Ravens draft class should boost special teams

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens didn't only envision future contributions on offense and defense while making their choices during the NFL draft. They also had the kicking game in mind. In particular, Texas linebacker Sergio Kindle, wide receiver David Reed and nose guard Terrence "Mount" Cody could play a valuable role on special teams.

"Football players like to be on the field and they like to play, and you've got some guys that have some unique abilities," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "What's exciting to me, that you've got a bunch of guys that bring something to the table as far as size and speed that can play special teams."

Kindle is a 6-foot-3, 250-pound flash of speed and aggressiveness.

He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds. Harbaugh is already penciling him in for the kickoff team next to Pro Bowl special-teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo.

For the Longhorns, Kindle had 14 special-teams tackles and blocked a kick.

"Sergio Kindle's going to be able to run down the field on kickoffs," Harbaugh said. "He's a physical, hard-hitting kind of guy, and he's fast and he's big and he likes to play."

Reed averaged 25.4 yards on kickoff returns as a junior with a long return of 79 yards. He ranked third in the Mountain West Conference and 36th in the nation on kickoff returns.

As a senior, he was the featured receiver for Utah and caught 81 passes for 1,188 yards and five touchdowns and wasn't used on many kickoff returns.

With cornerback Lardarius Webb not expected to be ready for the start of the regular season, Reed could wind up competing for that role with reserve running back Jalen Parmele.

"He turned out to be their best kick returner as a junior," director of college scouting Joe Hortiz said. "This year, he was so valuable to them in their offense. He caught twice as many balls as any other receiver on that team, and they took him off kick returns obviously because of that.

"To me, he's a receiver who can return kicks personally. He's pretty good as a receiver and he was pretty good as a returner last year as a junior."

At Alabama, Cody used his 6-foot-4, 350-pound frame to push his way back to the kicker. He blocked two field goals last season in a game against Tennessee.

"I don't think Cody will be running down on kickoffs, but he can block field goals," Harbaugh said. "He can run over offensive linemen, he's done that in the past."

Tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta are both mobile, large players who could be used on special teams in kick coverage and as blockers. Dickson runs a 4.57 and can bench press 400 pounds, attributes that should serve him well on special teams.

"Ed Dickson, he's a tight end that can really run and he's athletic," Harbaugh said. "Pitta's the same way. He can run, he's athletic. He's a big, rangy guy. He can cover kicks and stuff."

NOTES: The Ravens have agreed to free agent deals with several undrafted rookies. The deals don't become official until the player actually signs. Here's a list confirmed through agents and sports information departments: UNLV wide receiver Rodelin Anthony, Tennessee long snapper Morgan Cox, Wyoming defensive end John Fletcher, Marshall safety Ashton Hall, Marshall outside linebacker Albert McClellan, Georgia cornerback and punt returner Prince Miller, Boston College middle linebacker Mike McLaughlin and Memphis running back Curtis Steele. .. Maryland fullback Cory Jackson agreed to terms with the San Diego Chargers.


Ravens Insider Top Stories