Baltimore Ravens

As an undrafted rookie, Ravens linebacker Chris Board knows room for error is small

Chris Board has no misconceptions about his standing with the Ravens. As an undrafted rookie out of North Dakota State, he is fully aware that he does not have the backing that comes with being one of the organization’s 12 picks from April’s NFL draft.

“I can’t make as many mistakes, and I have to be on-point with everything I do,” he said after Tuesday’s practice. “That’s just how it is in this league, especially being undrafted. You just got to make sure that you’re on-point with everything you do.”


Board has emerged as a contender for a coveted spot on the team’s active roster. In four preseason games, the 6-foot-2, 229-pound inside linebacker has 20 tackles, tied for the team lead with fellow rookie linebacker Kenny Young. He is second in solo tackles with 12, two behind Young.


Board said he likes to think he has made a favorable impression with the coaching staff, but said he will not rest on those numbers.

“I don’t think I’ve done enough,” he said. “I’m still working, and I’m still trying to get better. Who knows what’s going to happen? I’m just going to put my best foot forward and do the best I possibly can.”

Board also has made three tackles on special teams, which is tied with rookie inside linebacker Alvin Jones and trails only rookie safety DeShon Elliott’s four stops. Clark said he has noticed Board’s transition to the pros.

“Just being a young guy coming in, they’re asking a lot of you on special teams, and you’ve just got to pick it up quick and learn it,” Clark said. “Going from your senior year in college, you probably weren’t playing special teams that much, and then you come to the NFL, and you have to play special teams. So he’s just picking that up and keeping the ball rolling.”

The Ravens have kept an undrafted rookie on the active roster for 14 consecutive years. That’s an encouraging trend for Board, but he said his sole focus is playing well in the preseason finale Thursday at 7:30 p.m. against the Washington Redskins at M&T Bank Stadium.

“Every opportunity I get, I’ve got to take advantage of it, especially being undrafted,” he said. “So for me, it’s full-on. It’s like a Sunday night game for me. For others, it might not be, but for me, it’s definitely a full-go game.”