In a sloppy preseason contest that included five combined turnovers, some of the Ravens rookies shined, while others failed to produce.
Baltimore continues to be impressed with the 83rd overall pick in this year’s draft, Orlando Brown Jr. At 6’8” 345, the ESPN broadcast highlighted that Brown is both the Ravens tallest and heaviest player on the roster. Still, he has been able to drop his body fat percentage and is performing well at tackle, using his size to physically impose himself in the trenches. Zeus Jr. is poised to be a high value second day selection.
Lamar Jackson struggled mightily at times in his third appearance. In one series, he failed to connect with Janarion Grant and overthrew Willie Snead after scrambling out of the pocket. Then, on third down, he ran backwards and almost took a 20-plus yard sack, ultimately having to throw it away and punt. In his second drive, Jackson set himself up for failure, taking a shot when he ran on second and 10 and then a sack on third and five.
In the two-minute drill at the end of the first half, Jackson showed his best ball movement to that point, connecting with Dixon on check downs underneath and throwing to the sidelines for a completion to Hayden Hurst. He was unable to finish the drive in the end zone, he but displayed promise with his play calling in a critical, time-sensitive scenario.
Jackson was able to start with great field position in the second half as the result of a Colts turnover, and he made the most of it, connecting with receiver Chris Moore for a touchdown pass that he thread nicely through tight coverage. Overall, Jackson’s seven of 15 passing for an average of 3.3 yards adds further fuel to the debate on whether Baltimore should keep three quarterbacks on the roster.
Tight end Hayden Hurst was only targeted twice against the Colts, recording 15 yards on his reception from Jackson. Though he was not incredibly active, he blocked well and showed good awareness and strong route running abilities. Considering Joe Flacco’s documented affinity for targeting tight ends, Hurst’s readiness to contribute could become integral to Baltimore’s offense in the regular season.
When Tim White fumbled a return, undrafted rookie Janarion Grant’s roster chances expanded. However, the Rutgers receiver failed to capitalize on the opportunity, coughing up the rock himself on special teams.
As a fifth round pick, UCLA wide receiver Jordan Lasley is certainly not a roster lock. In Indianapolis, Lasley did not help build his resume. With Jackson calling the plays, Lasley failed to get separation to extend a late third quarter drive. In the fourth with Robert Griffin III taking over, he dropped a perfectly thrown ball with a wide open lane for six.
Linebacker Kenny Young had a polar opposite night compared to his Bruin teammate. The Ravens took Young with the 22nd pick of the fourth round, and he proved tonight that he is hungry to contribute, doubling his combined tackle total from last week. He recorded a team-high eight combined tackles, five solo and three assisted.
Alabama corner Anthony Averett demonstrated his potential, particularly when covering a Colts tight end to prevent a goal line touchdown. In the same drive, safety DeShon Elliott out of Texas covered well on fourth and goal. Elliott was active and engaged in this game, recovering a fumble that was later called back upon review.