The Ravens preseason opener gave the Ravens’ rookies their first chance to see game action in an NFL uniform. Let’s take a look at how they performed in their first opportunity.
Bowser may have been the most impressive rookie in this game. The Houston product was all over the field, making run stops and coverage tackles. On top of that Bowser put pressure on the quarterback throughout his time on the field. In fact, he got a hit on Colt McCoy that may have been influential in Jaylen Hill’s interception. Bowser finished the game with three tackles. Baltimore Beatdown’s Tyler Jackson compiled some of Bowser’s highlights:
Great job just collapsing the offensive line pic.twitter.com/yy01c0JCGz— Tyler Jackson (@TjackRH) August 10, 2017
Bowser in coverage early. Nothing big here, but a look at how he may be deployed pic.twitter.com/DFvp0FZrle— Tyler Jackson (@TjackRH) August 11, 2017
Bowser showed great potential with his performance in this game, living up to the hype that he had garnered throughout the draft process. He could force himself into the starting lineup if he can keep this type of play up.
Hill was another very impressive rookie in the preseason opener. Hill was targeted often in the first half, and did well in coverage. Hill spent most of the game covering Robert Davis, and with the exception of one 31 yard catch in the second half, Hill did not allow much Davis any room to make a catch. Hill also hauled in an interception in the first half. Hill was second on the team with three tackles.
White was used as a returner throughout the game, but never really had a chance to make an impact in that role. White had a number of fair catches, and just minimal gains on what he did return. White finally got a chance to make a play in the second half, this time as a receiver, and he made it count.
Woodrum is on his way to take Mallett's job pic.twitter.com/esTjO0jPMI— Tyler Jackson (@TjackRH) August 11, 2017
White hauled in this pass for a 33 yard Ravens touchdown. White did a good job of adjusting to the throw, spinning around to make the catch over his shoulder.
White has an uphill climb to make the roster with many receivers in front of him on the depth chart, but if he continues to make big plays like this, the Arizona State product will give himself a chance.
Williams is a big loser in this game. Williams did not make a tackle, and did not create much pressure at all. He did not help his chances of winning the starting outside linebacker job.
Eluemunor got a chance to play significant time tonight, including getting the starting nod. However, Eluemunor didn’t do enough to help himself in the competition to get playing time on the offensive line. Eluemunor was very inconsistent. He had a key block that freed up the a big Terrance West run in the first half. But he struggled to create much push at all. In fact, on many plays, the only push was Eluemunor being pushed backwards. The following play shows one of Eluemunor’s lower moments.
Elumeanor not quick enough pic.twitter.com/342ixTc8RH— Tyler Jackson (@TjackRH) August 10, 2017
Eluemunor was pushed backwards immediately on contact, which forced West further from the line of scrimmage, and gave the Redskins defense more time to get to West. Eluemunor was regarded as a project in the draft process, and tonight showed that he still has some development ahead of him.
Mizzell got the most touches of the Ravens’ running backs with 15. Mizzell was also the game’s leading rusher with 51 yards. Throughout the game he was quick and elusive. In the first half, Mizzell took a third down hand off all the way out to the sideline, easily beat everyone out to the corner, and cut up field for a first down. Mizzell showed burst, and was able to make people miss. This performance backs up reports from training camp that showed Mizzell as an impressive runner. He is another UDFA with a real shot to make the roster.
Clark brings versatility with experience at both safety and corner in his career. Clark has just one tackle, coming up to tackle a tight end in the open field short of the first down marker. Clark didn’t do much else in the game however.
Ortiz has a real shot to make the roster as the new fullback. He did a good job tonight as the lead blocker in the running game, and he even had a few touches. Ortiz had one carry and one reception. His carry was a leap over the pile to convert on a fourth down. He’ll be fighting with Lorenzo Taliaferro among others to be the fullback, but he is one of many UDFA that have a chance to make the 53. His performance tonight only helped him.
A largely unknown linebacker, Bradley made three tackles in tonight’s game. Bradley made plays on both defense and on special teams, he made a tackle covering a punt. It was a good overall performance for Bradley.
Ricard, another UDFA, has garnered a lot of hype in training camp, but didn’t excel in tonight’s game. Ricard did have two tackles, but he had a costly penalty that gifted the Redskins a first down. Ricard is in the midst of a stiff competition to start along what looked to be a really deep defensive front, he’ll need to show more than he did tonight to stay in the midst of the competition.
Along with White, Adeboyejo has received a lot of attention in camp. Adeboyejo had two catches, one on the Ravens final drive of the first half, and the other in garbage time. The Ole Miss product finished with 24 receiving yards. Not a great game, but not bad either.
The UDFA wide receiver had one 36 yard catch in garbage time. That was the longest play from scrimmage for either team. Board didn’t do anything else in the game however. He is not one of the group of UDFA that have a chance to make the roster, and his one catch didn’t provide enough of a boost to help his chances.
Overall, this looks like a really good group of rookies. More than most years there are a number of UDFAs that have a legitimate shot at making the roster. Many of the rookies played well in their first game action, highlighted by Bowser, Hill and Mizzell. Many others didn't do what they needed to do in order to help their chances of winning playing time. But for all the rookies, there were experiences from this game that the players can use for their development.