The second of three media available OTA sessions for the Baltimore Ravens is on Thursday, June 1, and Baltimore Beatdown will be in attendance. But among the super sized roster, who are the ones to key on for this early offseason workout?
Here are the 11 players I’ll be watching closely during Ravens OTAs.
QB Lamar Jackson
During the first viewing last week, Jackson did not participate in any 11-on-11 action. Head Coach John Harbaugh and Jackson both said they’re ramping him up and that he’s still familiarizing himself with the playbook.
Question: A week later, will Jackson be working in full drills against the defense?
RB Keaton Mitchell
Last week, Mitchell looked fast and fluid in practice and was involved frequently as J.K. Dobbins was not at the voluntary practice and Gus Edwards was at the facility but not participating. So, if Edwards doesn’t participate again and if Dobbins remains elsewhere, will Mitchell make the most of these practices?
Question: How much will he be involved in first-team reps?
Left guard is one of the few positions the Ravens have as a true up-for-grabs competition. Early on, it feels like Simpson has the advantage. Now, it’s up to Simpson to hold the reigns.
Question: Did the Ravens find their starting left guard for 2023?
Among those not attending the first voluntary practice last week was tight end Mark Andrews, leaving Likely to get more reps. He and Charlie Kolar are both vying for a spot in Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken’s offense, and it’ll be interesting to watch who gets more run, or what plays are called when they’re lined up.
Question: Has Likely locked up the second tight end spot?
This is a huge year for Bateman to prove himself and there’s no better place to start than right now. Talk of him being a WR1 last season started to ignite after the first few weeks of the season, but a season-ending foot injury sidelined the then-sophomore. Three years in, it’s time for Bateman to take the leap, and he’s healthy and ready.
Question: Will Bateman be the Ravens WR1?
Of course the Ravens spoke on Flowers’ ability to line up both inside and outside, but with Bateman, Odell Beckham Jr. and Nelson Agholor on this depth chart, will the Ravens prefer to put them over Flowers on the outside? When Flowers is on the offense, I think it’s important to notice where he’s liking up.
Question: Will Flowers be the Ravens’ primary slot receiver in 2023?
The addition of Ya-Sin has been a positive for a cornerback room needing production over potential. Now, it’s up to Ya-Sin to lock up the No. 2 spot opposite Marlon Humphrey and solidify a defense with few weak spots. Though practice performance doesn’t always demonstrate game performance (ie: Smith, Jimmy), it would be a breath of fresh air for the Ravens to have two solid cornerbacks in practice from the get-go.
Question: Can Ya-Sin be the Ravens CB2? Will any of the younger corners contend?
Stephens’ versatility has been a positive for the Ravens, but it’s worth asking if him being moved around with such frequency has stunted his ability. So, as he transitions to safety, it’ll be a focus of mine to watch how he looks in the deep backfield.
Question: Is Stephens the Ravens No. 2 safety with respect to Kyle Hamilton being the versatile nickel defensive back?
The loss of Calais Campbell will be felt, but a quick remedy would be an explosive second year from Jones, who enters this offseason from my eyes in great shape. The Ravens have some solid young talent across the line and Jones should be a part of that unit.
Question: Will Year 2 be Jones’ breakout, or will he be stuck behind the veterans?
All eyes are on the outside linebacker until further notice. There’s so much excitement surrounding the 2022 second-rounder out of Michigan and for good reason. Ojabo says the Achilles injury is behind him and he feels better. He looks it, too. Now, to put the work in on the field.
Question: Will Ojabo be the sack artist for the 2023 Ravens?
Oweh had a great camp last year but a struggling season. He hasn’t forgot what last season felt like, to be so close to being the playmaker he wants to be for himself and the team. Now, Oweh’s putting in the work with outside linebackers coach Chuck Smith.
Question: Could the Ravens see Oweh and Ojabo both break out this season?