Monday, May 02, 2016

Keenan & the Call

Not all 6th round picks are created equal.

For all the swings and misses inevitable in picking the 200th 'best' player in college football, the 6th round has featured plenty of future stars too, including former Ravens Adalius Thomas and Matt Birk; Super Bowl MVP Terrell Davis; and Mr. 199 himself, Tom Brady.

But even before he steps foot on the practice field in Owings Mills this Spring, the Ravens 2016 6th round pick already feels different. I even tweeted a similar thought when I first heard the news:

And it wasn't just me who knew this pick was special. The Ravens draft room agreed. They put the call on speaker phone, a few tears were shed, and a young man who played his college football just 30 miles to the east of M&T Bank Stadium joined the Flock.

So what was so different? In the spirit of Passover, why was this pick different than all other picks? That's because Keenan Reynolds comes in as perhaps the most over qualified yet under appreciated man in the draft. Not just as a player, as a man. He holds the FBS career record for touchdowns (88). He holds the FBS career record for rushing yards by a quarterback (4,559). And his senior year course work included a class titled, National Security Decision Making in the Cyber Age. That's because Reynolds will graduate from Navy this Spring.

Yet, despite all of his on-field success, Reynolds was not invited to the Heisman Trophy Award Ceremony last December.

Despite being selected by an NFL franchise, he still awaits a decision on his commitment to the Naval Academy.

And despite his potential future on offense, he likely has a final coming up to test his aptitude for defense, as in defending the country against hackers.

 As I said, not your typical 6th round pick.