Owings Mills, Md., native Juston Christian is fresh off a record-setting career at Marist College and a recent eye-opening workout that has scouts taking notice a month away from the NFL Draft.
Christian is a graduate of Owings Mills High School and grew up down the street from the Ravens' practice facility. Lightly recruited out of high school, the wide receiver landed at Marist, an FCS program in New York. Christian set school records for career receiving yards (4,069) and touchdowns (34). He also set the single-season record for receiving touchdowns (15) as a senior.
Christian participated in the University of Buffalo's pro day in mid-March, running a hand-timed 4.38 40-yard dash to go along with solid broad and vertical jump metrics.
"Most of [the scouts] let me know they were going to be there, they were excited to come see me," Christian said on
Glenn Clark Radio
March 22. "I just wanted to open up some more eyes from teams that didn't get in contact with me yet."
Christian said he once faced concerns about the level of competition he faced in high school, something he's now dealing with again after his college career. He was recruited by Towson, Maine and Morgan State, but his only offer came from Marist. Christian said he considered transferring a few times while playing for the Red Foxes, but knew "if I just kept dominating I'd get my opportunity."
He also has a response locked and loaded for those who question his gaudy college numbers.
"I just tell them to check the tape," Christian said. "You can just see by my play style that it will translate to the next level. Especially with my body control, to be able to contort my body to make certain catches that a lot of guys, even at the bigger schools, can't make."
Christian grew up a fan of the nearby Ravens, and given the current state of the team's pass-catching depth chart, he could end up wearing purple as a professional. Willie Snead (team-high 62 catches) and Chris Moore (19) are the only returning receivers who caught passes in 2018.
"The way the receiver situation is looking like, it's very much a possibility," Christian said. "It'd be crazy to be able to put that helmet on."
After his blazing 40-yard dash, Christian seems to be a nice fit for Baltimore's speed-oriented offense. And after averaging more than 20 yards per catch in college, he can certainly fill the deep-threat role vacated by the free-agent departure of John Brown. Wide receivers are also asked to block frequently for quarterback Lamar Jackson and Baltimore's rushing attack, and Christian said he'd be more than willing to get it done in the trenches.
Christian isn't sure he'll hear his name called during the draft, but is confident he'll be a priority free agent if he isn't chosen. He said he isn't bothered by his limited fanfare and is eager to prove himself in the NFL.
"I'm not too focused on the attention aspect of everything," Christian said. "As long as I'm able to make my impact at the next level and show that I'm legit, then that's all that really matters."
For more from Christian, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Marist Athletics