Steven Means: 2015 Baltimore Ravens Sleeper


Dec 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens defensive end Steven Means (56) before the game against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Every team has them.  Those fringe roster prospects, practice squad regulars, or undrafted free agents that come out of nowhere and earn a spot on the final roster.  Some even earn meaningful snaps, while others beat the odds and become superstars.  Few teams are as good as uncovering such gems as the Baltimore Ravens, who routinely find diamonds in the rough and turn them into good players.

With the future at the outside linebacker position currently up for grabs, now is as good a time as ever for a hungry player to make a name for himself.  One guy that is positioned to go from unknown to meaningful contributor in 2015 is Steven Means, a player who remains fairly anonymous despite being mentioned twice in recent weeks by Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh.

"“We have a young pass rusher – Steven Means is a guy just to throw out there – we’ll see how he does,” Harbaugh said. “There’s not a guy in this [press conference] that probably knows who he is except for, maybe, the four of us. He’s a guy that’s going to be interesting to see how he develops.”“We still have a lot of picks to try to find someone else to add to ‘Sizz’ [Terrell Suggs], [Elvis] Dumervil and [Courtney] Upshaw and Steven Means, who I think has the ability to play good football for us this year,” Newsome said."

One thing’s for sure, there aren’t a heck of a lot of people out there that are familiar with Means.  He truly wasn’t even on my radar until lately.  But it isn’t like Means doesn’t have a little bit of a pedigree as a 2013 fifth round pick of the Bucs.  Means was waived as he fell out of favor with the Lovie Smith regime, which was definitely a bit of a surprise.

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Steven Means has good size at 6’3″ and 260 pounds, and racked up 19.5 sacks over his four year college career at the University of Buffalo.  After his release from the Bucs, Means spent most of last season on the Ravens’ practice squad before being promoted to the active roster prior to the regular season finale. He didn’t appear on any games, but did get some quality time with a talented roster of outside ‘backers.

Means still has an uproad battle to make the Ravens’ final roster and earn snaps behind Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil.  He is competing with the likes of Courtney Upshaw, Za’Darius Smith, Zach Thompson, and Brennen Breyer for a bit role.  But he already has the attention of the coaching staff, which is a good indication that Means has a real shot at making an impact.  If he does, Means would be just the latest Raven to pull off that feat.

Next: Nick Boyle: 2015 Sleeper?

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