Following a workmanlike practice on Day 6 of Baltimore Ravens 2019 training camp, the main depth chart battles are coming into focus.
The team was near full strength on Wednesday, as Tavon Young and Jermaine Eluemunor returned to the field after brief injury absences. Head coach John Harbaugh explained that Jimmy Smith received a personal day. 2018 5th round pick Jordan Lasley has been unceremoniously released.
First round rookie Marquise Brown participated in padded positional drills for the first time, he will slowly ramp up into a full workload. The veteran receivers carried the corps on Day 6, Willie Snead IV in particular moved the chains consistently. Seth Roberts made some plays as well, including a long gain down the sideline against Maurice Canady’s coverage and a touchdown on a slant against Tavon Young. And Chris Moore turned in perhaps his best showing of training camp thus far, connecting with Lamar Jackson on two deep bombs.
It was a mixed performance from the other recievers vying for the five or six receiver jobs Harbaugh expects to roster into the regular season. Miles Boykin snatched a reception in front of Anthony Averett, but was relatively quiet. Jaleel Scott appears smooth in drills yet had a glaring drop. Antoine Wesley’s pair of impressive concentration catches in the end zone were counterbalanced by multiple miscues.
Lamar Jackson has grown more poised as camp has progressed. Besides two consecutive errant passes in 7 vs 7s, he was nearly flawless on Wednesday. Rookie backup Trace McSorely’s inconsistent accuracy continues. Newly signed backup Joe Callahan has a live arm, he threaded a touchdown to Wesley but was later picked off by Averett.
The competition at right tackle heated up with Orlando Brown Jr. and James Hurst receiving a near equal distribution of receptions with the first unit during full team drills. Eluemunor also saw some first team reps before settling in with the second unit behind Ben Powers. The offensive line cleaned up most of their pre-snap penalty issues but still jumped a couple times.
The running backs had an opportunity to showcase their skillsets as moveable chess pieces in Greg Roman’s redesigned offense. Kenneth Dixon made a nice adjustment on a deep wheel route to score. Journeyman Tyler Ervin appears extremely elusive after the catch and also punched in a goal line touchdown. Justice Hill was involved in the passing game and hit a big run behind backup guard Darrell Williams.
Earl Thomas delivered the play of the day when he jumped a quick pass intended for Snead and raced down the field for a 60-yard pick-6. Safety DeShon Elliott also broke up a pair of passes. Inside linebackers Patrick Onwuasor and Chris Board continue to stack impressive practices, especially in pass coverage.
A handful of players are vying for the fourth inside linebacker job and no clear pecking order has been established. Matthew Thomas has been excellent in coverage. Silas Stewart has remained in the mix while UDFAs E.J. Ejiya and Otara Alaka are given an opportunity to blossom.
The defensive front brought ample pressure on Day 6. Pernell McPhee provided a ‘sack’ off the right side and overpowered Powers on a stunt. Shane Ray was overheard receiving praise from fiery defensive line coach Joe Cullen for his work against the run and also recorded a ‘sack’. Chris Wormley generated some penetration and also made a stop against the run.
The final portion of practice was spent working on kickoff coverage and returns. Moore, Ervin, Hill and Cyrus Jones served as the primary returners. Notably. Tim Williams lined up beside the usual special teams standouts. Practice will resume on Thursday.