Twelve Ravens thoughts following second open OTA workout


After the Ravens held their second open organized team activity workout of the spring on Wednesday, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. Mark Andrews, Kevin Zeitler, and Sammy Watkins were participating after being absent for last week’s open OTA. Attendance at these voluntary workouts is hardly critical for established veterans, but the organization had to be pleased to see Andrews, who tops their list of unrestricted free agents after 2021.

2. Training camp fights aren’t unusual, but you don’t see many during OTAs like we did between Patrick Mekari and Justin Madubuike. Line play is tricky with live contact prohibited, but guys still want to hone their technique and compete. Tempers flared and swings were taken, but order was soon restored.

3. With that altercation starting with Madubuike being on the ground, you better believe John Harbaugh and the rest of the coaching staff were reminding players to keep each other upright and healthy in a controlled setting monitored closely by the league. It was definitely a more spirited session this week.

4. The quarterback play was generally better than what we saw last week, but drops were a major issue as Watkins, Miles Boykin, and Eli Wolf all had multiple infractions. After those latter two stood out last week, it’s a good reminder that these sessions are mostly inconsequential snapshots.

5. More solid than not throwing the football, Lamar Jackson was intercepted by reserve safety and special-teams contributor Jordan Richards in the end zone on an ugly attempt to Andrews. Jackson made several good throws to Watkins, including one on an outside comeback route that’s been too rare in this offense.

6. Speaking in a call with season-ticket holders, Greg Roman mentioned Jackson likely working under center more frequently after the Ravens were in the pistol or shotgun 97 percent of the time last season. Though new wrinkles to improve their play-action passing are welcome, spring is the season of rhetoric.

7. Patrick Queen drew much teasing after missing what would have been an interception returned for a touchdown on a Tyler Huntley pass to Josh Oliver. It’s tough to say for sure with him wearing a sweatshirt under his jersey, but Queen looks thicker than his listed 232-pound rookie frame.

8. The competition for roster spots along the offensive line should be pretty intense with no shortage of recent draft picks, but versatility remains paramount with only two or three reserves active for games. Someone like Mekari able to play all five positions in a pinch is valuable on Sundays.

9. Daelin Hayes continues to be active and disruptive as outside linebackers coach Drew Wilkins said he sees similarities in his game to what Tyus Bowser brings. With no obvious backup at the strong-side or “Sam” spot, the fifth-round rookie has a path to some early snaps if he takes advantage.

10. Despite his March arrest, Broderick Washington looks to be in good shape, batted down a pass, and showed a good motor on Wednesday. The 2020 fifth-round pick is on the bubble, but age on the defensive line and the Ravens not drafting a defensive lineman should help his roster chances.

11. The focus will remain on other young receivers with Rashod Bateman back at practice and looking healthy, but 2020 practice-squad member Jaylon Moore and former Clemson product Deon Cain had strong days with Moore beating Shaun Wade for a long touchdown from Huntley and Cain catching a touchdown from Jackson.

12. Though spring updates on the NFL’s best kicker aren’t a priority, Justin Tucker made a 57-yard field goal despite losing his footing on a second straight attempt — the other being a miss from 51. Tucker also crushed a try from 60 yards. I think he’ll be ready for Week 1.