP)

15. Inside linebacker Patrick Onwuasor

Though “Peanut” struggled to carve out a place for himself in the middle of the Ravens defense in 2019, ultimately signing with the New York Jets as a free agent this offseason, he was an athletic playmaker for several seasons. Onwuasor might have been at his best rushing the passer as a blitzer, recording 9½ sacks in four seasons after signing out of Football Championship Subdivision program Portland State in 2016.

Ravens nose tackle Ma'ake Kemoeatu (96) walks with teammates during a game against the Eagles on Sept. 16, 2012, in Philadelphia.
Ravens nose tackle Ma'ake Kemoeatu (96) walks with teammates during a game against the Eagles on Sept. 16, 2012, in Philadelphia.(Mel Evans, Capital Gazette)

14. Defensive tackle Ma’ake Kemoeatu

Signed out of Utah in 2002, Kemoeatu, who was born in Tonga and grew up in Hawaii, started 34 games over five seasons with the Ravens, recording 141 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, five sacks and a forced fumble. After leaving as a free agent in 2006 and spending time with the Carolina Panthers and Redskins, Kemoeatu returned from a two-year hiatus from football in 2012 to start 13 games for the Ravens, helping the team win the Super Bowl.

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The Ravens' Marques Douglas (94) strips the ball from the Giants' Tiki Barber (21) in the first quarter.
The Ravens' Marques Douglas (94) strips the ball from the Giants' Tiki Barber (21) in the first quarter.(Sun photo by Lloyd Fox)

13. Defensive end Marques Douglas

Douglas was signed out of Howard by the Ravens in 1999, but didn’t receive any playing time his rookie year. He spent time with the Saints and the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe in 2000 before returning to the Ravens in 2001, earning a sack in two games. He started 32 games over the next three seasons in Baltimore, recording 11 sacks, 22 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. He returned to the Ravens in 2008 after being acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 2009 late-round draft pick and conditional 2010 pick, but didn’t record a sack that season and was cut at the outset of free agency.

Ravens outside linebacker Matthew Judon (99) and fullback Patrick Ricard (42) celebrate during a game against the Dolphins on Sept. 8 in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Ravens outside linebacker Matthew Judon (99) and fullback Patrick Ricard (42) celebrate during a game against the Dolphins on Sept. 8 in Miami Gardens, Fla.(Wilfredo Lee/AP)

12. Fullback-defensive lineman Patrick Ricard

An All-America defensive lineman at Maine, Ricard, who signed in 2017, has done his best work as a fullback in the Ravens’ smash-mouth offense. In three seasons, he has three touchdown catches and has helped pave the way as a blocker for the NFL’s top rushing attack, earning a Pro Bowl nod in 2019. He’s also contributed a sack, a forced fumble and a tackle for loss on defense.

Ravens running back Gus Edwards (35) carries the ball against Browns linebacker Joe Schobert (53) during a game Sept. 29 in Baltimore.
Ravens running back Gus Edwards (35) carries the ball against Browns linebacker Joe Schobert (53) during a game Sept. 29 in Baltimore.(Nick Wass/AP)

11. Running back Gus Edwards

“The Bus” has played only two seasons after being signed out of Rutgers in 2018, but he’s been extremely effective during his limited time as a pro. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry as a rookie and 5.3 in 2019, which both ranked among the top six in the NFL. His north-south style has complemented MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson well.

Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce (97) celebrates his fumble recovery with linebacker Tyus Bowser (54) during a game against the Steelers on Dec. 29 in Baltimore.
Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce (97) celebrates his fumble recovery with linebacker Tyus Bowser (54) during a game against the Steelers on Dec. 29 in Baltimore.(Nick Wass/AP)

10. Defensive tackle Michael Pierce

Though his time in Baltimore ended unceremoniously, Pierce was a key contributor on the defensive line for four seasons after signing in 2016 out of FCS program Samford. He had 151 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 3½ sacks in 60 games (30 starts), and was regarded as one of the best run-stopping interior linemen in football. He signed a three-year, $27 million deal with the Vikings this offseason.

Ravens offensive lineman James Hurst looks on during training camp Aug. 13 in Owings Mills.
Ravens offensive lineman James Hurst looks on during training camp Aug. 13 in Owings Mills.(Julio Cortez/AP)

9. Offensive lineman James Hurst

Hurst, who signed out of North Carolina in 2014, started 16 games at tackle during his first three seasons before moving to the inside. He signed a four-year contract extension after starting 16 games in 2017, but struggled to play because of a nerve problem in his back that limited him to 10 games the following season. He appeared in all 16 games in 2019, starting two, helping the Ravens set the NFL single-season rushing record. He was suspended for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances in February and released a month later.

Safety Will Demps goes through drills on Day 3 of Ravens camp at McDaniel College.
Safety Will Demps goes through drills on Day 3 of Ravens camp at McDaniel College.(Staff photo by Gene Sweeney Jr.)

8. Safety Will Demps

All-Mountain West Conference honors at San Diego State didn’t impress NFL scouts, as Demps went undrafted before signing with the Ravens in 2002. He started 10 games as a rookie, recording 56 tackles, an interception, a sack and a forced fumble. He played in every game over the next three seasons, starting 36, until an ACL injury sidelined him in 2005. He was released that offseason and spent the next three years with the Giants and Texans.

Ravens long snapper Morgan Cox waves to fans in the stands after the first half of the Pro Bowl on Jan. 26 in Orlando, Florida.
Ravens long snapper Morgan Cox waves to fans in the stands after the first half of the Pro Bowl on Jan. 26 in Orlando, Florida.(Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)

7. Long snapper Morgan Cox

A member of the special teams “Wolfpack” with kicker Justin Tucker and punter Sam Koch, Cox, who signed out of Tennessee in 2010, is a three-time Pro Bowl selection. He won Super Bowl XLVII in the 2012 season.

Ravens running back Priest Holmes runs past the Indianapolis Colts defense for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Holmes rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns in the Ravens' 38-31 victory.
Ravens running back Priest Holmes runs past the Indianapolis Colts defense for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Holmes rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns in the Ravens' 38-31 victory.(Baltimore Sun archive photo)

6. Running back Priest Holmes

Holmes went undrafted after not receiving much playing time behind 1998 Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams at Texas, and he didn’t get any touches as a rookie with the Ravens in 1997. He broke out the next season, rushing for 1,008 yards and seven touchdowns, but wasn’t able to match those totals again as injuries and the emergence of Jamal Lewis pushed him down the depth chart. He had his best years in Kansas City, where he became a three-time All-Pro and the 2002 Offensive Player of the Year.

Ravens guard Bennie Anderson, left, runs blocking drills with Jim Jones during training camp in 2003.
Ravens guard Bennie Anderson, left, runs blocking drills with Jim Jones during training camp in 2003.(DAVID HOBBY/DAVID HOBBY)

5. Guard Bennie Anderson

The former Tennessee State standout spent time with the St. Louis Rams and the Chicago Enforcers of the XFL in 2001 before signing with the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens. He became an immediate contributor in Baltimore that 2001 season, starting 13 regular-season games and two playoff games at right guard as the Ravens fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round. He started 43 games over the next three seasons, helping pave the way for running back Jamal Lewis, before ending his career with the Buffalo Bills and Dolphins.

Linebacker Jameel McClain celebrates after making a tackle during the first half of the Ravens' preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at M&T Bank Stadium Aug. 23, 2012.
Linebacker Jameel McClain celebrates after making a tackle during the first half of the Ravens' preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at M&T Bank Stadium Aug. 23, 2012.(DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO, Carroll County Times)

4. Inside linebacker Jameel McClain

McClain didn’t receive much playing time early in his pro career, but he later became a fixture in the Ravens defense. After signing out of Syracuse in 2008, McClain started 55 games over six seasons, recording 331 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 4½ sacks, two safeties and one interception. He missed the Ravens’ Super Bowl win over the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 after suffering a spinal cord injury in Week 14, but returned to play 10 games in 2013 and 16 with the Giants in 2014. He’s now the Ravens’ director of player engagement.

Ravens center Mike Flynn celebrates the win.
Ravens center Mike Flynn celebrates the win.(Gene Sweeney Jr., Baltimore Sun)

3. Center-guard Mike Flynn

After playing in college at Maine, Flynn signed with the Ravens in 1997, but was later released. He spent time with the Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before returning to Baltimore, where he started 115 games over 10 seasons at center and right guard. He started every game during the 2000 season as the Ravens captured their first Super Bowl title.

Ravens linebacker Bart Scott loses his helmet while bringing down Dolphins running back Samkon Gado in the second half.
Ravens linebacker Bart Scott loses his helmet while bringing down Dolphins running back Samkon Gado in the second half.(Sun photo by Doug Kapustin)

2. Inside linebacker Bart Scott

Signed out of Southern Illinois in 2002, Scott didn’t become a starter until his fourth season with the Ravens. But he made the most of the opportunity, recording 373 tackles, 37 tackles for loss, 16 sacks and two interceptions over the next four seasons and earning a Pro Bowl nod in 2006. His most famous moment came with the New York Jets, when he shouted “Can’t wait!” in an on-field interview after a playoff upset over the New England Patriots, but he was a key part of some of the league’s best defenses in Baltimore.

Ravens kicker Justin Tucker is carried off the field by his teammates after making a game-winning field goal against the 49ers on Dec. 1.
Ravens kicker Justin Tucker is carried off the field by his teammates after making a game-winning field goal against the 49ers on Dec. 1.(Julio Cortez/AP)

1. Kicker Justin Tucker

Kickers Randy Bullock, Greg Zuerlein, Blair Walsh and John Potter all got drafted in 2012, but Tucker didn’t hear his name called despite a stellar career at Texas. He would go on to become the most accurate kicker in NFL history, with a field-goal percentage of .908. Tucker, who won the job over Billy Cundiff after being invited for a tryout, made 30 of his 33 field-goal attempts (including a long of 56 yards) and all of his extra-point tries as a rookie as the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII. He is a four-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowl selection.

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