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Potential Ravens Draft Target Braxton Berrios Doesn't Listen To Comparisons

April 23, 2018
When former University of Miami wide receiver and 2018 NFL Draft prospect Braxton Berrios was a freshman at Miami in 2014, he roomed with Ray Lewis III, the son of former Baltimore Ravens and Miami Hurricanes linebacker Ray Lewis.

Berrios detailed meeting the Pro Football Hall of Famer on Glenn Clark Radio April 11.

"It was a split second, and I figured playing it cool was the best way because I grew up a Miami fan as well, so I know the legend he holds," Berrios recalled. "And obviously after he left, I called up my dad immediately, and I had a moment there. But at that point in time, yeah, I played it cool. 'Hey, how are you?' Give him a nice handshake. I tried to act like it didn't hurt, but it hurt a lot."

Berrios played four years for Lewis's college team, Miami, and now Lewis's NFL team, the Ravens, likely will be looking for receiver help in the 2018 NFL Draft. Berrios is projected to go in the sixth or seventh round by draft writer Lance Zierlein. The Ravens last took a receiver late in the draft in 2015, when they snagged Darren Waller in the sixth round out of Georgia Tech and converted him to tight end. 

Berrios caught 100 passes for 1,175 yards and 14 touchdowns during his four years in Coral Gables, Fla. His best season came as a senior, as he caught 55 balls for 679 yards and nine touchdowns. His best games came early in the season; he caught five passes for 105 yards against Toledo and eight passes for 90 yards against Florida State. He showed off his skills in the slot as a possession receiver against the Seminoles. 

Berrios, who was listed at 5-foot-9 and 183 pounds at Miami, was compared to new Miami Dolphins receiver Danny Amendola by Zierlein. Zierlein isn't the only person to draw that comparison. In fact, Berrios joked that two minutes after Amendola signed with the Dolphins, he had more than 20 Twitter notifications about being drafted by Amendola's former team, the New England Patriots.

Though Amendola has had a very productive NFL career -- he's caught 426 passes for 4,109 yards during the past nine years for the then-St. Louis Rams and Patriots -- Berrios pushed back on easy comparisons based on size and race.

"First and foremost, I'd be wasting my breath and wasting my life if I tried to correct anybody who ever said anything about me," Berrios said. "So the first thing is I don't listen to it because to me it doesn't matter. On that field, it doesn't matter. No matter who you are -- short, tall, black, white, et cetera, et cetera -- nothing matters but what you do on that field. So as long as that is up to par, nobody can say anything. There's always going to be the people who talk and try to put you in a box and all these things they want to do because of their preconceived [notions], but that has nothing to do with me. I'm not responsible for what they think."

Berrios also returned punts for Miami during all four of his seasons, totaling 47 returns for 488 yards and one touchdown. He returned two punts for 38 yards against Florida State in 2017, which, combined with his performance on the offensive side of the ball, helped the Hurricanes beat the Seminoles for the first time since 2009. Berrios only returned three kicks during his time at Miami, but he is confident he can do that, as well.

Given the departure of Michael Campanaro to the Tennessee Titans this spring, the Ravens have no natural fit at kick and punt returner on the roster right now. Berrios said he could contribute right away as a returner for whatever team selects him.

"I think day one I can step in and I'll immediately help in the return game because that's uniform," Berrios said. "You don't have to learn much to immediately make an impact in returning. It's not like the offensive or even defensive side of the ball where you have to get a scheme, you have to know the plays and all these different type of things. Return game is see ball, get ball and make a few people miss."

To hear more from Berrios, including how he graduated from Miami with a 3.961 GPA, listen here: 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Miami Athletics