Scout’s Notebook - Bucky Brooks
LAMAR JACKSON’S FIRST IMPRESSION: Rookie creating buzz in B’more
Looking at Harbaugh’s assessment of Jackson’s passing prowess, I believe it matches up with his performance on tape. At Louisville, No. 8 was a pinpoint passer on short and intermediate throws between the numbers, particularly on in-breaking routes (skinny posts, seams and digs). He flashed outstanding touch, timing and anticipation on those throws, while also displaying A-plus arm strength firing the ball into tight windows. Jackson also showed outstanding range and touch on vertical throws. He was one of the best deep-ball throwers in the 2018 class. His ability to throw the ball over the top of the defense makes him a challenge to defend in the backfield.
From a critical standpoint, Jackson struggled as an outside-the-numbers thrower at Louisville. He frequently missed receivers on out-breaking routes along the boundary and his inconsistencies on those throws routinely showed up on tape.
Speaking to Ravens officials following rookie minicamp, Jackson’s strengths and weaknesses as a passer showed up throughout the weekend, as he dazzled as a deep-ball thrower down the seams but had some struggles connecting with receivers on out-breaking routes. Despite those hiccups, he earned positive reviews for his overall performance as a passer, which is good news for a team looking to fully capitalize on his explosiveness as a mobile playmaker.
Jackson’s pinpoint accuracy on short and intermediate throws should pair well with the tight ends and possession receivers the Ravens added this offseason.
Five Questions Facing Ravens Ahead Of OTAs - Bo Smolka
1. Can WR Breshad Perriman save his job?
The Ravens have indeed changed the look of their receiver room, one of the explicitly stated goals of outgoing general manager Ozzie Newsome.
Gone are Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin and Michael Campanaro, and in are Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead. The Ravens also drafted a pair of receivers in Jaleel Scott in the fourth round and Jordan Lasley in the fifth round, and it would be a shock if they didn’t make the team. Chris Moore is back after making 18 catches for 248 yards and three touchdowns last year.
Perriman will face an uphill climb to make the 2018 roster, as many as eight receivers could currently be slotted ahead of the former first round selection on the depth chart.
Tavon Young has recovered from his torn ACL and expects to participate in Ravens Organized Team Activities (OTAs), which kick off next week.
“I feel like I’m back – back to normal,” Young said. “We’ll see, but I think I’m going to go full-go.”
Young was one of the Ravens’ biggest surprises of 2016. The fourth-round rookie started 11 games, made 53 tackles, broke up eight passes and snagged two interceptions. The 5-foot-9 Temple product showed off his scrappy play, athleticism and ball skills.
“I’m even hungrier to be great,” Young said. “I’m happy; it feels like a gift. I’m thankful because I get to play again.”
If Tavon Young can regain his pre-injury form, cornerback will undoubtedly be one of the best position groups on the team in 2018.