The Baltimore Ravens have found success with one undrafted player from the University of Utah in quarterback Tyler Huntley, and they might be interested in signing another after trying out former Utes offensive tackle Darrin Paulo on December 21, per the NFL’s official transaction report.
Paulo, a three-star offensive tackle recruit out of Grant High School in California, overlapped with Huntley for three seasons at the University of Utah. They even connected for a wild touchdown during a 2017 game against the Oregon Ducks, with Paulo catching a tipped Huntley pass in the end zone for the first (and only) touchdown in his NCAA career.
Both players earned first-team Pac-12 All-Conference honors during a sterling 2019 season, according to the Utes’ official website, with Huntley starting all 14 games at quarterback with Paulo protecting his blindside at left tackle. The pair led Utah to 32.3 points per game and over 6,000 total yards in 2019, per ESPN, including 201.4 rushing yards per game that led the Pac-12.
But despite their success in their final year at Utah, neither Huntley nor Paulo was selected in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Huntley made his way to Baltimore, where he played fewer than 50 snaps in his rookie year before earning national attention in his relief appearances for Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson in 2021.
Paulo joined the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2020, but he was waived during final roster cuts. He got another chance with the Denver Broncos, ultimately spending the season on their practice squad.
Paulo’s 2021 Season So Far
After leaving Denver after the 2020 season, Paulo signed with the Detroit Lions, spending most of this year on their practice squad. While he has not played in the regular season, his 75 snaps in the preseason offer a minimal glimpse into what he can do at the pro level.
But unfortunately, Paulo doesn’t appear to be cut out for the NFL quite yet, earning just a 29.4 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in the 2021 preseason. His run blocking was consistently poor, while his pass protection was inconsistent at best. He allowed five pressures against the Buffalo Bills in his first preseason game, but only allowed one against the Indianapolis Colts two weeks later.
While he played both tackle positions at Utah, Paulo will likely be limited to the right side in the NFL, and his run blocking leaves too much to be desired to allow him to switch to guard.
Ravens Work Out 4 RBs
The Ravens also worked out four running backs on December 17, including former Alabama standout T.J. Yeldon.
Yeldon was briefly the lead back for the Jacksonville Jaguars, rushing for over 700 yards during his 2015 rookie year, but the arrival of Leonard Fournette significantly hurt his workload.
The Ravens also worked out Taquan Mizzell, Chris Thompson and Benny LeMay as a contingency plan after practice squad running back Nate McCrary tested positive for COVID-19, per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.
With all of their preseason injuries, the Ravens only have three running backs on their active roster, plus McCrary on the practice squad, leaving them dangerously vulnerable at the position.
No other running backs have tested positive, likely ending the chances of any of the four running backs signing with the Ravens.