This month has been filled with reports about teams trying to trade for Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello and as a response to that some prominent media members have even taken to saying Detroit would be making a big mistake by trading him. Young starting pitching is always in demand and Porcello is a 24-year-old former…
Former Maryland wide receiver Marcus Leak has signed an undrafted free-agent deal with the Indianapolis Colts, the team announced on Monday.
Leak, who had an up-and-down career with the Terrapins, came to Maryland as a three-star recruit. After catching 23 passes for 393 yards as a sophomore in 2012, Leak took a leave of absence and missed the 2013 season before returning in 2014 when he caught 20 passes for 297 yards and three touchdowns.
After a promising performance in Maryland's 2015 spring game, he left the program and did not return.
In advance of the 2016 NFL Draft, he worked out at the Charlotte 49ers pro day in front of scouts.
We are profiling the Ravens’ draft picks as they prepare to start minicamp Friday. Here are three things to know about sixth-round pick, WR Keenan Reynolds of Navy:
1. The biggest push to draft Reynolds came from assistant general manager Eric DeCosta.
DeCosta, general manager Ozzie Newsome, and coach John Harbaugh were visibly moved talking about making the phone call to Reynolds. All of them admire the way Reynolds has handled himself at Navy, both on and off the field.
When Newsome made the call, he put Reynolds on speaker phone so that everyone could hear his reaction. “Everyone in the room could be a part of telling him that we picked him,” Newsome said. “It was a special moment.”
2. Reynolds is much more than just a symbolic pick.
The Ravens believe Reynolds can stick as a punt returner, and that he has the athleticism and work ethic to become a polished slot receiver. Reynolds has many qualities inherent to top punt returners – good judgment, vision, elusiveness, sure hands, and speed. The Ravens also like that Reynolds has been working with CSN’s Brian Mitchell, a former Pro Bowl punt returner with the Redskins.
“Fortunately, we have a great relationship with Brian Mitchell,” DeCosta said. “We did our homework on him. He’s a guy that was a player of interest to us throughout the process. We kept it very quiet and, and it worked out the right way.”
3. The Ravens are willing to wait if military obligations prevent Reynolds from playing right away.
Naval Academy graduates are obligated to a five-year military term, but Reynolds has hope of being able to play this fall. The Patriots drafted Navy graduate Joe Cardona last year as a long snapper, and he was granted permission to play. Cardona spent one day a week working at a Rhode Island naval facility. Reynolds hoped a similar arrangement could be worked out for him.
“I’m hoping and praying, and I’m confident that this potentially could be the same type of situation with myself,” Reynolds said. “It’s a blessing that the Ravens felt I was worthy to take a chance on with the military obligation and my service commitment.”
When it comes to drafting running backs, Scot McCloughan prefers low-mileage models.
Last year, McCloughan took Matt Jones, who had 297 rushing attempts in three seasons at Florida, in the third round. This year the running back pick was Keith Marshall, a seventh-round pick who carried the ball 253 times in four years as a Georgia Bulldog.
In contrast, Heisman Trophy winning back Derrick Henry had 395 carries in 2015 alone.
Of course, Henry got the ball a lot because he was consistently productive for the Crimson Tide. Injuries kept Marshall from having a bigger role at Georgia and Jones couldn’t break out of a running back by committee arrangement with the Gators.
McCloughan sees the positive in each of his backs’ situations.
“The thing I like about it, and it was the thing with Matt Jones last year, is the amount of carries he’s had,” he said when asked about Marshall’s lack of college production. “He hasn’t been beat up. With running backs, it’s so important to have the health. The more hits you take, the worse off it is. Again, we’ll see how it shakes out.”
McCloughan may just be trying to put some lipstick on a pig here in talking about the Redskins’ still uncertain running back situation. But it’s a fact that heavy college workloads taken on by backs like Henry do drop their draft stocks. So it makes sense that all other things being equal a back who had a light workload prior to entering the draft should be somewhat more valuable.
As McCloughan said, we’ll see how it shakes out.