The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

September 13, 2013

Draughn signs with Ravens

DREAMS KEEP COMING

By VAN HOLLAND
Sports Correspondent

TARBORO — Another dream came true and a prayer was answered Wednesday for Tarboro native Shaun Draughn. After being cut by the Kansas City Chiefs over two weeks ago, the Baltimore Ravens came calling upon the young football star.

Draughn prayed and waited for the phone to ring and knew his chance was just around the corner. The Ravens answered his prayer.

In an interview last week, Draughn said that usually teams would call on Tuesdays if they were interested in signing a player who was a free agent.

Draughn was offered a contract to play for the defending Super Bowl champions. Draughn didn't think twice about the opportunity and signed the contract.

"They told me I'm a special team's guy," Draughn said. "It's basically the same role I had last year in Kansas City, where I came in on third down and to just be ready when I'm called.

"It's a good thing. It's everything I've been praying for. It's a good team and I'm happy to be a part of a winning tradition and good guys in the locker room from what I hear."

It didn't take Draughn long to get into the locker room, because he was in there during the media sessions before practice.

"I am happy to be a part of this organization," Draughn said. "It's basically the same role I had last year with Kansas City."

Before Draughn was signed by the Ravens they only carried two running backs, Ray Rice and Benard Pierce. Rice has been a prolific player in the NFL the last couple of seasons. With Rice and Pierce ahead of him, Draughn's chances will likely be limited on offense, but he is excited about the chance to join the two talented running backs in the backfield.

"It's just an honor to be in the room with Ray Rice," Draughn said. "The offense has some of the same things that we ran in Kansas City, but a little more high powered I think."

The Ravens are hoping Draughn can fill the void in the return game. Pierce was inserted as kick returner in week 1 after Jacoby Jones went down with a knee injury. Now that will be Draughn's job.

"He's a good special teams player, he's been a good returner and he's been a good running back," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said during an interview on the Ravens website. "He played against us last year for Kansas City and he played very well. He's a good young player and we're excited to be fortunate to have him."

Draughn had 23 kick returns last season for an average of 23.3 yards. He also rushed for 233 yards and two touchdowns last season with the Chiefs. He also caught 24 passes for 158 yards.

Draughn was released after the Chiefs had to cut their roster to 53 players before week 1 of the season. Draughn lost his roster spot to Cyrus Gray, who is listed as the Chiefs third team running back.

This is Draughn's second season in the NFL on an active roster and is his third as being a part of an organization. He was cut by the Washington Redskins after being an undrafted free agent. The Chiefs then signed Draughn to a contract to be a part of their practice squad. The next season, after Draughn had impressed then coach Romeo Crennell, he earned a spot on the Chiefs roster where he earned a good name for himself, which has given him a chance to play for Baltimore now.

Draughn is a graduate of Tarboro High and went on to play football for the North Carolina Tar Heels.