BALTIMORE — It's an uphill battle for an undrafted rookie to make an NFL roster.
However, Ravens wide receiver Shemar Bridges certainly caught the coaches' attention with his performance in a 23-10 victory over the Tennessee Titans in the first preseason game.
Bridges finished with four receptions for 62 yards with an impressive touchdown where he leaped over a defender and caught the ball in the end zone.
"I like Shemar," coach John Harbaugh said. "He’s a big, physical guy. He goes up and gets the ball. He posts a lot of good speeds in practice. He plays hard on special teams in practice. And, not just him. That young receiver corps put up a battle. Every guy stepped up and made some plays. That’s going to be interesting. It’s good to see, and we’ll see how it plays out.”
Bridges has also been a solid player throughout training camp. He's a smooth route runner and is a big, physical receiver — 6-foot-4, 207 pounds — with good hands.
"I feel like I’m a big receiver who can play big," Bridges said. "But also, I feel like I’m learning how to run routes, and get better at running routes, and being able to be flexible and versatile with my size. And just try to use my length, and my weight and my size to catch over people and to box people out. And I really also just play hard. Just being humble and doing whatever the coaches and everybody are telling me to do. I feel like that’s how I feel like I play.”.
Bridges appeared in 16 career games at Fort Valley State in Georgia, recording 98 receptions for 1,358 yards and seven touchdowns. H recorded five 100-yard receiving games
Bridges play in four games in 2021, recording 28 receptions for 292 yards and 1 touchdown, later earning an invitation to play in the 2022 HBCU Legacy Bowl in New Orleans
The limited amount of games was due to injuries and getting ready to compete for a spot on an NFL roster.
“Well really, last year, I just had got banged up and stuff," he said. "And then towards the end of my senior year, I just kind of played it safe going into the [NFL] draft. Then the year before was COVID-, so we only played in two spring games. My junior year, I played in all the games – I was healthy. So, some ups and downs, some bumpy roads, but God blessed me to be here. I give all the glory to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ that I’m here. I’m just thankful for the Ravens for giving me an opportunity. I’m just trying to make the most of it.”
The Ravens definitely see potential with Bridges. That's why they signed him as an undrafted rookie and have given him an opportunity to prove himself.
The rest is up to him.
“Baltimore was definitely a team that was really aggressive on me coming out of the [NFL] draft. They just felt like it was a great fit for me [and] a good opportunity. I felt like it was a good situation. I met one of the scouts who really helped me get here at an HBCU Bowl. I just ran from it there. Through other relationships, I thought it was a great situation, and I love it here.”