The Ravens have two options for the final tight end spot: Go with what they're familiar with or take a chance on an undrafted, local product that's shown some potential this preseason.
With nine-year veteran Billy Bajema, the Ravens would welcome back a veteran blocker that can be used in goal line and short-yardage situations. He's not a great threat in the passing game, considering he was only targeted once in 2012 and did not record any receiving stats.
Then there's rookie Matt Furstenburg out of the University of Maryland. This preseason, Furstenburg has three receptions for 47 yards. He's surprisingly fast, with good straight-line speed, which is ideal considering quarterback Joe Flacco likes to work the seam with his tight ends. Furstenburg hasn't seen much time with the first team this preseason, making his potential addition one based on potential.
Why Bajema should make the team: The Ravens will have two receiving tight ends in Ed Dickson and Dallas Clark on the roster. Bajema adds a blocking presence, as well as a guy that can participate on special teams. The Ravens are familiar with him and the learning curve isn't there for Bajema. He can continue his role and do it effectively.
Why Furstenburg should make the team: Furstenburg's not a bad blocker, though his receiving abilities have stood out this preseason. With his addition, the Ravens would have three receiving tight ends, meaning that if there's an injury to Dickson or Clark, Furstenburg could step into a role with the proper skill set. Plus, with fullback Kyle Juszczyk on the roster, he could be used as a blocking tight end in goal line situations.
Prediction: This one's coming down to the wire and I can see it going either way. It would be easy for the Ravens to play it safe and bring Bajema back on. Then again, there's something about Furstenburg that makes him a more appealing option. My gut says the Ravens take the chance on the rookie, even if the safer move is to keep the veteran.
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