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Twelve Ravens Thoughts following opening week of OTAs

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With the Ravens concluding their opening week of voluntary organized team activities in Owings Mills, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. Lamar Jackson says he’s finally moved past the AFC title game defeat with OTAs underway. Zay Flowers still isn’t over it. Kyle Hamilton says the Ravens “want to right our wrongs” and win a Super Bowl. It’ll be a long eight-month journey aiming to return to that stage for redemption.

2. The novelty of how massive many players are wanes after you’ve covered the NFL long enough, but seeing the 6-foot-3, 247-pound Derrick Henry up close is impressive. Baltimore is no stranger to big, fast running backs after watching Jamal Lewis 20 years ago, but Henry’s legs are just freakishly long. 

3. While second-round rookie Roger Rosengarten and 2023 seventh-round pick Andrew Vorhees are starting candidates for the offensive line, Baltimore typically gives veterans the first crack at open spots. Daniel Faalele aims to prove himself at right tackle, but also keep an eye on free-agent signing Josh Jones at left guard. 

4. It’s a shame Jackson wasn’t present Thursday because I was itching to opine about him looking lighter or heavier than he did Wednesday. I’ve already weighed in on this — you’re welcome for the pun — but I’ve found the shedding pounds discourse to be a bit much even for late May.

5. Speaking of weight, there’s no denying how skinny Nate Wiggins looks. Hamilton complimented his talent and mindset at only age 20. “If he gives up a bad play, you’ve got to have that in the back of your mind. He can’t have a Mike’s Hard Lemonade or something like that.”

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6. There was quite a drop-off of veteran players in attendance from Wednesday to Thursday, but Marcus Williams and Kyle Van Noy were the most notable veterans not to be present for either voluntary workout open to reporters. Michael Pierce wasn’t participating, but he watched from the sideline both days. 

7. The first open OTA sessions weren’t littered with highlights, but Malik Harrison had a leaping interception of backup quarterback Josh Johnson on Wednesday. Given the lack of proven depth at all four linebacker spots, Harrison’s versatility should be useful once again.

8. Seeing a calm Zach Orr making defensive calls is a departure from past clips of the animated ex-linebackers coach, but it comes with being defensive coordinator. “I’ve got to get ready for the next call. I can’t celebrate too hard. … Now, everyone is looking at me like, ‘What’s the call?’”

9. Injuries have limited Jalyn Armour-Davis to 12 games over two seasons, and durability concerns helped explain why the Alabama product was a fourth-round pick. This is a critical spring and summer for him after two outside cornerbacks were drafted last month. Armour-Davis picked off a Devin Leary pass on Thursday. 

10. John Harbaugh confirmed Keaton Mitchell won’t be ready for the start of the season as he continues rehabbing a torn ACL suffered last December. However, Mitchell will begin jogging on an anti-gravity treadmill next week and is considered to be “on schedule.” Any late-season contributions from Mitchell would be great. 

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11. Malik Cunningham may still be listed as a quarterback on the official roster, but he was not wearing a black non-contact jersey and was catching passes rather than throwing them in practices this week. That remained true even Thursday when only two other quarterbacks were participating.

12. Former Morgan State safety and St. Frances Academy standout Jordan Toles registered an interception of Leary during Thursday’s workout. The undrafted 6-foot-1, 216-pound rookie is a long shot to make the roster, but it’s always fun seeing a Baltimore native stand out in such a setting.   

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