This may have been one of the most watched Hall of Fame games in years, with many NFL fans tuning in for a look at Ravens rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson. With Robert Griffin III getting the start and Josh Woodrum coming in as your proverbial set up man heading into halftime, Jackson had all of the second half to put on a show. How did Jackson and the other Ravens rookies who saw the field perform in the Hall of Fame game? Let’s take a look.
Jackson showed a little bit of everything against Chicago. His first few series were impressive, showcasing his trademark speed and elusiveness, capping it off with a touchdown strike to fellow first round selection Hayden Hurst. It was not all positive though, as he threw a timing interception and took some tough sacks behind a weak offensive line. All in all, he showed promise as well as some aspects of his game that may need some work, which is to be anticipated. As the quarterback of the future, Jackson has plenty of time to hone his craft, and tonight was a step in the right direction towards adjusting to the pros. He will certainly be a fun player to watch moving forward throughout the preseason.
The Ravens first pick of the 2018 NFL draft had a very nice debut. He started things off by getting into the mix in the run game, laying some mean blocks that were specifically singled out by the NBC broadcasting crew. In terms of receiving, he showed up in the clutch. His first catch moved the chains, and he scored a touchdown on a quick release off of the line down in the red zone as well. Hurst looked tough, polished and ready to rock. Keep an eye on him to get some starting reps throughout the rest of August.
Orlando Brown Jr.
Brown’s size immediately jumps off of the screen, and he held his own in both aspects of offensive line play. Getting into the game relatively early, he did a nice job establishing an anchor on the right side of the line. This was especially important due to the fact that the other side of the line looked lost at times, giving up sacks and getting blown up in the run game. Brown looked like he belongs on an NFL field, which is important for a rookie with limited experience. Like Hurst, look for him to get some more playing time moving forward, as the coaching staff will have to decide whether to slot him as the strong side blocker in Week 1.
Elliot is one of the more high profile sixth round picks the Ravens have ever brought in. He came in from a big school with high pedigree, and he is in a nice situation to play some special teams while learning behind the current starters. In the bit of action he saw, he made some plays including a forced fumble, which were reminiscent of the productivity that got him drafted. If he can develop some consistency and find a role within the defense, he may see some meaningful minutes this season.
If you had not heard of Edwards prior to tonight’s game, I definitely would not blame you. Regardless, the 6’2” rookie runner out of Rutgers impressed with the touches he got, and he certainly made a case for some more playing time throughout the rest of the month. Edwards seeing the amount of playing time that he did likely indicates the coaching staff has their regular season rotation set. However, if Edwards continues to impress, then he may make them think about keeping him in the long term, even if it is on the practice squad.
What rookies impressed you in the Hall of Fame Game? Let us know in the comments down below.