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Ravens News 8/4: Sticky Coverage and more

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

Ravens camp: Rough day for Kyle Hamilton, Lamar Jackson-Rashod Bateman on point - Jeff Zrebiec

It was a challenging day all around for Ravens first-round safety Kyle Hamilton.

He was unable to prevent three completions to rookie tight end Isaiah Likely in one-on-one drills. In full-team work, he watched a Lamar Jackson pass sail right over his outstretched hand and land in the arms of tight end Mark Andrews, who sprinted down the field and into the end zone.

Jackson had a solid afternoon of work, taking several shots down the field while also mixing in some underneath stuff. As usual, he connected often with wide receiver Rashod Bateman and Andrews. Jackson went 17-of-24 in full-team work with an interception by rookie Damarion Williams. Jackson gave undrafted rookie Makai Polk a chance to make a play on a deep shot, but he was surrounded by two defenders and Williams went up and got the ball. Jackson was 6-for-7 in seven-on-seven sessions.

The defense started to hold its ground in the second full-team session as Williams intercepted Jackson and nose tackle Aaron Crawford pushed Linderbaum back into Jackson, prompting the quarterback to throw the ball away. However, the highlight of the period was Jackson’s 80-yard touchdown to Andrews, who streaked down the middle of the field and sprinted to the end zone as safety Tony Jefferson gave chase.

Practice Report: Rookie Cornerbacks Show Off Sticky Coverage - Clifton Brown

Williams used his speed on that play, then later in practice he displayed his leaping ability, going high to break up a pass intended for 6-foot-5 Devon Williams. Pepe Williams is 5-foot-10, but doesn’t back down from anyone. He was animated after breaking up the pass intended for Polk and received congrats from several defensive players.

Armour-Davis had two breakups in pass coverage and continued to make wide receivers work hard to get open. There’s a lot of competition for playing time at cornerback with Kyle Fuller, Brandon Stephens and others in the mix. But with Stephens not practicing Wednesday, Williams and Armour-Davis took advantage of extra reps.

“The beautiful thing about camp is that the cream rises to the top,” Macdonald said. “Everyone’s in competition right now, but the rookies are doing a good job. Jalyn is doing a nice job, so is ‘Pepe’, you saw him make a play there at the end. It’s just a day-by-day process, but you’re right, we’re trying to create as many situations where we can evaluate them and see who rises to the top.”

Ravens training camp observations on injury concerns, wide receivers to watch, a rough patch for a rookie and more - Mike Preston

Wide receivers to watch

The Ravens need receivers and two to keep an eye on are a pair of undrafted rookies: Devon Williams of Oregon and Shemar Bridges of Fort Valley State.

Both have good size and speed and have made plays when given the opportunity. They might have a shot at making the 53-man roster.

The 6-foot-4, 207-pound Bridges has a thick torso he uses to push off defenders. He is also unselfish and willing to block, which is a major part of the team’s run-oriented offense.

The 6-5, 211-pound Williams opened the first part of Wednesday’s practice with a one-handed catch down the right sideline for a 30-yard gain.

Both played well in the 7-on-7 period.

Living on the edge

Second-year outside linebacker Odafe Oweh continues to have a strong training camp. He was first up against right tackle Morgan Moses in the one-on-one pass protection drill Wednesday and sped around the veteran as if he was standing still.

Oweh faced Jaryd Jones-Smith in his second matchup and got around him as well. If nothing else, this former Penn State standout is going to make 2022 an interesting season.

Another outside linebacker who stood out as a pass rusher was Steven Means, now in his eighth year out of Buffalo. He brings a lot of power on initial contact and can get offensive linemen off balance.

32 Teams, 32 Players: Intriguing players to know for 2022 NFL training camp - Ari Meirov

BALTIMORE RAVENS: TE ISAIAH LIKELY

It’s a small sample size, and it’s happening without pads, but the fourth-round pick out of Coastal Carolina has blown away coaches and teammates since arriving in Baltimore. Likely has shown an ability to find space and get separation, and he’s been flashing a large catch radius, coming down with most of the balls thrown his way. He caught 133 passes for 2,050 yards and 27 touchdowns during his college career and earned a 93.3 PFF grade last season. Ravens players have been raving about him.

Safety Tony Jefferson: “Watch out for this guy. He’s going to be really good.”

Quarterback Lamar Jackson: “Isaiah is like a receiver, but in a tight end’s body. He’s like a baby Mark Andrews right now.”

Tight end Mark Andrews: “He’s got a natural, kind of knack-feel for the game. “He’s really fluid. When he sees something open, he takes it. He’s got a little bit of me in him, for sure.”

Active NFL players who are Hall of Fame LOCKS: Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Donald top the list - Adam Schein

8. Justin Tucker

Baltimore Ravens · K

I know how tough it is for special teamers to get into the Hall. Heck, I’m still waiting for Steve Tasker to get a bust. But I know a true Hall of Famer when I see one. And Justin Tucker is unquestionably that. The clutch kicks, the bombs, the sparkling statistics — it’s all there. The most accurate kicker in NFL history (91.1 percent) is also the best kicker in NFL history. And if the best player ever at a position isn’t a Hall of Famer, what’s the point?

Also, in an era of competitive balance and NFL parity, you can’t overlook how big a luxury it is to basically be able to bank three points when you cross midfield. Shoot, with the extra point lengthened, that’s no longer automatic — except for Tucker. Baltimore has a major advantage in this weapon of a leg.