LANDOVER — Jaleel Scott spoke to his father in the days leading up to the Ravens fourth and final preseason game.
He probably felt pretty optimistic he would land a spot on the team’s 53-man roster when it is announced at Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline, but Scott was undoubtedly among the players still considered to be on the so-called bubble.
The second-year wide receiver did all he could in the finale to improve his stock, catching six passes for 87 yards and a touchdown as the Ravens wrapped up a perfect season Thursday with a 20-7 road win over Washington.
“I talked to my dad a couple of days ago, and he was like 'How do you feel about this game?' I said 'To be honest with you, I've been playing this game since I can remember and my job is to give it all I have and let God take care of the rest,'” Scott said. “As long as I know I gave it all I had, I'm satisfied.”
Scott has been a training camp standout and one of the Ravens’ most improved players from a year ago. The strong practices have translated to even better performances in Baltimore's preseason games. He and rookie quarterback Trace McSorley connected for a 24-yard touchdown pass that put the Ravens ahead for good with 3:52 left in the first half Thursday. McSorley dropped the pass in perfectly along the left sideline to Scott, who was being closely guarded by Washington cornerback Deion Harris.
The duo teamed up for a touchdown pass one week earlier in Philadelphia against the Eagles.
“He came out and balled out,” McSorley said of Scott. “He balled out and made plays for us – a big touchdown grab. That's things that we've been seeing out of him all of camp. It was awesome to see him be able to put it together in a game.”
Scott, a 2018 fourth-round draft pick out of New Mexico State, struggled to stand out during his rookie training camp. He was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a hamstring injury when the Ravens finalized their 53-man roster.
In four preseason games, Scott has 11 receptions for 146 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“Pretty much every game has been a good game for him. He's had a great camp,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “I'm proud of him. Ever since last year when he went on IR, he's done nothing but come in every day and work as hard as he possibly could. And then it carried over into OTAs, carried over into training camp. When you stack that kind of work, it's bound to show up. It's obviously showing up in the way he's playing.”
Scott possesses a 6-foot-5, 210-pound frame that makes him an obvious red-zone target. He caught 14 touchdowns passes in two seasons at New Mexico State, ranking 25th nationally with nine scores in 2017.
Baltimore’s wide receivers have the blessing and misfortune of facing one of the NFL’s best secondaries each day in practice. For Scott, those battles have helped slow the professional game down to a level that feels similar to the pace he succeeded at in college.
“Just going against our defense, they're very competitive, so when you play other teams, the game slows down so much,” he said. “I was out there, I'm like 'Wow, it's starting to feel like college out there, it's starting to feel like high school.' They strap up their pads just like I do.”
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