Sunday, May 8, 2022

Former No. 3 overall gets tryout with Ravens

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The Baltimore Ravens are in the middle of a three-day rookie minicamp (May 7-9, 2022), but rookie draft picks and undrafted free agents aren’t the only participants.

According to ESPN Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, 32, is the former No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft among the tryout players at camp this weekend.

As Hensley noted, Dareus – 6ft 3 and 331lbs – hasn’t played in the league since 2019 and wasn’t particularly effective when he was last seen with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

But he was a first-team All-Pro (2014) and a two-time Pro Bowler during the more than six seasons he played with the Buffalo Bills, who ranked him No. 3 overall from Alabama. In fact, he appeared in 91 games (85 starts) with the Bills, during which time he authored 292 tackles (202 solo), including 46 tackles for loss, 35 sacks and 56 quarterback hits, not to mention 13 passes defended, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Things started to go wrong for him after he signed a six-year, $100 million contract extension ahead of the 2015 season, a deal that included a $25 million signing bonus and $60 million in guarantees. Between 2015 and 2017, he only made 14 starts for the Bills. During this time, he was also suspended for the first game of the 2015 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, and was suspended for an additional four games in 2016.

The Bills traded Dareus to the Jaguars for a sixth-round pick in October 2017, but he underperformed during the 30 appearances (22 starts) he made for the Jaguars. During those games, he recorded 45 total tackles (31 solo), including four tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and five quarterback hits, according to the Pro Football Reference (PFR).

Still, he seems excited to be back on the football field, at least if Harbaugh’s words are any indication.

“Marcell Dareus trains out here. You’ve heard of him, haven’t you?” Harbaugh told contributor Clifton Brown. “I mean, gosh, he’s training outside and he’s even like, ‘Coach, I’m learning stuff out here.’ you are always learning As a coach I’ve been doing this for I think 36 years now and you can’t believe you learn something new every day.”

Notably, Dareus isn’t the only NFL veteran trying out the Ravens’ rookie minicamp. Head coach John Harbaugh tells Hensley that former Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions wide receiver Geronimo Allison, 28, is also in attendance.

Allison — who is 6ft 3 and 202 pounds — appeared in 46 games (14 starts) for the Packers between 2016-19, catching 89 passes for 1,045 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 11.7 yards per reception. He played in three games for the Lions in 2021 but failed to catch a pass as he was only targeted twice, according to the PFR.

Allison entered the league with the Packers as a rookie undrafted free agent from Illinois. He had a career-high 638 offensive snaps in 2019 but only caught 34 passes for 287 yards this year. His career high in special teams snaps (148) came in 2017. In July 2017, the NFL suspended Allison for one game — that year’s season opener — for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

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