The Castle in Owings Mills is having a busy day. Hours after quarterback Lamar Jackson signed his contract and had his press conference for his massive extension, the Ravens announced they signed three of their new draft picks to deal.
Fifth-round pick cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly, sixth-round pick offensive lineman Malaesala-Aumavae-Laulu and seventh-round pick offensive lineman Andrew Vorhees all signed their rookie contacts today, putting their name on the whiteboard.
Vorhees will not play this year after tearing his ACL at the combine, effectively redshirting him for his rookie year, but he is expected to compete for a starting spot in 2024 immediately. “Sala” is a sixth-round pick with a lot to work on but is an exciting prospect who could possibly compete for snaps this year. Blu Kelly was only a fifth-round pick but was considered a talent who fell. With he played minimal snaps of zone at Stanford and struggles in off-man coverage, Blu Kelly’s press-man coverage skills are first-round caliber and should give him a way to see the field early.
It’s important to remember that since the 2011 CBA deal, rookie contracts are a relatively simple process. With the Rookie wage scale, each draft pick slot has a value attached to it that teams can’t deviate far from. Holdouts for rookies are much more uncommon than they once were before the wage scale was introduced.
The Ravens still have three more draft picks to sign, Zay Flowers, Trenton Simpson and Tavius Robinson. Based on past history, third-round picks usually take the longest with the most wiggle room to negotiate contracts.