Twelve Ravens Thoughts following third open OTA

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With the Ravens conducting their final open voluntary organized team activity on Tuesday afternoon, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. John Harbaugh said the left guard competition will “be quite a fight” with Daniel Faalele getting the latest look there after John Simpson manned the position earlier in OTAs. It was also interesting to see Ben Cleveland working some at right tackle. This battle appears wide open right now.

2. There were numerous wide receivers and cornerbacks missing on Tuesday, again making it difficult to take away much from these voluntary sessions. As Harbaugh again noted, “It’s rehearsal right now; it’s not really competitive.” Business will pick up a little bit with next week’s mandatory minicamp.

3. The Laquon Treadwell signing was surprising after seeing Baltimore already invest so many resources at wide receiver this offseason, but that it barely registered a ripple of attention speaks to how the outlook of the position has changed since last year. He’ll have a difficult time sticking around.

4. Nelson Agholor has been overshadowed by the arrivals of Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers, but he had a strong showing with a few back-shoulder catches, including a pretty leaping grab over rookie cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly on a Lamar Jackson toss. He’s had a good spring.

5. Though Kyle Hamilton acknowledges he’s “still messing up” from time to time in transitioning to a starting safety role, he’s looking more comfortable playing away from the line of scrimmage. I fully expect Mike Macdonald to continue moving the 2022 first-round pick around the defense in different ways, however.

6. It was interesting hearing Chuck Smith discuss his journey carving out a niche as a private pass-rush trainer and accepting Baltimore’s outside linebackers coach position. He had a brief coaching fellowship with the Ravens 15 years ago, but credit Harbaugh for an outside-the-box hire. 

(Outside linebackers coach Chuck Smith meets with reporters following Tuesday’s OTA in Owings Mills.)

7. When asked about the development of Odafe Oweh entering his third season, Smith spoke at length about the need for edge rushers to use moves to be successful getting after the quarterback. “When you see Odafe, you’re going to know his signature pass-rush move.” That’s a direct prediction. 

8. Smith was also complimentary of David Ojabo and his pass-rushing aptitude and quickness, saying, “He’s a lot better than I’m sure people have an idea what they think now.” Again, we’re only talking about spring workouts, but Oweh and Ojabo have looked the part.

9. With Mark Andrews sitting out, Isaiah Likely had a strong practice with a really impressive adjustment on a fade route for a touchdown thrown by Josh Johnson during a red-zone period. There’s only one football to go around, of course, but Likely shouldn’t be forgotten in this offense. 

10. Game situations are always a point of emphasis with Baltimore practicing drives to kick a late field goal. At one point, there was miscommunication with the offense trying to clock the ball while the field goal team ran onto the field. Better to make that mistake in June than November. 

11. Former fifth-round fullback Ben Mason may have caught more passes in Tuesday’s practice than I could remember in all his time with the Ravens combined. That’s unlikely to mean anything, but running backs have certainly been more involved in Todd Monken’s passing game. 

12. Despite the “rehearsal” nature of OTAs, good luck telling that to young players who are long shots to last. Two undrafted rookies — wide receiver Sean Ryan and cornerback Corey Mayfield Jr. — were getting after each other with a fight nearly breaking out at one point. They’re just chasing the dream.

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