The Baltimore Ravens are somewhat of a specialist factory thanks to their rich tradition of finding and developing quality starting kickers and punters that have gone on to have success in the NFL. Veteran All-Pro kicker, Justin Tucker has been the gold standard at his position for the past decade and is the most accurate kicker of all time.
Tucker has had several understudies that the Ravens have brought in as camp legs to lighten his load over the years, and a few of them were able to play themselves on to active opening day rosters on other teams. He believes that undrafted rookie Jake Verity could be the latest success story after strong showings both in training camp as well as the team’s first two preseason games.
“I’ll be shocked if he’s not on somebody’s 53-man roster to start the season,” Tucker said. “Jake has come in with a great attitude, great work ethic. You don’t just find your way on an NFL roster, regardless of whether it’s 90 or 53 men, without being a good football player, without being talented. Jake certainly has that. He came in with good technique already and he’s just getting better and better. He’s got great power. I’m excited to see what the future has in store for him. I know we all are.”
Verity signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Carolina University and over the last two weeks has made every field goal and extra point he’s attempted. His three of his field-goal attempts have come from 42, 44, and 53 and have all looked like they would’ve been good from further.
Tucker doesn’t just have faith that Verity will start for another team come September, he also believes that the rookie’s services could be in such high demand by the end of the preseason that he could net the Ravens some compensation in the form of draft capital.
“I would also be surprised if we don’t get a pick for him,” Tucker said. “There’s a track record that we have. We’re able to develop not just our specialists, but we develop everybody here. He seemingly has put himself in a position, not just to be a Week 1 starter somewhere, but hopefully help our team out as well by getting something for him.”
The Ravens and General Manager Eric DeCosta were able to fleece the Minnesota Vikings out of a 2020 fifth-round pick in exchange for backup kicker/punter Kaare Vedvik after just one impressive outing against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1 of the 2019 preseason. Verity proved that he isn’t just a one-game wonder in his return to the state where he played collegiately when the Ravens beat the Carolina Panthers 20-3 on Saturday.
Teams around the league have probably already been calling DeCosta to inquire what it would cost to acquire the rookie via trade.
EDC opening the bidding for Jake Verity to the rest of the league. pic.twitter.com/x11HiZebjC— Jake Louque (@jakelouque) August 22, 2021
Verity will have another opportunity to prove himself and his worth in the preseason finale when the Ravens travel down I-95 to take on the Washington Football Team. Their next opponent might be looking for an upgrade at placekicker from underwhelming veteran Dustin Hopkins who missed wide left from 40 and 50 yards in Week 1 of the preseason, has a career field goal percentage of just 83.9, and struggles from long range.