Four days into training camp have passed for the Baltimore Ravens’ 2023, all without pads. It’s been tough to judge some positions due to the lack of physicality and one-on-one reps; but to act as if there has been nothing to judge is a falsehood. Many have begun to stand out or fall behind in four days, and here’s my list.
Isaiah Likely, Tight end
Consistently, Likely has been the go-to target when Mark Andrews is not on the field, and he’s made stretch plays happen. Harbaugh gave him credit after the stadium practice and said he has high expectations for the second-year pass catcher. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion we’ll be seeing two tight end sets rather than an overabundance of wide receivers, as Likely paired with Andrews is a challenging threat to overcome with defensive personnel.
Michael Pierce, Defensive tackle
It’s never been about production and talent from Pierce, it’s about remaining healthy. When he’s on the field, he’s a wrecking ball and Saturday’s practice showed how physical and technical he can be, even without the pads on. Pierce looks to be in tremendous shape and coincidentally we’ll be hearing from him after Monday’s practice. The Ravens are excited to have him back and for good reason.
Linderbaum pulls and it looks like Aumavae-Laulu has a reach block (?) on Pierce but fails to get there in time. Pierce blows through and gets a deflection.— Kyle Phoenix Barber (@KylePBarber) July 29, 2023
: @Ravens YouTube pic.twitter.com/jV1wRGbfLj
Tyler Huntley, Quarterback
In a battle for the backup quarterback position, it appears Huntley has taken a commanding lead. His passing the past two practices looked sharp and he’s found tight ends Likely, Charlie Kolar and Travis Vokolek consistently. He also had one of the best completions of training camp on a back-shoulder throw to wide receiver Tarik Black.
Marcus Williams, free safety
How can a player who was the Ravens’ top free agent signing last year be so forgotten? While the masses herald second year safety Kyle Hamilton, who is deservedly worthy of positivity and respect, many are forgetting the ballhawk the Ravens have roaming the deep. Williams is a force multiplier on this defense and his punch out on Mark Andrews was the latest example of how instrumental Williams can be for this defense.
M̵i̵k̵e̵ ̵T̵y̵s̵o̵n̵s̵ Marcus Williams' Punch Out— Baltimore Beatdown (@BmoreBeatdown) July 27, 2023
Odafe Oweh, Outside linebacker
The fluidity of Oweh this camp has flashed. It flashed last season, too. But the play he made during the stadium practice helped to demonstrate his bend, speed and dip, as he flew past right tackle Morgan Moses. Many fans are excited for the “shiny new toy” that is pass rusher David Ojabo, but Oweh looks poised for playmaking.
I asked Harbaugh about the disruption from the D-line.— Kyle Phoenix Barber (@KylePBarber) July 29, 2023
“Defensive line is going to be mad because of all the cheers after the plays get made when they thought they might have had a sack, right?”
Think he’s referring to this play from Oweh, Madubuike & Ojabo
: @Ravens YouTube pic.twitter.com/2VgnuwgY6s
Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, Offensive lineman
Entering Day 4, Aumavae-Laulu was one of my biggest risers. But after a brutal Day 4, he fell down the rankings a bit.
As you can see, he’s still in the risers category, as any sixth-round offensive lineman who Head Coach John Harbaugh says earned the right to get the first team reps to begin training camp has potential and ability that will likely develop into production by way of the Ravens’ offensive lineman production factory, headed by offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris.
Ben Cleveland, Offensive guard
The Ravens opting for Aumavae-Laulu for the first team reps spelled a sign of the Ravens’ coaching staff acknowledging Cleveland has not developed into the blocker they’d hoped for when drafting him in the third round of the 2021 NFL draft. It wouldn’t surprise me to see this week the Ravens going with veteran John Simpson with the first team as they look for their starter, leaving Cleveland behind.
James Proche II, Wide receiver
Proche has been a case of “almost” in training camp. He almost had a highlight reel touchdown. He almost made a play. The quarterback overthrew him, leaving him with a good play that you can go, “they almost had something there.” And on Day 3 of camp, he had multiple drops when they did target him, which just leaves more to be desired.
Laquon Treadwell, Wide receiver
During Day 2 of training camp, Treadwell was given back-to-back red zone opportunities. Neither pass really maximized the usage of his 6-foot-2 frame, but when 5-foot-8 Ar’Darius Washington is sticking to you and breaking up the pass, it’s a sign for trouble. Those plays are what they’re giving to Treadwell to show he’s worth keeping on the roster for go-to plays and depth. He’s not out of the running, but those are two plays he’ll desperately wish went the other way.