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Ravens sign Ben Cleveland to rookie contract

Big Country has officially signed on the dotted line.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens Rookie Minicamp Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens were among the contingent of teams that had their rookies report to their inaugural training camps on Tuesday afternoon. Of the Ravens’ eight-man rookie draft class, only two players had yet to agree to terms on their rookie deals: third-rounders Ben Cleveland and Brandon Stephens

That number was cut in half when Cleveland signed his rookie contract on his first day back in the building since Mandatory Minicamp.

The Ravens selected the gigantic guard that enjoys the taste of squirrel and is nicknamed ‘Big Country’ with the No. 94 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft out of the University of Georgia. He was a standout performer at the collegiate level for the Bulldogs where he dominated in both run and pass blocking.

Cleveland will enter his first NFL training camp viewed as the frontrunner to win a fierce and crowded competition for the starting left guard spot on the Ravens’ offensive line. His chief competition will include incumbent Ben Powers, 2020 third-rounder Tyre Phillips, and others in a deep interior offensive line room.

With Cleveland now under contract, that leaves just Stephens as the only member of the Ravens’ 2021 draft class unsigned. The rookie defensive back was selected 10 picks after Cleveland at No. 104 overall out of SMU and is expected to carve out a role on defense, as well as play a lot on special teams.