The Ravens’ rookie Kyle Juszczyk (Photo / gocrimson.com)
The full version of this article appears in the Baltimore Post-Examiner
With the Ravens’ Matt Birk’s retirement following the 2012 campaign the typically thin ranks of Harvard graduates in the NFL were cut in half, leaving only quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick representing the Crimson in the league. Baltimore quickly added a Harvard member back to their roster and the NFL when they drafted fullback Kyle Juszczyk in the fourth round this spring.
With the return of Vonta Leach, Juszczyk drops to number two on the Ravens’ depth chart at fullback. While at Harvard, Juszczyk played two years at tight end before switching to the H-back spot, a role he is more likely to fill than that of a traditional fullback for the Ravens.
The H-back position is most often akin to a tight end lined up a step back from scrimmage, typically tight to the tight end on the strong side, and is more frequently a component of college playbooks than those of the NFL. Juszczyk’s performance in preseason, both blocking and receiving, will impact how often he lines up at fullback, as an H-back, or walks up to scrimmage as a tight end.
“Kyle’s greatest attributes are his competitiveness and versatility. He was arguably the toughest kid in the Ivy League and had the athleticism and versatility to play multiple positions,” said Harvard coach Tim Murphy. “As our H-Back we lined him up at wide receiver, tight end, slot and fullback and he handled them all effortlessly.”
The rookie has three receptions to date in preseason.