With the Ravens conducting their first organized team activity workout open to reporters in Owings Mills on Wednesday afternoon, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:
1. Rashod Bateman didn’t take part in full-team periods, but he was moving very well going through drills with other wide receivers during the individual portions of practice. Bateman has flashed the ability to be the No. 1 wide receiver even with Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers in the mix.
2. Patrick Queen being present and participating in the first week of OTAs was a good sign and a wise move on his behalf. Even if disappointed with the circumstances, he’s in position to have the kind of season that will result in him being paid handsomely somewhere.
3. David Ojabo and Odafe Oweh were very active and gave offensive tackles Patrick Mekari and Morgan Moses everything they could handle rushing off the edges. Both were in the backfield multiple times during 11-on-11 periods, and even Flowers couldn’t shake Oweh on one occasion.
4. With J.K. Dobbins absent and Gus Edwards not participating, Justice Hill received extensive reps and was busy as a receiver. If throwing to backs becomes a bigger element of Monken’s offense, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Hill more involved even as the No. 3 back.
5. Trayvon Mullen saw plenty of snaps as an outside cornerback and looks the part with a listed 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame. The 2019 second-round pick’s career hasn’t gone to plan, but he is still only 25 and will get a long look from Mike Macdonald and the defensive coaching staff.
6. Geno Stone had the defensive play of the day with an interception of a Tyler Huntley pass bouncing off Isaiah Likely’s hands. Even with Kyle Hamilton being held out of Wednesday’s session, the present roster construction leads one to anticipate the nickel package featuring three safeties again.
7. The offensive highlight was Tylan Wallace’s leaping catch over rookie cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly on a deep ball inside the 5-yard line. Those types of plays have been rare from the 2021 fourth-round pick even on the practice field since his arrival, so that was fun to see.
8. The 37-year-old Josh Johnson delivered that pass and wasted no time taking some 11-on-11 snaps despite being signed only at the beginning of the week. You wonder if the new emergency game-day quarterback rule will improve Johnson’s chances of sticking around. It’s good having another veteran in the quarterback room.
9. Defensive tackle Angelo Blackson will have to earn a 53-man roster spot, but the 30-year-old has appeared in 117 games over an eight-year career and received a strong endorsement from Roquan Smith after the two played together in Chicago the last two seasons.
10. Former Maryland receiver Dontay Demus made a couple nice catches and competed during full-team drills, but overcoming that gruesome 2021 knee injury to the point of being explosive enough to succeed at the next level remains a challenge. I’m rooting for him.
11. You know it’s not a Greg Roman offense anymore when the Ravens had more quarterbacks (five) than tight ends (four) on the practice field on Wednesday. Of course, Mark Andrews not being there makes a big difference for the latter position group.
12. Spring observations are fun, but it’s important to remember these sessions aren’t overly competitive with multiple reminders from coaches for players to take care of one another on the practice field. Eliminating the threat of contact makes a big difference.