Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome is well known for excelling in the draft, and so far, this year seems no different.
With the sixth overall pick, The Ravens were a shoe-in to attain an elite talent in the first round, and Ronnie Stanley has proven to be just that so far. Stanley has been playing with the first team offense at camp, and has done an excellent job protecting Joe Flacco. Stanley will likely prove to be a great rookie, but a few other rookies have stood out.
One of the standouts so far has been second round pick Kamalei Correa. The Ravens traded back multiple times in the second round, and it seems to have been a smart gamble. Correa was an outside linebacker who was extremely talented at getting to the quarterback in college at Boise State. But the Ravens have moved him to inside linebacker, and the learning curve has been surprisingly quick. He has already recorded several picks, in what has already been a very impressive training camp. His skill set complements C.J. Mosley very well. Mosley is known for being a great run stopper and a big hitter, while Correa has shown so far to be adept in coverage, plus he was an excellent pass rusher in college, and Dean Pees will likely send him on a blitz from the inside linebacker spot too. Of all the linebackers competing to start next to Mosley, Correa has by far generated the most buzz.
Another standout has been cornerback Tavon Young. With Jerraud Powers sidelined, Young has more than taken advantage of the extra reps. He has notched an interception seemingly every time he steps on the field, and for a secondary in desperate need of turnovers, they may have found their solution. Our own Kyle Barber reported that Young was ‘glued to [Keenan Reynolds’] hip.’
Young is a small corner, but his size has never stopped him from fighting for the ball. A nickel corner who is extremely adept at locking down slot receivers, Young also has the speed to cover guys down the field. Like Correa, Young had made an extremely strong push to climb to the top of the depth chart.
Chris Moore is already having an impact. Moore has been absolutely burning the secondary on his way to multiple long scores. He was impressive enough in practice that he earned himself a day off. NFL.com described Moore as a poor route runner, but his performance at camp has proved the opposite to be true. Moore is seemingly fighting for snaps with Mike Wallace, and Breshad Perriman once he returns from the PUP list, and Moore’s speed and playmaking is making it difficult to not give him a role in the receiving core this year.
Even undrafted rookie safety Patrick Onwuasor has even made an impact. Despite his incidents after the whistle, Onwuasor has performed well. He was an elite playmaker in college, and his hard hits have resonated well with the coaches. Onwuasor has the potential to be an enforcer on the back end of the defense. Plus, Onwuasor also has experience at linebacker. Onwuasor could play the ‘moneybacker’ role that Deone Bucannon made popular among NFL coaches this past season.
The other rookies haven’t been performing badly either, but some of the new guys have star potential. It may not seem like a surprise anymore, but it looks like Ozzie nailed it yet again.