DeCosta: Deep draft could yield undrafted gems

DeCosta: Deep draft could yield undrafted gems
April 30, 2014, 4:15 pm
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This year's draft class is widely perceived as the deepest in years, meaning some talented players are likely to still be waiting for their name to be called when the draft wraps up next Saturday.

That's when the Ravens will quickly go to work on undrafted free agents, which has been a consistent source of talent for the team over the years.

Receiver Marlon Brown was undrafted last year, as was kicker Justin Tucker the year before. Bart Scott, Dannell Ellerbe and Jameel McClain all went from undrafted rookie to starting linebacker for the Ravens. The Ravens also grabbed Priest Holmes, Mike Flynn and Will Demps after the draft.

[RELATED: Could Baltimore trade the No. 17 pick?]

At the Ravens' pre-draft news conference on Wednesday, DeCosta said the Ravens have identified about 180 players they view as draftable, up from 140 or 150 in past years.

"Certainly we won't be picking (all) those guys, but our scouts have deemed those guys as draftable," DeCosta said. "That tells me that if we're doing our jobs, we should do a really nice job in undrafted free agency."

"Guys that don't get picked should be higher on your board in comparison to other years," DeCosta added a short while later. "Now we've got to recruit those guys and we've got to sign those guys, and that's the challenge. They'll be available. We've got to get the guys we want to get."