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Which undrafted rookie will make Ravens?

5/13/2014

The Baltimore Ravens announced the signing of 17 undrafted rookies, and history says at least one will make an impact on this year's team.

The Ravens' success with undrafted rookies includes running back Priest Holmes; center Mike Flynn; linebackers Bart Scott, Jameel McClain and Dannell Ellerbe; safety Will Demps; and nose tackle Ma'ake Kemoeatu. The team's top rookies the past two years were undrafted ones: kicker Justin Tucker and wide receiver Marlon Brown. Last season, Brown and safety Brynden Trawick were the only undrafted rookies to survive the final major cutdown.

So, who is this year's Marlon Brown? Here are the top four candidates to make the Ravens:

James Hurst, offensive tackle, North Carolina: Some scouts had a second- or third-round grade on Hurst before he broke his left leg in the Belk Bowl in late December. He was named first-team All-ACC in 2013 after grading out at 90 percent on the season. His school-record 49 starts began when he earned a starting job in the second week of his freshman season. Hurst has the length to play left tackle, but his average athleticism might push him to the right side. The best opportunity to make the Ravens is at offensive tackle after the team didn't draft one. Hurst ranked No. 177 on Todd McShay's list of top 300 prospects.

Jamie Meder, defensive tackle, Ashland: He's not a massive space-eater at 306 pounds, but he can hold his own against the run when matched up one-on-one. There are questions about whether the Division II standout can be effective against NFL interior linemen. Meder uses his strong hands to get off blocks and shows good awareness. He is ranked No. 214 on McShay's list. Meder is battling Terrence Cody and DeAngelo Tyson for one of the last defensive tackle spots on the roster.

Derrick Hopkins, defensive tackle, Virginia Tech: He's a high-effort player who lacks an ideal frame (6 feet, 321 pounds). Strong against the run, Hopkins has a good initial burst and can be disruptive in the backfield. His quickness allows him to chase down plays outside the tackle box. There are concerns whether he'll be able to keep his weight under control. Hopkins is the 240th-ranked prospect by McShay. Hopkins' ability to play special teams --he had 232 snaps over the past three seasons -- makes him more valuable.

Sammy Seamster, cornerback, Middle Tennessee State: The Ravens only had four cornerbacks after the draft, so an undrafted rookie will have a shot at making the team. Of all the undrafted rookies, Seamster is the best cornerback prospect. He's 6-1, 200 pounds and ran the 40-yard dash under 4.5 seconds at his pro day. That's the size-speed combination that teams want. Seamster's versatility -- he can play safety, cornerback and nickel back -- increases his chances of landing the No. 5 cornerback job.