Headlines to Watch: Baltimore Ravens Training Camp 2021

The Baltimore Ravens are set to begin training camp on Tuesday with veterans reporting. The Ravens will hit the field for their first practice on Wednesday. This year’s camp is a return to normalcy for the Ravens as they will once again allow fans to attend 12 open practices, including a stadium practice at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday, July 31st. Preseason games also return in 2021 with three games scheduled, giving players the opportunity to stand out and giving coaches the chance to properly evaluate players. Something that was lost with all preseason games being cancelled last season.

Probably the most scrutinized position throughout the 2020 season all the way up until this years draft, has now become one of the most crowded positions on the Ravens depth chart. With eleven current receivers on the roster to begin camp those outside of Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, first round pick Rashod Bateman, and former Kansas City Chief Sammy Watkins will need to have a strong training camp to make the active roster.

With Devin Duvernay’s ability to return both kicks and punts he makes a strong case to make the roster alone based on his special teams ability.

This will likely leave the final receiver spot up to three players, Miles Boykin, James Proche II, and rookie Tylan Wallace. All three have the ability to play special teams, something head coach John Harbaugh takes great pride in.

Miles Boykin who is the oldest of the group, possibly has the shortest leash given his many opportunities to stand out since being taken in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft. But while Boykin has struggled to break out as a receiver, he has become a strong special teams player and does a great job blocking in the run game. James Proche II, drafted last season out of SMU began the year returning punts before losing his returning job to fellow rookie Devin Duvernay. Proche II got few offensive snaps catching only one pass for 14 yards in a week 11 overtime lost to the Tennessee Titans.

Rookie Tylan Wallace, like many rookies will have the most to prove as he tries to show he belongs in the NFL. Wallace will have to build on his strong start to the offseason to surpass both Boykin and Proche II.

While the offensive line was a point of emphasis for the Ravens this offseason, questions still remain as to who will be the starting five come week one against the Las Vegas Raiders. After trading tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to the Kansas City Chiefs the Ravens would sign free agent guard Kevin Zeitler, as well as former Steelers tackle Alejandro Villanueva. In addition to drafting Georgia guard Ben Cleveland in the third round.

With Bradley Bozeman expected to take over snapping duties the left guard position will look to be filled by several likely candidates, Ben Powers, Tyre Phillips, as well as early fan favorite rookie Ben Cleveland.

With Ronnie Stanley starting training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list and his status for week one currently unknown, left tackle has become a camp position battle that may be the most important should Stanley be unable to go come week one. All signs point to Villanueva moving over from his right tackle position to his more familiar left tackle spot should Stanley be unable to go. This would leave Tyre Phillips as well as veteran Andre Smith, who opted out of the 2020 season, as probable players to fill in opposite of Villanueva.

The 2021 NFL draft saw the Ravens take several high impact players that will look to make an immediate impression. Headlined by both first round selections wide receiver Rashod Bateman and defensive end Odafe Oweh. Fans in Baltimore are expecting both players to make an immediate impression throughout camp and in all three preseason games.

Fifth round selection Daelin Hayes had a strong rookie minicamp and by many accounts has looked more fluid and natural as a defensive end compared to first round selection Oweh. The rookie out of Notre Dame will look to make a strong case to be in Ravens pass rush rotation while simultaneously creating strong competition between himself and Oweh.

The Ravens 16 year streak of having at least one undrafted rookie make the initial 53-man roster came to an end last season, during an unconventional 2020 training camp. But with the return of preseason games, this years undrafted rookie class will look to start a new streak.

One undrafted rookie to keep a close eye on throughout camp is safety, Ar’Darius Washington. Ranked as the number one undrafted rookie following the 2021 draft. Washington likely has the best chance to make the roster as the safety position lacks very little depth outside of starters Chuck Clark and DeShone Elliott.

Other undrafted rookies to watch throughout camp include tackle Adrian Ealy, tight end Tony Poljan, and running back Nate McCrary.

Likely the biggest headline this offseason was centered around Lamar Jackson and his looming contract extension. Many felt that the Ravens and Jackson could come to an agreement on a new contract before the start of training camp, but that now seems extremely unlikely. Lamar Jackson is expected to be asked repeatedly about his contract throughout the duration of training camp. Though the 2019 MVP has made it clear he isn’t worried about the two sides reaching an agreement, wanting instead to remain focused on football.

Lamar Jackson is currently not being represented by an agent. Jacksons mother, Felicia Jones who has served as her son’s “manager” has been rumored to be on the forefront of contract discussions between Jackson and the Ravens. However, recent reports suggest that is not the case. Instead, Jackson and his advisors appear to be leading the way in contract negotiations.

Lamar is expected to receive a contract similar to that of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott who signed a 4-years, $160 million deal last season.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield as well as Bills quarterback Josh Allen, both drafted in 2018 along with Jackson, are also looking for new contracts. Its likely all three players are waiting for the others to set the market as the last to sign will fetch the biggest deal.

The Ravens begin camp with a 90 players on the roster and must cut the roster down to 85 by August 17th. The roster will be cut again to 80 on August 24th, before final cuts on August 31st which will set the 53-man roster.

The Ravens open the preseason August 14th at home against the New Orleans Saints before heading to Charlotte for a joint practice with the Carolina Panthers, ahead of their second preseason contest on August 21st. The preseason wraps up for the Ravens on August 28th away, against the Washington Football Team.

Please follow and like us:

You may also like...

Follow by Email