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Meet the Baltimore Ravens' 14 undrafted free agents

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USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Baltimore Ravens' 14 undrafted free agents

In addition to their 12 2018 NFL Draft picks, the Ravens have added 14 undrafted free agents to their roster.

While the chances of an undrafted free agent making the 53-man roster is slim, at least one has made it the last 14 seasons, according to the Ravens' team website. The most accurate kicker in NFL history, Justin Tucker, is one of them. 

Take a moment to get to know the 14 men fighting for their chance in the NFL, many of who made big first impressions this weekend at the Ravens' rookie minicamp.

WR Jaelon Acklin (Western Illinois)

The 6'2", 190 lbs. 22-year old had 84 catches for 1,369 yards, setting a school record his senior year. Acklin was named an Associated Press second-team FCS All-American and a first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference selection. His draft profile notes that his speed, explosiveness and eye-popping quickness drills will make teams consider him. 

OL Randin Crecelius (Portland State) 

Standing tall at 6'5", 305 lbs., Crecelius was a three-year starter at Portland State with 29 career games and 25 starts. He started his college career on an offensive line where the team averaged 429 yards-per-game and 169.6 rushing yards-per-game before transitioning to left tackle his junior year. After transitioning, Crecelius was one of three players to start every game on offense. 

RB Gus Edwards (Rutgers) 

Originally a Miami Hurricane, Edwards transferred to Rutgers his senior year where he rushed for 713 yards for 164 attempts and six touchdowns. Edwards started all 12 games as a senior and shared the Homer Hazel Award for the team's MVP with Sebastian Joseph. His draft profile overview says,"His size and athletic scores will get him into a camp, but he lacks value on third downs and doesn't appear to be a dynamic enough runner to land a roster spot with that talent alone. Instead, Edwards may have to prove himself as a special teams star in order to snare an RB3 or RB4 spot as a pro."

G Justin Evans (South Carolina State) 

While at South Carolina State, Evans appeared in 43 games with 33 starts and was named a first-team All-MEAC for two straight seasons. In 2017, he did not allow a single sack and protected QB Dewann Ford, who threw for 1,772 yards and eight touchdowns. 

ILB Alvin Jones (University of Texas at El Paso)

Jones played in 47 career games with 43 starts at UTEP where he racked up 343 career tackles, the second most in their program since 2000. Jones also had 40 career tackles-for-loss, ranking third in their program, and 15 sacks earning All-Conference USA honorable mention honors. The El Paso native lead UTEP in tackles-for-loss, sacks and forced fumbles. 

TE Nick Keizer (Grand Valley State) 

The 6'5", 255 lbs. senior has talent on and off the field earning him All-American notice. Keizer was a first-team All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Association selection starting eight of 11 games, catching 29 passes for 504 yards and nine touchdowns. He also led all Division II tight ends, averaging 17.4 yards-per-catch. His draft profile overview says,"While Keizer lines up as both an in-line and slot tight end, his future will likely be a “Y” handling blocking duties with an occasional pass catch if he is to make it in the league. He's got decent athletic traits, but the route-running is way behind and he doesn't earn enough separation. As a blocker, he still needs technique work, but he flashed intriguing play strength that may translate from Division II into the NFL."

DE Christian LaCouture (Louisiana State)

During his 2017 season at LSU, LaCouture wore the prestigious No. 18 jersey for the player that most exemplifies being a Bayou Bengal after tearing a ligament in his knee - preventing him for playing the 2016 season- and dealing with a flood that tore through his family home. Back from injury, he started all 13 games, making 66 tackles, six sacks, and five pass breakups. His draft profile states,"Hard-hat defensive tackle who gives an honest effort each snap, but lacks playmaking traits and plus talent as a run stopper or pass rusher. LaCouture has the size to compete for a backup role as a 3-4 defensive end, but may not have the necessary level of NFL talent to stick on a roster."

WR Andre Levrone (Virginia) 

Standing at 6'2", 194 lbs. Levrone played in 35 career games tallying up 59 receptions for 1,079 yards and nine touchdowns. During his senior year, the Laurel native racked up career highs in catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns. His draft profile states,"Levrone's 20.3 yards per catch looks impressive at first glance, but Virginia took plenty of deep ball shots his way which skews that total somewhat. Levrone has good size and athletic ability, but his hands aren't as trustworthy as teams would like and there isn't enough career production on the resume. His physical traits give him a chance once he makes it into a camp, but his relative lack of special teams experience could stymie his chances."

LS Trent Sieg (Colorado State)

Sieg played in 52 games at Colorado State where he never missed a snap during his four-year career, in addition to, snapping on all punts, field goal attempts and points-after-touchdown during his senior year. While snapping to kicker Wyatt Bryan, Sieg helped him convert 15 of 18 field goal attempts. 

C Alex Thompson (Monmouth) 

Thompson is a three-time All-Big South honoree, starting 44 of 45 career games. He started all 12 games in 2017 earning himself AP Third-Team All-American, Phil Steele FCS Second-Team All-American, Stats Inc. Third-Team All-American and First-Team All-ECAC. Thompson started 11 games as a junior and sophomore and 10 games as a freshman. Before transferring to Monmouth, Thompson wrestled for one year at WVU. 

RB Mark Thompson (Florida) 

Thompson played in 23 games while at Florida, putting up 126 carries for 596 yards and five touchdowns. He also had 16 receptions for 184 yards and 1 touchdown. In 2017, he played in 11 games posting 58 carries for 297 yards and three touchdowns. While playing at the Outback Bowl vs. Iowa, Thompson caught a 85-yard touchdown, the second-longest play in Florida bowl history and the longest play in Outback Bowl history. 

RB De'Lance Turner (Alcorn State) 

Turner's numbers while at Alcorn State are eye-catching, for sure. He played in 26 games - starting in 21 of them - and recorded 2,121 rushing yards on 320 carries and 15 touchdowns. Turner finished his college career as Alcorn State's single-season rushing record holder, ranking second in the FCS. He also earned FCS Third-Team All-American honors by the Associated Press, earned honorable mention HBCU All-American honors and was named first-team all-conference by league coaches. During their 2017 matchup with Southern University, Turner rushed for a conference and career-high 272 yards with two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown. He ended his senior year with 1,357 rushing yards for 180 carries and 10 touchdowns, in addition to, 21 receptions for 212 yards and three touchdowns. 

P Kaare Vedvik (Marshall) 

While at Marshall, Vedvik played in 38 games in four-years as both a punter and kicker. He punted 59 times for 2,597 yards - averaging 44 yards - with 26 of them inside the 20-yard line. Vedvik once punted a 92-yarder, making it the seventh-longest punt in FBS history and the longest in 45 years. He ranked in the Top 10 for fewest punt return yards and averaged 63.6 yards-per-kickoff. 

DB Darious Williams (Alabama Birmingham) 

In just two seasons, Williams played in 25 games, starting in 18 of them, and posting 73 tackles, 26 passes defended and six interceptions. He was named a First-Team All-American by Pro Football Focus and was named First-Team All-Conference USA in 2017 after walking on at UAB. Williams led the C-USA in passes defended and ranked No. 5 in the NCAA amongst FBS schools while ranking second in the conference in interceptions. The DB started all 13 games at cornerback where he put up 50 tackles, 20 passes defended and five interceptions.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: 

- Last Chance: Ravens decline Perriman's fifth-year option
- Report Card: Ravens receive high 2018 Draft grade
- Meet and Greet: Get to know Lamar Jackson and Hayden Hurst

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With season on the line, rookies Lamar Jackson and Gus Edwards carried Ravens to another week

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With season on the line, rookies Lamar Jackson and Gus Edwards carried Ravens to another week

This was one of the most interesting weeks the Baltimore Ravens have experienced in a very long time.

Coming off three-straight losses and preparing to face division rivals with their season on the line, their starting quarterback was likely out with an injury, their backup spent an afternoon in the hospital with a stomach illness and job security was the buzz around town. 

But when the clock read one at M&T Bank Stadium and it was do-or-die, two rookies took their team and carried them to a win, literally and figuratively. 

In his NFL start, first-round draft pick Lamar Jackson was 13-of-19 for 150 yards in the air while rushing for 117 yards on 27 attempts.

All afternoon long we were in awe of his speed, and probably at times nervous, by just how confident the rookie was in taking the game into his own hands.

"I thought he played spectacular," head coach John Harbaugh said after the win. "I thought he played winning football. It's tough being a quarterback in this league."

"For a first-time-out rookie in an environment like that...All those operation things, I think, speak to his intelligence, his studiousness, and just his ability to run the show. And that's everything. The playmaking — that comes from God. He made use of that, too. Very proud of that."

Jackson hasn't been one to put his feelings into many words, and in the week leading up to his NFL start, the Heisman Trophy winner continuously remained humble.

When asked how it felt to lead the Ravens to a 24-21 win over the Bengals, Jackson said, "I don't know. Come out with a win. It was pretty good, I guess."

On the Ravens' opening drive, Jackson rushed five times for 46 yards while converting two third downs that ended with a seven-yard touchdown run from Alex Collins. The QB is so fast that according to NFL Next Gen Stats, Jackson reached 15+ mph on 14 rushing attempts. No other player has hit 15+ mph on more than nine rushing attempts this season. 

Plus, his 27 carries were the most by a quarterback in an NFL game since Pittsburgh Steelers' Joe Geri's in 1950. 

"I think he brings a different dynamic to the game. As you can tell, our offense looks totally different, obviously from when Joe [Flacco] is in. It's hard for defenses to game plan for Lamar. And I think that shows with Gus [Edwards] having 100 yards as well. It's good to see, and it's a great win."

That brings us to our next rookie speedster; Gus Edwards.

The undrafted free agent out of Rutgers put up 115 rushing yards on 17 attempts averaging 6.8 yards-per-carry and one touchdown.

"I've got a great coaching staff," Edwards said on getting his big chance and playing well. "I've got a great group of veteran running backs [that] told me to always be prepared, from day one when I came in here, they told me what it was going to be like. This game, a lot of things played into it, and you;you've always got to be ready."

The last time the Ravens had two 100+ rushers in a single game was December 23, 2012 against the New York Giants when Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce ran for 107 and 123 yards respectively. Sunday also marked the first time in NFL history that a team had a rookie quarterback and running back each surpass 100 rushing yards in a game, per Elias Sports Bureau.

For a team that had many daunting questions surrounding them just a week ago, two young bloods came out and managed to change the aura in the city of Baltimore, at least for now. 

"It's just a confidence builder to be honest," Willie Snead said on having a quarterback like Jackson. "When we were running the ball how we were, it just gives us so much momentum and a lot of flexibility to do what we want. It was awesome to see that today, and [we] look forward to keep doing it."

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What a rush: Lamar Jackson ran for 117 yards in win

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What a rush: Lamar Jackson ran for 117 yards in win

The opening drive set the tone.

Stepping on the field for the first time as a starting quarterback in the NFL, Lamar Jackson led the Ravens on an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown to get the team out to an early 7-0 lead over the Bengals.

In that drive, the rookie from Louisville did not attempt one pass. His legs did the work as he rushed for 46 yard on five carries. 

That was the type of day it was for Jackson. While his passing numbers (13-19, 150 yards, 1 INT) were pedestrian, the 117 yards rushing are what left the Ravens fans and the Bengals defense with their heads on a swivel.

Showing the lighting quickness that help make a name for himself in college and made him such an intriguing prospect coming into this year’s draft, Jackson was the team’s leading rusher in the much-needed, come-from-behind 24-21 win over the Bengals.

It was clear head coach John Harbaugh and his staff came into the game with a run-first game plan. Jackson’s 117 yards, along with Gus Edwards’ 115 yards led the way for Baltimore’s 265 yards rushing on the day. 

Jackson got the start in place of Joe Flacco who was sidelined due to a hip injury.

While Jackson has seen time on the field in various offensive packages this season, his first start and win as an NFL quarterback came at a crucial time for the Ravens as the playoff race is heating up. 

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