Every year around this time, at least one relatively unknown player emerges as an impact contributor in minicamp, training camp, and into the preseason. This season, it appears that player might be defensive back Terrell Bonds, whose earning high praise from coaches and teammates alike.
Bonds joined the Ravens back in rookie minicamp but at the time, the majority of fans and spectators likely weren’t familiar with who he was. That’s beginning to change, however, as Bonds is turning heads and taking advantage of his opportunity with the Ravens. Bonds recorded two interceptions in Wednesday’s practice, both of which came in the redzone and were thrown by starting quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Bonds, 22, played four collegiate seasons at Tennessee State from 2014-2018, the same school that defensive back Anthony Levine Sr. attended. For his career with the Tigers, Bonds recorded 95 tackles, 30 passes defensed, and 10 interceptions. Despite an impressive resume of production, the 5’9” Bonds went undrafted in 2018 and recently played for the Memphis Express in the AAF. There, he appeared in eight games, posting 14 tackles and five passes defensed.
Bonds joined the Ravens as a tryout player. While it’s rare to see a player go from a mere tryout to making the 53-man roster of an NFL team, sometimes all it takes is just one shot. Bonds is getting his and appears to be running with it.
Granted, a lot can change in the next several weeks. When training camp begins and the pads come on, there’s always the chance Bonds doesn’t stand out like he is now. This isn’t a slight towards him, it’s just the reality of the situation. Only time will tell if this is the case, but Bonds is building momentum in the short-term nonetheless.
Like any undrafted free agent, Bonds faces an uphill battle to make the roster. This is especially true given he plays what is probably the deepest position on the Ravens roster: cornerback. However, as Don Martindale noted in his press conference, Bonds has lined up all over the field thus far, suggesting he’s versatile enough to fill different roles.
Bonds is looking to follow the path of former Ravens cornerback Jaylen Hill. While Hill’s success was ultimately derailed by injuries, he too began his career as a tryout player and ended up making the 53-man roster in 2017 after an impressive preseason showing.
It remains to be seen in Bonds can do the same, but he’s definitely someone to keep an eye on as the offseason continues to progress forward.