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Ravens News 7/23: Undrafted Surprises and more

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens OTA Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Five Key Storylines Entering Ravens Training Camp - Bo Smolka

Which long-shots surprise?

This year, wide receiver and cornerback might be the deepest positions on the team entering camp, so barring injury, it will be difficult for anyone to climb the depth chart there. But it won’t be for lack of trying. A few players who flashed in spring workouts and could generate buzz this summer are wide receiver Jaylon Moore, cornerback Khalil Dorsey and cornerback Chris Westry.

Last year, the Ravens did not keep any undrafted rookies on the original 53-man roster for the first time in 17 years. This year, with so many young players already on the roster, they signed a smaller-than-usual group of undrafted rookies to reach their 90-player training camp limit, and one of those signees — defensive tackle Xavier Kelly — suffered a season-ending Achilles injury early in OTAs. So the battle for an undrafted player to make the team is probably even more steep than usual.

Among that group, contenders could be safety Ar’Darius Washington, an undersized ballhawk at 5-foot-8, and tackle Adrian Ealy, since depth is a question there. It’s also probably worth keeping an eye on inside linebacker Barrington Wade, given the Ravens’ long history of mining undrafted talent at that position.

Training Camp Competition: Tight Ends/Fullback - Clifton Brown

Best Battle

Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman loves using multiple tight end formations, and the competition for the No. 3 spot behind Andrews and Boyle is wide open. Oliver, Tomlinson and Wolf are among many candidates who have an opportunity to make the 53-man roster, and they will be looking to separate themselves from the pack during training camp and preseason. Oliver, who was acquired via trade this offseason. is most built like a receiver. Tomlinson showed last year that he can be a solid blocker when stepping in for Boyle. Wolf is a hybrid who the Ravens grabbed as an unrestricted free agent last year.

Under the Radar

Fifth-round pick Mason faces an interesting training camp to show where he fits into the Ravens’ offense. He was a devastating blocking fullback at Michigan, but didn’t have an opportunity to display that part of his game during offseason non-contact drills. Once the pads come on at training camp, Mason will be looking to impress with his physicality. After catching just three passes during his college career, he’ll also be looking to show he can offer some value as a receiver. Can he force the Ravens to keep two fullbacks or take the third tight end spot?

Ranking all 32 NFL secondaries ahead of the 2021 season - Ben Linsey

2. BALTIMORE RAVENS

Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters were the only teammates to find themselves inside the top 10 of PFF’s outside cornerback rankings entering the 2021 season. Granted, Humphrey has spent much of the past two years in the slot, but a healthy Tavon Youngcould allow him to play more on the outside next year. Humphrey is the only cornerback in the NFL with coverage grades of at least 80.0 from both the slot and outside since 2017. He brings a rare and valuable skill set to Baltimore’s secondary, which also received solid play from Chuck Clark and DeShon Elliott in 2020.

Ranking all 32 NFL linebacker units ahead of the 2021 season - Sam Monson

19. BALTIMORE RAVENS

Patrick Queen made a lot of plays in his rookie season, but he was also destroyed in all facets of the game regularly, and the overall net result of both extremes was a mere 29.7 PFF grade. The number of big plays he made is encouraging for a second-year leap, however, and while L.J. Fort isn’t an exciting name, he played well when forced into action last season, giving the team some real contingency in case Malik Harrison doesn’t emerge in 2021.

AFC North training camp storylines to watch - Dalton Miller

Baltimore Ravens camp storylines

The biggest training camp story for the AFC North division favorites should surround their wide receiving corps. Is 2021 the year they finally find production on the outside? Sammy Watkins, Marquise Brown, and rookie Rashod Bateman feels better than what the Ravens put on the field in 2020. Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay, Tylan Wallace, and James Proche provide an intriguing camp battle for the final spots on the roster.

Greg Roman and Lamar Jackson must team up to produce a more high-powered passing attack next season. Jackson certainly doesn’t need to throw for 300+ yards per game, but he must be able to produce when the rushing attack falters. Roman is responsible for that passing attack as well. There must be an improvement in their efficiency.

Lamar Jackson Reports to Training Camp Early - Todd Karpovich

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson reported to training camp a week early.

The Ravens rookies officially reported for their first training camp on July 20. The veterans do not have to report until July 27.

Jackson, who was selected by the Ravens with the 32nd overall pick in the 2018 draft, has gone 30-7 as the starter in the regular season. He has thrown for 7,085 yards with 68 touchdowns and 18 interceptions over his young career.

Jackson is also the only quarterback in NFL history to run for over 1,000 yards in two seasons and has 2,906 yards rushing and 19 scores overall.