The rookies get to hit the field and try to impress coaches for the first time this year. With the rookie minicamp May 8th and 9th, this will mark their first time on a professional field working to be a star. They'll get acclimated to the scheme the Ravens have in place, get to know their coaches and knock some of the rust off from an exciting and demanding drafting process.
Here are some of the things that fans should watch for:
Exactly how fast is Perriman and how are his hands?
Breshad Perriman came into the draft with top level speed and size, but suspect hands. We've heard from a few different places that Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens feel that his drops were more concentration issues than it was having stone hands. We've also seen that as his collegiate season wore on, his drops became less frequent. Can he show that those issues are behind him starting in this minicamp?
Can he showcase that speed that fans and coaches have come to expect from him? Perriman will likely get to match up against Tray Walker and any of the UDFA defensive backs that the Ravens brought in for a tryout. If he can blaze past them with ease, Perriman will have a role already carved out for him on this offense come week 1.
Is Waller ready to play?
In previous articles, we've covered that Darren Waller, the sixth round draft pick is a physical freak at 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds with a 4.4 second 40-yard dash. His ability to quickly develop will be a large reason that the Ravens can keep him on the final 53-man roster and if he can fight for any playing time on a stacked wide receiver depth chart.
Waller will have to improve his route running greatly. Both in his crispness and with the small nuances that professional wide receivers need in order to separate themselves from the upper level of play from defenses. He has all the potential in the world, but he'll need to impress the coaching staff to really have a shot.
Can Tray Walker hold his own?
Walker was a player that the Ravens were able to pick up out of the fourth round. A small school prospect, he has the physical tools necessary to play on the line against bigger receivers and match their speed. However, the lack of top talent in college will make Walker's transition a little more steep than other prospects. Can he put together a good minicamp and head into training camp with confidence and improving skills that could see him playing nickle corner for the Ravens during the season?
Can Carl Davis get penetration?
Carl Davis was a player that dropped down in the draft because of some questions about his stamina. A big bodied player with great strength and surprising quickness off the line, Davis was able to be a run-stuffer in college and could hold up double teams. With the Ravens having a deep defensive line, Davis will need to work on his stamina so that he can not be just a rotational player and will need to show that he can get after the quarterback in order to up his snap counts during the regular season. Davis has a ceiling much like departed defensive lineman Haloti Ngata, he just has to live up to it and show coaches that he is ready.
Is Maxx Williams the mismatch we all expect?
Maxx Williams was an intriguing prospect coming out of the draft. The clear top at a very shallow tight end pool, Williams has the speed and size to do wonders in the right offense. The Ravens just so happen to have an offense that caters to big numbers from the tight end position. But Williams will need to showcase that size and speed during minicamps and training camp against faster and stronger talent in order to live up to his potential. Now that he will be playing with players that can rival his speed and size, Williams will need to work on the finer things of route running and chip blocking in order to have an immediate impact for the Ravens.
Who will be the diamond in the rough?
It seems that every year, the Ravens are able to find a player that went undrafted or was a late round find but comes into the season full of piss and vinegar, ready to make a name for themselves. With names like Bart Scott, Dannell Ellerbe, Priest Holmes and Justin Tucker all finding great play for the Ravens despite not coming into training camp as a big name. Can the Ravens find another player like that this season and who will it be?