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Ravens News 8/3: Practice Notes and more

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Baltimore Ravens Training Camp Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Practice Report: Marcus Peters Looks Like Ed Reed With Interception and Lateral - Ryan Mink

Five days into training camp, it was the first interception the defense has gotten in 11-on-11 work, and it wasn’t surprising that it came from Peters. He came out of nowhere to pick off Trace McSorley’s pass as the quarterback scrambled to his right. The three-time Pro Bowl cornerback then weaved his way across the field before seeing Chuck Clark trailing for the pitch.

Oweh continues to stand out, as his speed is just too much to handle at times on the edge. Oweh blew by the right tackle on one play to track down Huntley, then once again had coaches hollering when he sprinted to catch another quarterback run from behind. The Ravens were thrilled to sign Justin Houston, but Oweh isn’t going to fade into the background.

Undrafted rookie tight end Tony Poljan also made a tough grab in traffic on a low pass from Huntley, who got the ball out just in time to beat a safety blitz. The Virginia product is huge, standing in at 6-foot-7, 251 pounds, so to see him go low for that grab was impressive.

Tight end Josh Oliver also came up with a pretty catch during a red-zone drill. His 6-foot-5 frame provides a big target down there.

Ravens Training Camp Notebook Day 5: Tylan Wallace Shines - Todd Karpovich

Ravens rookie Tylan Wallace has been compared to Steve Smith. Wallace did his best impression of the former Baltimore wide receiver at training camp on Aug 2. Wallace made several deft catches in traffic and also had a nifty touchdown reception in red-zone drills.

Wide receiver Miles Boykin is in a battle to make the final roster. However, he did not help his cause with a pair of dropped passes. Boykin, a fourth-round pick in 2019, then left practice early with a hamstring injury.

Conversely, fellow wide receiver James Proche had another solid day. He managed a one-handed catch on a crossing route and caught a touchdown in the corner of the end zone.

Ravens stock report: Who’s up and who’s down after the first week of training camp? - Jeff Zrebiec

Up

Daelin Hayes, OLB: As defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale said Friday, padded practices will give the coaching staff a better idea of where Hayes and the other rookies are at. The first one will be Tuesday. Still, the Ravens have to like what they’ve seen from the fifth-round pick out of Notre Dame. Hayes has shown a nice array of pass-rushing moves that have given the Ravens offensive tackles problems. He’s played fast and with energy and effort. The Ravens’ outside linebacker room is about to get crowded with Houston’s pending arrival. Hayes may not have a significant role at the start of the season, but he’s shown enough early in camp to suggest he’s capable of contributing this year.

Down

Ben Bredeson, G: The Ravens continue to mix and match up front as they work to make up for Ronnie Stanley’s absence at left tackle and settle on a starter at left guard. There’s been no indication that Bredeson, a 2020 fourth-round pick, is even in the mix to start at left guard. He’s most likely bidding for a bench role and there’s a lot of competition for that.

Offensive line rankings entering the 2021 NFL season - Steve Palazzolo

12. BALTIMORE RAVENS

The Ravens’ offensive linemen combined for the third-best overall grade in 2019, but the group dropped off to just 23rd last season. Losing starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley to injury was a big part of that decline, as he played only 312 snaps on the year. Stanley has developed into one of the best pass protectors in the game, grading out at 92.8 in 2019 and 91.0 last season. He’s less effective as a run blocker, but he’s recorded a 65.0 grade or better in every year since entering the league in 2016.

Baltimore traded former starting right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason, and the team waited until after the draft to replace him with free agent tackle Alejandro Villanueva. Villanueva has played left tackle his entire career, so it will be an adjustment moving to the right side. He’s been the model of consistency at the position, grading between 74.0 and 81.2 in each of his past five years while never grading below 77.0 as a pass blocker during that time.

The interior of the Ravens’ offensive line was a weakness in 2020, but they have a potential big upgrade at right guard in Kevin Zeitler. He’s coming off the worst season of his career, but he graded between 73.0 and 89.0 in every season since 2012. Heading into his 10th season, Zeitler has historically been a solid run blocker and an excellent pass protector. It’s worth the risk for Baltimore to see if he can get back to previous form.

Bradley Bozeman returns after starting at left guard after posting a 63.4 grade in 2019, 36th among guards, and a 64.3 grade in 2020, good for 41st. He’ll get a shot at center after the Ravens used three different starters there last year.

Patrick Mekari also returns after he was the top center on the team last season, earning a 66.9 overall grade.

Left guard is now a question mark, though, with Ben Powers, rookie Ben Cleveland, Greg Mancz and Tyre Phillips all in the competition.

The Ravens have a solid all-around offensive line, but they need a smooth transition from Villanueva and improved play on the interior in order to move up the rankings.

Packers’ AJ Dillon, Ravens’ J.K. Dobbins among running backs poised for Year 2 breakout in 2021 - Maurice Jones-Drew

J.K. Dobbins

After learning the ropes from veteran Mark Ingram, Dobbins is ready to become Baltimore’s clear-cut starter at the running back position. Of course, Lamar Jackson will get his touches — as will Gus Edwards — but the second-year back should be featured in an offense that’s ranked first in rushing in each of the last two seasons. Dobbins showed a lot of promise in his rookie year, especially down the stretch, logging seven straight games with at least one rushing TD from Week 11 on. That’s tied for the second-longest streak by a rookie since 1970 — behind only yours truly, with eight back in 2006. Man, those were the days! With Baltimore retooling its offensive line and adding more weapons in the pass game to help stretch the field, I’m excited to see how Dobbins is utilized in Greg Roman’s offense. He can run between the tackles, catch the ball out of the backfield and, as mentioned, has a knack for getting in the end zone. Get ready for a big season from the Ravens’ RB1.