Un­drafted WR Ade­boyejo shows big-play abil­ity

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By SEAN GROGAN sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

AN­NAPO­LIS — Quincy Ade­boyejo put on a show in An­napo­lis as the Bal­ti­more Ravens hosted an open prac­tice at Navy-Marine Corps Me­mo­rial Sta­dium.

The un­drafted rookie wide re­ceiver caught three deep passes Satur­day night, in­clud­ing one from Ryan Mal­lett down the left side­line in which he beat veteran de­fen­sive back Lar­dar­ius Webb.

Ade­boyejo has shined in his first train­ing camp, par­tic­u­larly in the last four prac­tices since he left the field on a cart Tuesday. Be­ing carted off is never a good thing, but Ade­boyejo knew he wasn’t se­ri­ously in­jured.

“I kind of just got a stinger in my leg and I couldn’t re­ally put pres­sure on it,” he said Satur­day, fol­low­ing yet an­other im­pres­sive prac­tice. “I was walk­ing, but the trainer just in­sisted I get carted off since it was such a far walk and I was limp­ing so hard. It wasn’t too se­ri­ous.”

Ade­boyejo was pro­jected to be a sixth or sev­enth round pick in the NFL Draft, but never heard his name called. The Ole Miss prod­uct had a num­ber of teams in­ter­ested in bring­ing him into train­ing camp.

He chose to sign with the Ravens be­cause of his re­la­tion­ship with wide re­ceivers coach Bobby En­gram, who coached Ade­boyejo in a col­lege foot­ball all-star game fol­low­ing his se­nior sea­son.

“He coached me at the EastWest Shrine Game, so I al­ready had a re­la­tion­ship with him,” Ade­boyejo said of En­gram. “He called me be­fore the draft and said he was try­ing to get me here. I didn’t get drafted, so it just had to come down to me and my agent choos­ing which team. I think I had like 15 choices I could’ve went to. I just trusted in Bobby and I liked his per­son­al­ity and him as a coach.”

Ade­boyejo pos­sesses the size (6foot-3, 197 pounds) and speed to be a dan­ger­ous NFL wide re­ceiver. He de­vel­oped a rep­u­ta­tion as a big-play threat in col­lege. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.42 sec­onds at the NFL Com­bine, the fifth­fastest time amongst all re­ceivers. He said his speed is his great­est strength.

“Guys are afraid of speed,” Ade­boyejo said. “So when you’re run­ning fast, it’s easy to get out of breaks when they think you’re go­ing to beat them deep ev­ery play.”

A crowd of 10,321 at Navy caught a glimpse of his abil­ity to make down­field catches Satur­day night.

“Quincy has had a re­ally good camp. What you saw tonight is what we have seen pretty much ev­ery day in train­ing camp,” head coach John Har­baugh said. “To see him come out tonight un­der the lights with the crowd and play the way he did – not just him, but some other guys, too – it is good to see.”

Har­baugh said the next step is for Ade­boyejo to per­form Thurs­day night when the Ravens host Wash­ing­ton to kick­off their pre­sea­son sched­ule.

It’ll be a mo­ment Ade­boyejo has looked for­ward to his en­tire life.

“I can’t wait. Go­ing up dream­ing about play­ing in the NFL, it’s fi­nally here,” he said. “I fi­nally can go out there, com­pete, and be a Raven.”

De­spite an im­pres­sive camp, Ade­boyejo faces long odds of mak­ing the fi­nal 53-man ros­ter. Bal­ti­more will likely keep six wide re­ceivers, four of which are locks to make the team. Jeremy Ma­clin, Mike Wal­lace and Bre­shad Per­ri­man oc­cupy the top three spots at the po­si­tion. Chris Moore, a fifth-round draft pick the pre­vi­ous year, has a nearly-guar­an­teed spot on the team. That leave Ade­boyejo in com­pe­ti­tion with play­ers like Chris Matthews, Michael Cam­pa­naro, Keenan Reyn­ods, Tim White, Griff Whalen and Kenny Bell for the re­main­ing two – pos­si­bly three, or even one – slots.

Ade­boyejo says he’s just try­ing to con­tinue to make plays as he en­joys the process. His big­gest ad­just­ment as he does so is mas­ter­ing the com­plex play­book.

“I’ve just been in the play­book, try­ing to learn the offense in-and­out. Once you get the offense, it just makes play­ing a lot eas­ier. I’m just try­ing to stack good day after good day,” Ade­boyejo said. “I was al­ways in a spread us­ing hand sig­nals from the side­line, even in high school. Hud­dling up and the way they call plays is a lot dif­fer­ent than the way I was used to, so that’s prob­a­bly the big­gest change I’ve had to face.”

Fol­low Sean Grogan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

SPE­CIAL TO THE WHIG

The North East 10-11 all-stars (left to right): Evan Eng­land, Luke Keefer, Blake Stevens, Ryan James, Kyle Trott, Ma­son New­ton, Colby Bar­lok, Will Breti­gan, Jonathan Her­rera, Lan­don Knaub and Brooks Ja­cob­sen.

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