Former Georgia Tech wide receiver Darren Waller's chances to make the Baltimore Ravens' 53-man roster are looking increasingly strong. For a post that I wrote Tuesday, I contacted Baltimore Sun writer Jon Meoli, who covers the Ravens, for his thoughts on Waller's chances in the wake of his three-catch game against Philadelphia last Saturday. He responded this afternoon with a rather strong endorsement of Waller's chances:
"Waller entered training camp with the potential that he’d be raw enough to stash on the practice squad at a crowded receiver position. He’s still developing, but he’s shown enough athleticism and consistency in practices and during the Ravens’ preseason games that they would be taking a big risk in not keeping him on the final 53-man roster. Waller might end up on the periphery when the season starts simply because of the numbers at wide receiver, but I expect him to make the team and grow into a big role here down the line. He’s been one of the biggest surprises in camp."
The Sun posted a story Wednesday afternoon about Waller, a lengthy feature that included an interview with Tech coach Paul Johnson. Definitely worth a read. Some highlights:
Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said that, spurred by competition, Waller has become detail-oriented and that his route running has become cleaner.
Waller said that his suspensions as a junior and a senior, both for testing positive for marijuana usage, were due to immaturity but also because he didn't realize his potential as a player.
He also said the passing game at Tech was "really simple" and that he needed to improve on mental aspects of the game after being drafted.
The NFL deadline to cut down to 75 players is Sept. 1, next Tuesday. The deadline for the final 53-man roster is Sept. 5, a Saturday.