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Ravens News 5/27: OTAs Report and more

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens Rookie Minicamp Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson Sharp During OTAs, Bradley Bozeman Is the Starting Center - Todd Karpovich

Bradley Bozeman took all of the reps as the starting center during the Ravens’ first OTAs, deftly snapping the ball to quarterback Lamar Jackson.

As for Jackson, he looked like he was in midseason form, slinging the ball around the field.

His favorite target was Marquise Brown, who is entering his third season and has stronghold as the Ravens No. 1 wide receiver. Brown made several acrobatic catches and routinely ran past defenders.

Rookie fourth-round pick Tylan Wallace was available and was seamless fielding punts and caught a couple of passes with the second team.

The starting offensive line (from left to right) was Pat Mekari, Ben Powers, Bozeman, Ben Bredeson and Alejandro Villanueva.

Kevin Zeitler was not there for the media viewing and Tyre Phillips played with the second team.

10 Practice Observations From Ravens’ First OTAs - Ryan Mink

Speaking of wide receivers, Miles Boykin had a good practice. He was targeted frequently by Lamar Jackson and hauled in a couple tough grabs along the sideline. The Ravens added more competition, but don’t write off Boykin.

Though Bateman was sidelined, fourth-round receiver Tylan Wallace shined. He played almost exclusively on the outside at Oklahoma State, but Wallace’s suddenness out of his breaks creates frequent separation and could make him quite effective working the middle of the field.

It’s cool watching new wide receivers coaches Tee Martin and Keith Williams. Williams was closer to the reporters Wednesday, and he was extremely active with Brown and Devin Duvernay, giving them very specific, applicable pointers on every single route. Brown called them “amazing” when speaking to the media afterwards.

Another rookie, Brandon Stephens, got some work at safety along with cornerback. After drafting Stephens, General Manager Eric DeCosta talked about how he envisioned the third-round pick product could thrive in that role and the coaches are taking a look. It was also interesting to see Stephens cover James Proche II, as the two were teammates at SMU.

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson says he loves Baltimore, hopes to make something happen soon on contract extension - Jamison Hensley

“I would love to be here forever,” Jackson said after Wednesday’s offseason practice. “I love Baltimore. I love the whole organization. I love everybody in the building. Hopefully, we’ll be making something happen pretty soon whenever.”

“I’m really focused on the season, and I’m focused on trying to win,” Jackson said. “I’m not really worried about if it gets done this year or next year. We’re going to see. We don’t know yet.”

Ravens wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, one of Jackson’s best friends on the team, said contract talks aren’t really discussed.

“I think the most we talk about is the Super Bowl,” Brown said. “I’m pretty sure that Lamar wants to stay here. The Ravens want him here. If we win a Super Bowl, everybody can stay here.”

AFC North projected starters: Browns bursting with firepower; don’t dismiss Steelers - Gregg Rosenthal

With Robert Griffin III no longer on the roster, the Ravens are going to roll with Trace McSorley or Tyler Huntley as their backup quarterback. General manager Eric DeCosta is excellent at self-scouting, but my professional analysis of the situation is hoo boy.

A rotation is likely among Baltimore’s outside receivers, but I wouldn’t assume that rookie first-rounder Rashod Bateman is going to beat out Sammy Watkins. A rotation makes sense.

Devin Duvernay is the expected starter in the slot and has the skill set to make a big jump this season. He plays where Lamar Jackson throws the ball best.

The return of one of football’s best blocking tight ends will help Baltimore’s versatility. Nick Boyle averaged more than 700 snaps per season between 2017 and ‘19, which could be more than any wideout not named Marquise Brown gets.

Malik Harrison could battle L.J. Fort for the linebacker spot next to Patrick Queen. The bigger story at the position is whether Queen’s significant struggles in coverage last year were just part of the usual rookie learning curve.

Regrading the 2018 NFL Draft classes: Ravens, Bills and Buccaneers among NFL’s biggest winners - Michael Renner

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Round 1 (32): QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville

Round 3 (83): OT Orlando Brown Jr., Oklahoma

Round 3 (86): TE Mark Andrews, Oklahoma

Round 4 (118): CB Anthony Averett, Alabama

Round 4 (122): LB Kenny Young, UCLA

Round 4 (132): WR Jaleel Scott, New Mexico State

Round 5 (162): WR Jordan Lasley, UCLA

Round 6 (190): S DeShon Elliott, Texas

Round 6 (212): OT Greg Senat, Wagner

Round 6 (215): C Bradley Bozeman, Alabama

Round 7 (238): EDGE Zach Sieler, Ferris State

Then: Above Average

Now: Elite

Getting Lamar Jackson with the last pick in the first round is about as big a win as exists in this draft class. Following that up with two more Pro-Bowlers in Orlando Brown Jr. and Mark Andrews is just icing on the cake after that. Say what you want about the Hayden Hurst selection at Pick 25, but they knew when to cut bait to maximize his value, as they got a second-rounder in return.