Twelve Ravens thoughts following first open OTA workout


After Wednesday’s organized team activity was open to local reporters, I’ve offered a dozen Ravens thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. The overreaction to attendance for voluntary workouts is forgotten in a matter of weeks with the starting quarterback being the only one whose presence really matters this time of year. You could have every other player on the roster present, but Lamar Jackson skipping would be a real story.  

2. Marlon Humphrey taking part in OTAs less than eight months after signing a five-year, $97.5 million contract extension really had to impress the organization. A two-time Pro Bowl cornerback in the prime of his career isn’t getting a ton out of spring workouts, but his presence sure helps some youngsters.

3. Though not on the field Wednesday, Jimmy Smith taking part in the first OTA and being in the building in the spring speaks to his commitment to extending his career. Given his injury history, you could have made some money betting on Smith lasting over a decade in Baltimore.

4. Key veterans being absent on the offensive line and at cornerback provided the opportunity for the coaching staff to cross-train some young players at different positions, which isn’t unusual for this time of year. Though we’re not allowed to report specifics, it’ll be interesting to see if anyone takes to a new spot.

5. Rashod Bateman left practice early and Sammy Watkins wasn’t taking part, but I’m intrigued to see Marquise Brown get more opportunities working from the slot. The new weapons should make life easier for the 2019 first-round pick, but with that comes more pressure to raise his game.

6. At 6-foot-5 and 251 pounds, Odafe Oweh isn’t lacking for size and even looks like he could carry more weight without it hindering his athleticism. Jaylon Ferguson also looks lighter and appears to be in good shape preparing for a critical season in his young career.

7. With undrafted rookie Xavier Kelly going down with what looked like a serious injury, you’d expect another addition to the defensive line, especially if Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, Derek Wolfe, and Justin Ellis stay away until mandatory minicamp. You need more than three or four defensive linemen taking reps.

8. Miles Boykin and Eli Wolf made multiple catches as offensive standouts. That’s nothing new for Boykin, who must finally transfer that spring and summer success to the fall. Wolf has added bulk after an injury-plagued year on the practice squad and is aiming to be the No. 3 tight end.

9. Wolf and other unproven tight ends such as Josh Oliver, Jake Breeland, and Tony Poljan will benefit from having Nick Boyle around as the veteran works his way back to full strength. John Harbaugh indicated Boyle will be out until training camp, but his presence on the sideline is helpful.

10. Earlier this offseason, Eric DeCosta labeled Chuck Clark “in many ways the heart and soul of our defense” with much of that stemming from his attention to detail and football intellect. The fifth-year safety said he watched the practice video from rookie minicamp to scout his new teammates. That’s impressive.

11. Chris Westry appeared in only two games in two years with Dallas, but the former Kentucky product stands out with a 6-foot-4, 197-pound frame and won’t turn 24 until July. Even in a deep position group, he’s a developmental option to keep an eye on with that length outside.    

12. While others analyze spring reps with the season 3 1/2 months away, I enjoyed the Twitter clip of Jackson fielding a punt before the start of practice. Even better were the Instagram critiques from Sam Koch and Jacoby Jones, two guys who know a thing or two about special teams.