With many moves in the offseason and training camp quickly approaching, it looks like the Baltimore Ravens are moving in the right direction for a successful 2014 season.
Many of those moves involve letting go of players and bringing up newer ones to replace. That is the case with Kyle Juszczyk. Earlier in the year, the Ravens released starting fullback Vonta Leach, now they must look to Juszcyk to fill the role. The, 6-foot-1, 248 pound second year player was a stand out at Harvard; however, he hasn’t always been a fullback. In fact, some consider him the most versatile player the Ravens offense could have this year.
The 2012 Ivy League Offensive player of the year was drafted by Baltimore in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played tight end and slot receiver during his four years with the Crimson, ranking sixth overall on Harvard’s all-time receptions list with 125 catches for 1,576 yards. Additionally, Juszczyk’s 22 touchdown receptions put him as the 12th best in Ivy League history and his 15 receptions against Princeton in 2012 are the second most by a Harvard player in a single game in school history. He was also a two-time first-team All-Ivy League player in 2011 and 2012.
Juszczyk’s college stats are impressive and the Ravens are excited to see what he can do when the pads are on later this summer. His rookie campaign with the Ravens was quiet. Juszczyk was strictly a special teams player with five recorded tackles and no catches or carries, but I think he will make a huge impact this year when given the right circumstances to make plays.
He spent most of the 2013 season learning from Leach, telling the Baltimore Sun, “Last year was a great learning year, and Vonta was such an awesome mentor.” If Juszczyk takes his knowledge from past experience and advice given to him by Leach, in combination with Gary Kubiak’s offense, there is no doubt the 23-year-old will be an impact player.
Under Kubiak, they have Juszczyk filling many different roles on the team, he also told the Baltimore Sun, “I’ve gotten the term of ‘Swiss Army Knife’ a lot since high school because of my versatility.” Kubiak added in the same interview, “He’s athletic and can make some plays down the field.” This will be important for the Ravens to have in their offense.
The team tweeted earlier today:
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) June 12, 2014
I think Juszczyk will be a crucial player on the offense this year. Judging by his college accolades, he will be the type of guy that will step up and make a huge difference. The more opportunities he gets for carries and catches the more likely he is to be a go-to player for the Ravens in 2014.