All in all, the Ravens are likely to keep at least 15 rookies, maybe more, on the entire team. That makes up close to 30% of the roster. Mind you, these are just the rookies that will comprise a good portion of the team. We haven't even begun to talk about second and third-year players.
But let's focus on the first-year players that should make the Ravens' final 53-man roster. More specifically, the focus will be placed on the rookies that weren't drafted.
These are the unwanted ones. These are the players that fall off of many radar screens around the league. These are the guys that people just sign to fill a roster spot, just to have a warm body on the team.
More often than not though, at least a couple of these grunts end up being good players down the road. Yes, a little luck is involved when trying to acquire them. But when you obtain a guy that's clearly a better player than people think, or just wasn't given a fair shake, the results could be startling.
Around the league, players like Kurt Warner, Jeff Garcia, Rod Smith, Sammy Knight, and London Fletcher have been surprise impact players despite being after thoughts as college prospects.
In the last few years, the Ravens themselves have picked up starters in Lional Dalton, Priest Holmes, Bennie Anderson, Kelly Gregg and Mike Flynn.
The Ravens hope that this year's class of rookies will be their best yet. Here are five players that are close to sealing their names on the roster:
1. Will Demps: In the past couple of weeks, no player has ascended further up the depth chart than Demps, a former walk-on from
2. Ma'ake Kemoeatu: When the Ravens signed Kemoeatu, it was clear that he was their best prospect out of the many undrafted rookies they snagged. A former standout defensive tackle from
3. Bart Scott: Scott started out fast, but has hit the wall during the last couple of preseason games. Still, the former small school product from
4. Mike Collins: Picking up Mike Collins, a player that a number of scouts thought would be drafted, was a coup for the Ravens. Collins has been awfully inconsistent at guard during all three of the Ravens' last couple of preseason games, but has still shown nice flashes. He is a physical player that does a nice job of locking onto the defender, and he moves his feet well. Collins also does a nice job of holding up at the point of attack. Due to the fact that he doesn't move that well in space, don't look for the Ravens to use him in pulling situations. But if he keeps showing nice work ethic and desire, Collins could end up being a diamond in the rough and a solid backup for the next couple of years.
5. J.R. Johnson: Simply put: Johnson is a special teams demon. This outside linebacker has a nonstop motor and it shows when he covers punt and kick returns downfield. Johnson was deemed strictly an athlete coming out of