Trace McSorley Jersey

The Ravens have signed quarterback Trace McSorley to his four-year rookie deal, the Ravens announced Saturday.

A sixth-round pick from Penn State, McSorley becomes the fifth player in the Ravens 2019 draft class to sign, joining cornerback Iman Marshall, running back Justice Hill, defensive tackle Daylon Mack, and guard Ben Powers who signed Friday. The only unsigned draft class rookies are the Ravens’ top three picks wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood’’ Brown (first round), outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson (third round), and wide receiver Miles Boykin (third round).

McSorley is competing for a backup quarterback spot behind Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III, but McSorley could also earn a roster spot on special teams and as a versatile situational offensive player. Head Coach John Harbaugh has mentioned the possibility of McSorley filling a similar role that backup quarterback Taysom Hill fills with the New Orleans Saints.

“One of the things that I want to do here is just provide value for anything that the coaching staff needs me to do or Coach Harbaugh asks me,” McSorley said. “Wherever I can fit in and help this team win games and be able to compete at the highest level, I think that’s kind of my mentality and that’s what I want to do. I’m definitely excited to try and see what else I can do out there and get on the field anywhere I can.”

While McSorley is an all-around athlete, he is also eager to prove he throws the ball consistently enough to be an effective NFL quarterback. He will use any criticism about his ability to play quarterback in the NFL as motivation.

“People say certain things that … ‘[He’s] not an elite passer’,” McSorley said. “Everyone has their own opinion at the end of the day, so they’re entitled to that. But, I’ll agree to disagree on those things, and I’ll just use that to fuel me.”

Daylon Mack Jersey

As much as Johnny Manziel will forever live in the lore of college football as one of the most exciting and polarizing players in the history of the sport, the legacy of Texas A&M football under Kevin Sumlin may be remembered by one hot and rainy afternoon at the Rose Bowl in 2017.

By now, every Aggie reading this has shuddered at the mere memory of that fateful day against UCLA. It was the beginning of the end of Sumlin. The straw that broke the camel’s back. He was a dead coach walking, and it reflected on the recruiting trail.

I was at the game and it was even more heart breaking in person than it was for those of you watching on TV. I live in Los Angeles and thought there was no way I could miss seeing the Ags at the Rose Bowl, wondering if I would ever get the opportunity to see my school compete at one of the monuments of college football again. So I spent $300 on two tickets and convinced a friend who had no dog in the fight to join me.

The tailgate was great. I found an old friend of mine from our days on campus and we spent the morning dominating UCLA fans in every beer game. My buddy and his dad ran a beer pong table for several hours. We lapped the field in games of flip cup. We assumed the same results would happen on the football field. Memories of the tailgate helped me cope with walking through the horde of UCLA fans jeering anyone in maroon on the way back to our cars.

You know the story. A&M raced out to a 44-10 lead in the third quarter before starting quarterback Nick Starkel left with an injury. A wide-eyed, true freshman Kellen Mond could barely get a first down much less score, the Aggie pass defense parted like the Red Sea for Josh Rosen, and UCLA completed one of the biggest comeback wins in college football history.

No Aggie who witnessed, on TV or in person, will ever forget it. Apparently neither will one player. The subject came up on Twitter, and Daylon Mack responded to the idea that the LSU game this past year made up for that UCLA loss. His response is every Aggie ever, if they’re being honest.

Same, Daylon. Oh, and to add insult to injury, my current girlfriend (and hopefully future wife) is a hardcore, dyed in the wool UCLA fan (she went there). So that’s fun.

Iman Marshall Jersey

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The first five players the Baltimore Ravens picked in last week’s 2019 NFL Draft addressed the team’s most glaring weaknesses. Baltimore scooped up two wide receivers and a shifty running back to infuse the offense with speed, an accomplished college pass rusher to fortify depth at a thin spot and a lineman who’ll compete for a starting job at left guard.

Then the Ravens appeared to alter their approach. Their next two picks had little to do with needs or a prospect’s potential place on the depth chart.

In fact, cornerback and defensive tackle might stand as Baltimore’s strongest positions groups. But the Ravens took Iman Marshall and Daylon Mack on Day 3 of the draft anyway — and team officials gushed about both prospects afterward,

Ravens director of college scouting Joe Hortiz said the decision to use a fourth-round selection on Marshall, a physical 6-foot-1 corner out of USC, was straight forward.

“He was just the best player available on our board,” Hortiz said.

The Ravens carry four established starting corners on the roster in Brandon Carr, Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith and slot specialist Tavon Young. They also maintain strong depth at the spot with a crop of players that includes Anthony Averett, a 2018 fourth-round pick out of Alabama who earned praise from coaches as a rookie.

Ben Powers Jersey

Baltimore Ravens fourth-round draft pick and former Oklahoma left guard Ben Powers will see a lot of familiar faces as he transitions from college to the pros.

Powers, a three-year starter and consensus first-team All-American for the Sooners in 2018, is one of four Oklahoma players the Ravens have taken in the past two drafts. Baltimore picked offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and tight end Mark Andrews in 2018 and then receiver Marquise Brown and Powers in 2019.

“There’s so many Oklahoma guys up there. That’s great for all of us. It’s gonna do wonders for that offense,” Powers said on Glenn Clark Radio May 1. “… When you go into a new locker room, you’ve gotta know how to act and be able to know the dos and don’ts. I’ll be able to go in there, see Orlando, see Mark, go through it with Marquise. It’s very beneficial.”

Powers’ friendships with Andrews and Marquise Brown will be important in allowing him to quickly become comfortable in the locker room, but his friendship with Orlando Brown Jr., a fellow offensive lineman, is the one that has already and will continue to have the biggest impact on him.

“We’re very close. I’m so happy to be back and to be able to call ourselves teammates again. We played next to each other for two years at Oklahoma and that kind of started our relationship and it’s just grown since,” Powers said. “He chose to fly in for the draft weekend, so that just kind of shows how close we are.”

Powers said he had to keep his composure when he got the momentous phone call from the Ravens April 27 because he was talking to general manager Eric DeCosta, head coach John Harbaugh and the rest of the Ravens’ staff. But Brown was the exact opposite; he was screaming and showing a lot of emotion, which was very cool for Powers to see out of his best friend.

Brown was not only with Powers on draft day, though. Brown helped him throughout the entire process.

“I asked him so many questions,” Powers said. “It’s so beneficial to have one of your best friends go through it just a year before you, so I was asking questions like, ‘How’s the combine? Tell me everything that happened getting ready for it.’ Pro day [and] these interviews, private workouts. It’s so beneficial to have him, to be able to rely on him and ask him questions.”

Powers and Brown took very different routes to get to Oklahoma; Brown was a highly-touted recruit coming out of high school while Powers was not.

Brown received offers from major colleges like Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame, among many other prominent programs. He is also the son of Orlando Brown, the late offensive tackle who played for the Ravens from 1996-1998 and 2003-2005.

Powers, on the other hand, did not receive one Division I offer coming out of high school and had to go the junior college route. He played for Butler Community College in Kansas for one year.

Justice Hill Jersey

STILLWATER — Oklahoma State fans can kick back on Thursday night and watch the NFL Draft looking out for their favorite pro team and how they go about filling their top needs in the first round. Unlike last year, which had some first round suspense but disappointed, there is really no chance that an Oklahoma State Cowboys player get his name called. Honestly, I think it is growing more and more doubtful that Friday night and the second and third round will include hearing either of the Pokes’ top two prospects in this NFL Draft. My prediction is that Justice Hill, the Cowboys seventh all-time leading rusher with over 3,539-yards, and defensive end Jordan Brailford, the program’s 11th all-time leading quarterback sacker, will have to wait until Saturday and the fourth round to hear their name called.

There is no shame in that as Oklahoma State has had plenty of players picked in the middle to late rounds in recent years that have become valuable contributors in the NFL. Take the Seattle Seahawks and starting running back Chris Carson (7th) and starting corner Tre Flowers (5th) or Miami Dolphins starting defensive tackle Vincent Taylor (5th).

I honestly believe Brailford could be the first Cowboy to hear his name called in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I’m not predicting it. I think it could happen. Below is a thumbnail sketch of the good and the bad we’ve heard (from NFL sources) on both Justice Hill and Jordan Brailford and then the teams we know that have shown interest and then finally a prediction of when and where we think they will be picked on Saturday.

Production is not a problem as he had plenty. He has excellent speed (4.4 at NFL Combine) and explosion (40-inch vertical at NFL Combine) and he has solid understanding of offensive run principles and how to use blocks. His vision is solid and he has excellent change of direction. He has very good balance and does not lose his footing or get in awkward positions. He is outstanding in space and avoiding going down in one-on-one situations. He can play fast and had lots of experience with that at Oklahoma State. Despite his size, he is capable of being an every down back with his running ability, pass protection ability, and while not the best, he is a solid receiver out of the backfield.

His negatives are that he does not move the pile well in short yardage situations. He has become comfortable running the ball against the lighter box traffic you see in college and especially in the Big 12. In the NFL he will have to get used to facing much more crowded box traffic and still deal with it in run situations. He has been fairly solid in his endurance and toughness, but a few red flags have come up with the rib injury causing him to miss the final three games of his junior season. He also opted out of the rest of the field work at the combine after feeling a muscle or soft tissue injury running his second forty.

Excellent character off the field, popular with teammates, however, not real comfortable with dealing with media.

Miles Boykin Jersey

After years of neglect, the Baltimore Ravens wide receivers room is trending up.

Just a day after the team spent the No. 25 overall selection on Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown, the Ravens doubled up on receivers by selecting Notre Dame wide receiver Miles Boykin with the No. 93 overall selection in the third round on Friday night.

So how exactly does Baltimore’s newest addition fit in with the team?
Regardless of the Ravens specifically plan to utilize Boykin’s skillset, he is almost certainly slated for significant playing time from the start. With Willie Snead and Brown as the only other receivers locked in as starters on the Baltimore roster, Boykin should be in line for plenty of opportunities early on.

Given his skill set and ideal, prototypical frame — he measures in at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds — Boykin profiles as an outside receiver for the Ravens. With the speedy Brown set to take up the deep ball (that isn’t to say Boykin is slow, however, as he ran a 4.42-second 40-yard dash), and Snead on slot-receiver duties, the door is wide open for Baltimore to utilize Boykin’s size to create mismatches on the perimeter.

Expect Boykin to be used as a possession receiver of sorts initially with an emphasis on jump balls and the red zone. As he develops as a route runner and improves his overall technique, he’ll likely be incorporated more in the offense. Training camp will be big for Boykin as he likely competes with Jordan Lasley and Jaleel Scott for playing time.

Jaylon Ferguson Jersey

Louisiana Tech defensive end Jaylon Ferguson received the phone call he has been dreaming of his entire life on Friday night after the NCAA’s all-time sack leader was selected in the third round as the 85th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens.

With the 85th overall pick, Ferguson becomes the 78th Bulldog selected in the draft in Louisiana Tech history and the third Conference USA player taken in this year’s NFL Draft.

Ferguson became the all-time leader in NCAA history in career sacks (45.0) after breaking the record in Louisiana Tech’s win over Hawaii in the 2018 SoFi Hawaii Bowl, while he also earned Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year honors after leading the nation in sacks (17.5) as a senior. The defensive end was also recognized on four different All-America teams following the 2018 season.

Ferguson spent the majority of the past two days focusing on something more important than when his name would be called. Due to the devastation caused by a tornado that struck Ruston at approximately 2 a.m. on Thursday morning, Ferguson spent the remainder of the day lending a helping hand in the relief efforts surrounding his college community.

The NFL Draft continues Saturday at 11 a.m. with the final four rounds (4-7). The draft will be broadcast live on ABC and ESPN.

Marquise Brown Jersey

The Baltimore Ravens filled a big hole with their pick in the first round of the NFL draft and also gave themselves some help for later on in the process.

They needed a wide receiver who could do things, someone with speed that could make defensive coordinators stay up at night. So, after trading back from 22nd in the first round to the No. 25 spot — a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles that netted them two more later-round picks — the Ravens picked speedy Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown. He’s the cousin of Oakland’s Antonio Brown is the kind of player the Ravens desperately needed at wide receiver.

Brown got the aforementioned speed — many felt Brown was one of the fastest wide receivers in college football — and despite having a foot (Lisfranc) injury that required surgery earlier this year, the Ravens picked Brown.

“He’s a playmaker,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said at a late Thursday night press conference. “He’s a guy who can do a lot of different things with the ball in his hands. He’s got outstanding hands. He’s electric.”

DeCosta said they’re hoping to have Brown back and rolling by training camp but that his rehab work was going well so far. When he gets back to 100 percent, the question is if Brown can develop into the type of receiver that the Ravens have been seeking for so long.

If Brown plays as he did at Oklahoma, the Ravens would be thrilled. He made 75 catches for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2018 as a junior. With their run-heavy offense in place now, they could use Brown on short screens, various short passes and end-arounds. His speed would be tough to stop and take pressure off of second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson.