Former No. 3 Overall Pick Gets Tryout With Ravens

Marcell Dareus

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Marcell Dareus of the Jacksonville Jaguars reacts after sacking Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half of the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field on January 14, 2018.

The Baltimore Ravens are in the midst of a three-day rookie minicamp (May 7-9, 2022), but rookie draft picks and undrafted free agents aren’t the only ones in attendance.

According to ESPN Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, 32, the former No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, is among the tryout players at this weekend’s camp.

As noted by Hensley, Dareus — 6-foot-3 and 331 pounds — hasn’t played in the league since 2019, and wasn’t all that effective when last seen with the Jacksonville Jaguars.


Marcell Dareus Was First-Team All-Pro in 2014

But he was a first-team All-Pro (2014) and a two-time Pro Bowler during the six-plus seasons he played with the Buffalo Bills, who selected him No. 3 overall out of Alabama. In fact, he appeared in 91 games (85 starts) with the Bills, during which time he authored 292 tackles (202 solo), including 46 tackles for loss, 35 sacks and 56 quarterback hits, not to mention 13 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Things started to go south for him after he signed a six-year, $100 million contract extension prior to the 2015 season, a deal that included a $25 million signing bonus and $60 million in guarantees. He went on to make only 14 starts for the Bills between 2015-17. During that time frame he was also suspended for the first game of the 2015 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, and suspended for another four games in 2016.

The Bills went on to trade Dareus to the Jaguars for a sixth-round pick in October 2017, but he wasn’t especially impactful during the 30 appearances (22 starts) he made for the Jaguars. During those games he recorded a total of 45 tackles (31 solo), with four tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and five quarterback hits, as per Pro Football Reference (PFR).

Yet he sounds excited to be back on the football field, at least if if Harbaugh’s words are any indication.

“Marcell Dareus is out here working out. You’ve heard of him, right?” Harbaugh told Clifton Brown, staff writer for BaltimoreRavens.com. “I mean, gosh, he’s out he working out, and he even says, ‘Coach, I’m learning stuff out here.’ You’re always learning. As a coach, I’ve been doing it, I think, 36 years now, and you can’t believe every day that you learn something.”


A Former Packers, Lions Wide Receiver is Trying Out Too

Notably, Dareus isn’t the only NFL veteran who is attending Ravens rookie minicamp on a tryout basis. Head coach John Harbaugh tells Hensley that former Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions wide receiver Geronimo Allison, 28, is on hand as well.

Allison — who is 6-foot-3 and 202 pounds — appeared in 46 games (14 starts) for the Packers between 2016-19 and caught 89 passes for 1,045 yards and six touchdowns, an average of 11.7 yards per reception. He played in three games for the Lions in 2021 but didn’t catch a pass, having been targeted just twice, according to PFR.

Allison entered the league with the Packers as a rookie undrafted free agent out of Illinois. He had a career-high 638 offensive snaps in 2019 but caught only 34 passes for 287 yards that year. His career-high in special teams snaps (148) came in 2017. In July 2017, the NFL suspended Allison for one game — that year’s season opener — for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

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