With July 4th in the rearview mirror and just a few weeks until the Ravens play in the annual Hall of Fame game against the Chicago Bears, training camp is nearly upon us. In fact, rookies reported on Wednesday, so it’s the perfect time to take a look at the young crop of players who will be contributing to the 2018 squad.
However, instead of looking at high profile players like Hayden Hurst, Lamar Jackson, or Orlando Brown Jr., we’re going to go over some of the more under the radar type rookies as camp opens. Let’s get to it:
Cornerback Anthony Averett
Averett leaves college football as a national champion and steps into a perfect situation for a low profile day three pick. Some draft experts pegged Averett as a corner who could use some development before eventually contributing on defense, while providing value on special teams. The Ravens are arguably the deepest team in the league at cornerback, so the fourth rounder will have time to learn behind Jimmy Smith, Brandon Carr, Tavon Young, and former Crimson Tide teammate Marlon Humphrey. Young was a fourth rounder himself who has developed into a promising potential starter, and Humphrey impressed from day one as a 21 year old rookie. If Averett wants to cut his teeth before entering the lineup, these are the guys he’ll want to learn from.
C Bradley Bozeman
The center position is one of the more wide open spots on the Ravens roster right now, so it will be fun to watch this battle play out over camp. Bozeman is an intriguing late pick, having been a stalwart center for Alabama, the program at the center of the college football universe. This doesn’t make him some sort of all-world player immediately but some seem to think that pedigree and hard nosed Nick Saban training will translate over to the NFL. With Matt Skura and potentially Alex Lewis ready to fight it out for the starting spot, Bozeman also has a chance to potentially claim the role in the preseason.
Wide receiver Jaleel Scott
It’s interesting Scott would be seen as an under the radar rookie in Baltimore. After all, he was a fourth round pick with impressive physical traits who has a chance to claim a rotational spot. However, a lot of the shine was given to fifth rounder Jordan Lasley who was immediately hailed as a steal at the position while also being praised throughout OTA’s. As a result, Scott is flying beneath the radar as camp opens up, and won’t have much pressure on him at all. That combined with a chance to play with dynamic quarterback Lamar Jackson in the preseason games will give the fourth rounder an opportunity to earn some touches in the regular season, particularly in the red zone.
Defensive end Zach Sieler
Sieler is flying well under the radar. Regardless, some reading up on him will tell you he has potential to make a team that has a history of success in finding late round front seven contributors. Comparing him to Detroit’s Anthony Zettel, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein said Sieler has the potential to become a real player in the NFL, capable of being more than just the bookend to Ozzie Newsome’s last draft in charge:
“Sieler played 4-3 defensive end and would bump inside as a rusher, but his playing style and size scream old-school, 3-4 defensive end. Sieler needs to prove that his production can translate at a reasonable level as a pro, but he has the size and ability to become a legitimate player in the league.”
This is good to hear from Zierlein, who made it sound as though Ozzie may have found another gem in the late rounds along the D-line. If Sieler does prove his talent translates, he’ll be just one of many under the radar guys we’re expecting to make an impact this season.