HBCU WR Shemar Bridges is a secret superstar for Ravens in NFL debut

Shemar Bridges doesn’t currently have an entry in the Pro Football Reference or College Football Reference databases. NFL.com’s comprehensive draft prospect tracker didn’t write him up. Bridges did show up in Dane Brugler’s pathologically detailed “The Beast” draft guide… as the 178th-best receiver in this class. Other than that, Mostly crickets from the Draft Industrial Complex. Bridges was Interviewed by Damond Talbot of the Draft Diamonds site in June, 2021, which is about the most recognition he’s received from anybody.

“My work ethic and want to be the best,” Bridges said back then about his value as a prospect. “My size/speed combination and ability to move at my size. Also, my ability to make touch catches and tough plays. Opting out and coming back for another season has helped me earn a draft grade and opportunity to prove to people what more I can do to move up in stock while also looking to compete for a championship.”

The Fort Valley State alum, one of the few HBCU players currently in the NFL, signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent, and is now just trying to make the team.

Bridges participated in the first annual Legacy Bowl in New Orleans, a game which allows lesser-known HBCU players to show NFL teams what they can do. He also was involved in the first HBCU Scouting combine, which similarly helps players who aren’t invited to the actual combine to display their skill sets to NFL teams.

“I performed well. I showed what I can do,” Bridges said in late February, per Chris Porter of First Coast News. “I talked to about seven different teams, and I got good feedback from them.”

Given his performance against the Tennessee Titans in his preseason debut, Bridges might be on his way to surprising a lot of people. They caught four passes on five targets for 62 yards and a touchdown in Baltimore’s 23-10 win, and two of those catches were similarly spectacular.

With 2:10 left in the third quarter, Bridges got vertical for this 38-yard reception on a pass from Anthony Brown Jr. …

…and he had already made a great like-as-like play on this 14-yard touchdown near the end of the first half on a fade ball from Tyler Huntley.

We don’t yet know how things will turn out for Bridges, but given the Ravens’ perpetual receiver-light status… if he keeps making plays like this, his new NFL team would have to think more than twice before letting him go.

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