The Baltimore Ravens completed their weekend Rookie Camp, which included their eight draft picks as well as a bevy of undrafted free agents hoping to to be the next Bart Scott or Jameel McClain to make the team's roster.
Baltimore Beatdown was there to witness all the action, listen to the post-workout press conference speakers, which included OLB Courtney Upshaw, head coach John Harbaugh, CB Asa Jackson and the trainer of Kentucky Derby winner "I'll Have Another," Doug O'Neill. O'Neill was visiting the team as his horse prepares to try to win the second leg of the Triple Crown at this coming Saturday's Preakness Stakes.
To read more on the press conference interviews, head on over to BaltimoreRavens.com. For more on my observations of the practice, click on the 'Jump.'
My first impression walking onto the field and seeing the team's first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, was that Courtney Upshaw is looking like a beast. As mentioned in the earlier story today, Upshaw is tall, thick and fast, appearing athletic and absolutely reminds me a bit of a rookie Suggs.
Practice started off with Special Teams and undrafted rookie placekicker John Tucker (Texas) nailed consecutive field goals from 36, 46, and 53 yards and just missing on two 60 yard attempts.
The two quarterbacks in camp are Florida's John Brantley and Temple's Chester Stewart, a teammate of third-round draft pick, RB Bernard Pierce. Brantley completed a long pass to undrafted rookie Deonte Thompson, prompting me to comment ,"that was a "Gator-to-Gator hookup."
Undrafted RB Bobby Rainey (Western Kentucky) reminds me a lot of Ray Rice. He is a versatile runner, who can catch passes out of the backfield, is elusive and strong. Two straight Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year awards,two straight 1,500+ yards rushing seasons and finishing 6th in NCAA history for all-purpose yardage makes me wonder how he could go undrafted and does he have a place on this roster?
WR Tommy Streeter (Miami) is not just tall, but has real long arms. He has been a pure north-south runner, which is why the coaches are constantly correcting his pass pattern moves, cuts and positioning.
I'm not digging the new Nike uniforms, which have a sort of "lapel" look around the collar, but what do
I know about style?
Players are hustling between drills and when they don't Harbaugh yells out, "There's no walking here, everybody's running." Everybody immediately starts running!
There is the sound of constant coaching and teaching by the team's position coaches and coordinators. What is missing is the constant chatter and chirping by the veterans that certainly will be here shortly.
Second round draft pick LG Kelechi Osemele (Iowa State) looks real big, and confident at what will should be his future position. Surprisingly, G/C Gino Gradkowski (Delaware) looks small next to him.
RB Damien Berry shows the rookies how it's done, catching a short pass, making the cut and sprinting downfield, looking every bit of the guy who could get some serious YAC.
With very few 11-on-11 drills, I see Justin Boren at center, Osemele at LG and Gradkowski at RG, which is interesting, but perhaps based on "seniority."
Wow, it's great to see that Courtney Upshaw is in the offensive backfield on almost every passing play!
When Harbaugh is at the post-practice podium and is asked about the group of undrafted players, he gives credit to Scouting Director Joe Hortiz, as well as to Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta and of course, GM Ozzie Newsome.
Harbaugh on Kelechi Osemele: "very athletic for a big man."
Harbaugh on Tommy Streeter: "First impression he's really tall. Second impression he's really fast."