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Ravens News 6/15: Minicamp Storylines and more

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

Offensive scheme analysis for all 32 NFL teams ahead of the 2021 NFL season - Seth Galina

BALTIMORE RAVENS

2020 Pass Efficiency Rank: 19

2020 Rush Efficiency Rank: 1

It really shouldn’t be understated how the Ravens built an entirely unique offense for their star quarterback, Lamar Jackson. From offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s perspective, there are certainly things to improve, but that doesn’t make this offense any less unusual.

This is for all intents and purposes an option offense. Over the past two regular seasons, the Ravens have led the league in quarterback-designed runs or option runs, calling 184 more such plays than second-place Arizona. They have run more snaps with a pistol backfield than the rest of the league combined. They also aren’t a spread-option team like we’d see in college. They play with heavy personnel groupings, ranking first in 22 personnel rate (two backs, two tight ends), second in 21 personnel rate (two backs, three receivers) and fourth in 21 personnel rate (two backs, one tight end).

The Ravens are trying to pack defenses in to create space for Jackson on the outside.

Three questions for Ravens mandatory minicamp: How much progress can the offense make? - Daniel Oyefusi

Which rookies continue to stand out?

With about a month’s worth of practices under their belt, the Ravens’ 2021 draft class is already significantly further ahead of last year’s group at this time. And with only a few practices left until training camp, this is the final chance for rookies, drafted and undrafted, to make an impression on the coaching staff before training camp.

Across the board, there’s value in these workouts for the newest Ravens. Wide receivers Bateman and Tylan Wallace have looked comfortable in the pass-centric team drills and figure to be heavily involved in a passing game aiming to make significant strides. Wade and Stephens have gotten their fair share of repetitions in coverage and the coaching staff continues to move them around the field.

Ben Cleveland remains in the mix to start at left guard, and outside linebackers Odafe Oweh and Daelin Hayes are expected to be consistent parts of the pass-rush rotation. Even a player like Ben Mason, who might not be a part of the short-term plan once Ricard comes back into the fold, will have to prove himself in a crowded tight end room.

The Ravens won’t make any decisions this week, but the unofficial start of roster competitions is underway - Jeff Zrebiec

Reserve OL spots

The competitors: Cleveland or Powers (whoever doesn’t win starting left guard job), Mekari, Phillips, Bredeson, Schofield, Trystan Colon, Greg Mancz, Andre Smith, Adrian Ealy, Foster Sarell.

The favorites: Cleveland or Powers, Mekari, Phillips

How it may play out: Barring injuries, the Ravens starting offensive line will likely feature Ronnie Stanley and Alejandro Villanueva at the tackle spots, Bradley Bozeman at center, Kevin Zeitler at right guard and either Cleveland or Powers at left guard. Whichever player is beaten out at left guard presumably falls into a reserve role. Mekari, who essentially can play all five positions, is a valuable reserve as well. Phillips, a third-round pick last year who started eight games as a rookie, gives the Ravens versatility as well. Beyond the perceived top eight, the Ravens will have plenty of options for the final one or two spots. Schofield, Mancz and Smith have a lot of experience as starters. Colon is an interesting center prospect who played well in two starts last year. Bredeson was a fourth-round pick last year, and the Ravens would surely like to get something from their investment. Roman recently said the Ravens have more offensive line depth than any team he’s been around. The coaching staff will have a lot of decisions to make in paring this group down. Health and versatility will all come into play.

NFL mandatory minicamp storylines for 18 teams: First looks at Julio Jones in Tennessee, Cleveland’s revamped D, more - Jamison Hensley

Baltimore Ravens

I’m watching Lamar Jackson and the new-look wide receiver group. The Ravens drafted Rashod Bateman in the first round and signed Sammy Watkins in free agency to help boost the NFL’s 32nd-ranked passing attack. Bateman has missed practice time due to some muscle tightness, and Watkins skipped the first week of voluntary offseason workouts. So minicamp should allow Jackson to familiarize himself with Baltimore’s biggest additions to the passing game. Last season, the Ravens completed 137 passes to wide receivers — 18 fewer than any other team in the league.

Ravens Mandatory Minicamp: 5 Main Storylines - Todd Karpovich

How is the secondary shaping up?

Cornerback Marcus Peters should be back on the field this week. Fellow cornerback Marlon Humphrey attended the voluntary workouts. The Ravens’ secondary could be among the best in the league, especially if Tavon Young is healthy for the regular-season opener. Baltimore has two rookies —Brandon Stephens and Shaune Wade — looking to make an impact. Baltimore also has some intriguing undrafted undersized players — Ar’Darius Washington and Nigel Warrior — that can add depth at safety.