Ravens Begin the First Installment of OTAs - Joe Schiller
The voluntary offseason workouts consist of 10 days that will take place from May 21-22, May 24, May 29, May 31, June 1, June 4-5 and June 7-8. It’s a spaced out time period over the course of three weeks that will lead to mandatory minicamp on June 12nd.
This marks the first time the rookie class takes the field with the rest of the team. Attendance isn’t required for players, meaning veterans like Terrell Suggs and others who are still in the midst of their offseason recoveries will likely be absent.
No contact is allowed during OTAs, but it provides a chance for the coaching staff to begin implementing their schemes and working with the starting 11 on both sides of the football. Plenty of new faces are in Baltimore this season, including a crowded wide receiver core. Needless to say, this is a crucial part of the offseason, with a limited amount of time throughout the weeks.
Judging from the videos released by the team website, there was a strong veteran presence at the first day of 2018 OTAs. Joe Flacco, Michael Crabtree, John Brown, Willie Snead, Eric Weddle, Tony Jefferson, C.J. Mosley, Brandon Carr and many others were in attendance.
Four Downs: AFC North - Charles McDonald
Notable Undrafted Free Agents: The Ravens didn’t have too many players of note in their group of undrafted free agents. One player to keep an eye on is Rutgers running back Gus Edwards. Edwards spent four seasons at the University of Miami before transferring to Rutgers for the 2017 season. He caught 13 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown last year, so he might be able to contribute in the passing game if he makes the team. A special teams role is obviously more likely for him.
Running back seems to be the most likely position to keep alive the streak of undrafted rookies making the regular season roster. Edwards will battle De’Lance Turner and Mark Thompson for the opportunity to push Kenneth Dixon.
31. Baltimore Ravens
QB Joe Flacco | RB Alex Collins | WR Michael Crabtree
This will almost certainly be Flacco’s last season in Baltimore (the team drafted Lamar Jackson in the first round), and that reality is related to where the Ravens find themselves here. The offense has been flaccid for a long time. The problems start with Flacco, who ranked 32nd in total value among all quarterbacks last season, but also extends to the wide receivers. Yes, Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin, Steve Smith and Mike Wallace have all had some success, but all were in their 30s and near the end of very good careers. Which brings us to Michael Crabtree, who scored 25 touchdowns in three seasons in Oakland but had just 10.7 yards per catch last season. Collins, meanwhile, has the potential to be one of the league’s best young backs, and he could go a long way in making life easier for Flacco and wide receivers corps that enters the summer with plenty of questions.
A convincing case can be made that the Ravens triplets are better than the QB-RB-WR combinations in Miami (30), Buffalo (28), Cleveland (27), San Francisco (25), Jacksonville (24), Washington (22), Denver (18), Carolina (13) and Tennessee (10).