It was great to see the Baltimore Ravens play in a real football game against the Carolina Panthers in the preseason opener. However, only so much intel can be gained from the first preseason game where many of the starters did not play. The assimilation of the rookies into the professional game is one area that can be evaluated from the preseason game on Thursday night. Early returns are very encouraging for the Ravens most recent draft class...
After suffering a minor injury in training camp, Stanley was able to suit up and played for most of the first half. The more reps and experience the better for the young blindside protector, just seeing him on the field was a positive. Stanley was not noticed much in pass protection, which is a good sign. He did make a nice block on the second level to spring Terrance West for a solid gain on the ground in the first quarter.
He lived up to his special teams billing, receiving the first crack at kick returner duties. Young also beat a double team when lined up as a gunner in punt coverage to pressure the returner. The game does not appear too big for Young. Hopefully the knee injury he suffered is not serious since Jerraud Powers and Kyle Arrington, the other slot cornerback options, both had issues in coverage against Carolina.
The lineman had a solid debut in his first live action. He helped the second team offensive line control the line of scrimmage, which played a big role in the Ravens comeback victory.
The second team defense was also able to control the line of scrimmage behind strong play from Henry. He got penetration on multiple occasions and showed a nice feel for working with the other defensive tackle on twists. Henry also displayed good effort by pursuing a play downfield to make the tackle.
Dixon made his rushing attempts count, averaging nearly five yards per carry. He has excellent burst, quickness and elusiveness. Dixon should serve as a dynamic change of pace back in the running back committee, but needs to improve his pass blocking.
The edge defender had a strong game, leading the team in tackles. Judon also tallied a sack and set a strong edge throughout. He looks to be a sound tackler with the ability to get penetration with power.
Undrafted nose tackle Michael Pierce was the other rookie who flashed, he collapsed the pocket several times. Kamalei Correa, Victor Ochi, Patrick Onwuasor and Keenan Reynolds were relatively quiet. Overall, a fine first impression from Ozzie Newsome’s rookie crop.