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Ravens News 8/2: Popping Pads and more

NFL: Baltimore Ravens Training Camp Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Practice Report: Kyle Hamilton Shines in First Practice in Pads - Clifton Brown

Early in practice, Hamilton got physical with Isaiah Likely and broke up a pass intended for the rookie tight end. Later, Hamilton swatted the ball away from Mark Andrews after blanket coverage on the All-Pro tight end.

Hamilton was also a presence defending the run. He knifed into the backfield quickly on a toss play after making a quick read, and had the Ravens been working with full contact, Hamilton was in perfect position to make a tackle for loss.

The defense won the day, as Hamilton was not the only defensive standout. Marlon Humphrey made a nice recovery to break up a deep pass intended for Rashod Bateman.

Odafe Oweh was a disruptive force coming off the edge to make quarterbacks hurry their throws. With Lamar Jackson at quarterback, the offense struggled on a two-minute drill and gave Jackson little time to make decisions.

Cornerback Kevon Seymour made nice breakups on passes intended for James Proche II and Jaylon Moore. However, Moore also made several nice catches.

Ravens training camp observations on a resurgent defense in pads, Odafe Oweh’s new dimension - Preston & Shaffer

Facing tight coverage downfield and an aggressive defensive front, Ravens quarterbacks were often left without much recourse. In Jackson’s second 11-on-11 period, he went 4-for-5 but had to settle for throws near or behind the line of scrimmage: three check-downs to running backs and one screen for fullback Patrick Ricard. Unofficially, Jackson finished 10-for-15 in 11-on-11 work, but his passing yardage might’ve been his lowest of camp.

Tyler Huntley didn’t fare much better. Outside linebacker Odafe Oweh had his first of two would-be sacks against the third-year backup — even in pads, quarterbacks are still off limits — and rookie defensive tackle Travis Jones followed a couple of plays later with a play-killing pass rush so violent that his protective Guardian Cap shell nearly came off his helmet.

Second-year outside linebacker Daelin Hayes performed well in offseason workouts, and there was hope he could have a breakout season in 2022.

But in watching Hayes perform Monday, he basically looked like a one-speed performer with very little burst or sudden change of direction. Fortunately, there’s still time for him to improve his explosiveness.

News & Notes: John Harbaugh’s Take on Deshaun Watson’s Suspension - Ryan Mink

Tyler Linderbaum Has Up And Down Day in Pads

One of the players to watch most closely with pads on is rookie center Tyler Linderbaum. Being the smallest offensive lineman in the draft, Linderbaum must prove he can handle the physicality and bigger, stronger defensive linemen of the NFL.

On Day 1, it was a mixed bag for the scrappy Iowa blocker.

“It’s a work [in progress],” Offensive Line Coach Joe D’Alessandris said. “You can’t judge it just on today. It’s part of the equation of teaching.”

What Separates Ben Powers in Left Guard Competition

Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman said Ben Powers is in the lead in the competition to be the starting left guard.

On Monday, D’Alessandris shed light on what Powers is doing to stand out in the race with Tyre Phillips and Ben Cleveland, who passed his conditioning test and practiced for the first time Monday.

“It’s an ongoing competition right now,” D’Alessandris said. “[Powers has] very good vision, he’s very instinctive. He’s a good communicator. When you do all those things … you have to gel the line together and trust each other. So he’s doing a great job.”

Ravens risers and fallers: Who’s trending after the first week of training camp? - Jonas Shaffer

Undrafted rookies

For the second time in three years, the Ravens’ initial 53-man roster could have no undrafted rookies. The team’s 16-year streak of keeping at least one undrafted free agent ended in 2020, then got back on track last year with the help of safety Ar’Darius Washington. But a roster crunch this preseason won’t make a repeat easy.

The Ravens added six wide receivers after the draft, including notable names like Slade Bolden, a national champion at Alabama, and Makai Polk, who had 1,046 yards last season at Mississippi State. But not even the group’s early standout, Fort Valley State’s Shemar Bridges, has proven more deserving of a roster spot than veteran Jaylon Moore. Other fringe players, like former Navy inside linebacker Diego Fagot, will need strong preseasons and perhaps some roster luck to secure a spot.

Colts’ Kwity Paye among eight players in the trenches poised for Year 2 breakout in 2022 - Brian Baldinger

Odafe Oweh

Year 1: 15 games | 5.0 sacks | 15 QB hits | 33 tackles | 5 TFL

Oweh’s five sacks, 15 QB hits and five turnovers caused by pressure (tied for most in the NFL, per Next Gen Stats) were a great start to his NFL career — especially after he failed to post a sack in his final year at Penn State. As a rookie, Oweh showed great athletic ability, effort and talent, playing in 66 percent of the Ravens’ defensive snaps. Baltimore defeated the Chiefs in Week 2 after Oweh forced a fumble and recovered it in the final minute to ice the game. With more playing time in Year 2, I expect improved production and more big plays.