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Ravens News 6/8: Rookie Sleepers and more

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NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens OTA observations: Kyle Hamilton settling back into his original role

Jeff Zrebiec, The Athletic

Harbaugh said Flowers, the rookie first-round pick, has a minor soft-tissue injury. He’s hopeful the wide receiver will be ready for next week’s mandatory minicamp.

Veteran wide receiver Laquon Treadwell took part in the workout on the same day he officially signed with the team. Harbaugh praised Treadwell for jumping right in and making no mental mistakes. He said Treadwell will be in the mix for a 53-man roster spot at what’s becoming one of the team’s deepest positions. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case Tuesday, as the Ravens had only eight of their 14 receivers participating in the workout. The fact that the team has a number of receivers not currently present or available may partly explain why it was open to giving Treadwell an opportunity despite having already added Beckham, Nelson Agholor and Flowers this offseason. Baltimore needs healthy bodies at wide receiver ahead of next week’s minicamp.

A sharp two-minute drive for Jackson and the first-team offense ended when James Proche II couldn’t make a contested catch over Ar’Darius Washington in the corner of the end zone.

John Simpson and Ben Cleveland are still viewed as the top competitors for the left guard job, but Cleveland spent much of Tuesday’s practice working at right tackle.

Second-year edge rusher David Ojabo continues to flash during practices, showing little effects from the torn Achilles that contributed to him playing in just two games as a rookie. Ojabo generated a push on several plays, but the most noticeable one was when he beat left tackle Patrick Mekari inside and had a free run at the quarterback.

Twelve Ravens Thoughts following third open OTA

Luke Jones, Baltimore Positive

It was interesting hearing Chuck Smith discuss his journey carving out a niche as a private pass-rush trainer and accepting Baltimore’s outside linebackers coach position. He had a brief coaching fellowship with the Ravens 15 years ago, but credit Harbaugh for an outside-the-box hire.

When asked about the development of Odafe Oweh entering his third season, Smith spoke at length about the need for edge rushers to use moves to be successful getting after the quarterback. “When you see Odafe, you’re going to know his signature pass-rush move.” That’s a direct prediction.

Ravens observations on QB Lamar Jackson’s improvement, roster battles and more

Mike Preston, The Baltimore Sun

Starting quarterback Lamar Jackson has developed some chemistry with wide receiver Nelson Agholor, connecting with the veteran on several back-shoulder throws despite tight coverage.

In years past, Jackson seldom threw those types of patterns. He also has his timing down on intermediate outside routes. Jackson’s passes were high and tight Tuesday, and very seldom did he throw behind the receivers.

In the past, the Ravens failed to attack the outside of the field on passing plays. It might have been because of Jackson’s inaccuracy or former offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s lack of trust in Jackson’s arm strength, but at least Monken seems to be adding those concepts.

The Ravens have a nice wrinkle with both defensive end Justin Madubuike and outside linebacker David Ojabo lined up on the same side. Both have good speed and quickness, which helps create mismatches on stunts in passing situations.

Baltimore Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton poised for breakout year with expanded role in 2023

Gordon McGuinness, PFF

Early struggles: Playing in a free safety role hurt Kyle Hamilton‘s ability to contribute, but once he aligned closer to the box, his blue-chip talent became apparent and he started to thrive in the Baltimore Ravens defense.

Closer to the action: Bringing Hamilton closer to the line of scrimmage also allowed him to be more involved in run defense and as a pass-rusher. He finished his rookie year with an 87.7 PFF run defense grade, which ranked eighth among all safeties, and was tied for 14th at the position in registering eight total pressures.

2023 role: Allowing Hamilton to have a similar alignment breakdown to the Los Angeles ChargersDerwin James would make sense, as James spent 530 of his 909 snaps in the box/slot. That would allow the Ravens to utilize Hamilton in the slot against tight ends and bigger receivers while attacking downhill against shorter routes.

The Top 10 Linebackers in the NFL Right Now, Ranked

Gilberto Manzano, Sports Illustrated

2. Roquan Smith, Ravens

It didn’t take Smith long to establish himself as one of the best players on a talented roster. After being traded by the Bears in November, Smith recorded 86 total tackles in nine games with the Ravens—and the Baltimore defense held opponents to 14.6 points per game with Smith on the field. Overall, Smith had a career 2022 season, with 169 total tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and three interceptions. Smith, 26, also earned his first Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro selections. Smith’s sideline-to-sideline speed, intensity and leadership on and off the field paved the way for him to receive a five-year, $100 million contract extension from the Ravens, making him the highest-paid linebacker in the league.

AFC rookies picked after Day 1 of NFL Draft who could earn key roles in 2023: Tyjae Spears among 16 sleepers

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports

Baltimore Ravens

LB Trenton Simpson

Drafted: No. 86, third round

Impressive stat to know: Ran 4.45 in the 40-yard dash at 6-foot-2 and 238 pounds

Simpson is an in-space defensive weapon out of Clemson. He’s not ready to handle old-school linebacker duties from the jump in the pros, but with Patrick Queen and Roquan Smith, the Ravens don’t need Simpson to play a traditional role. Simpson and his elite speed are fully accentuated when he’s a movable blitzer and attacker of outside runs. The coverage could take time to round into acceptable form. Simpson will be useful before that occurs because of his explosiveness.

Predicting 2020 NFL 1st Rounder Extensions

Michael Ginnitti, Spotrac


The Ravens declined Queen’s $12.7M option for 2024, but are also publicly stating their hopes of extended the 23 year old. In other words, “we already have this other guy (Roquan Smith), so if you’ll stick around for much less money, we’ll definitely pay you”.

Calculated Valuation: $16.9M per year

Current Position Max AAV: $20M (R. Smith)

Current Position Max Guarantee: $60M (R. Smith)

Prediction: Queen sticks around for 2023, but walks into free agency hoping to follow in Tremaine Edmunds’ footsteps. (4 years, $72M, $50M guaranteed).