The Ravens start their three-day mandatory minicamp Tuesday in Owings Mills. Several of the team’s top players, including quarterback Joe Flacco, wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., rush linebacker Terrell Suggs and cornerback Jimmy Smith, are not expected to participate as they continue to rehab injuries. However, there will be plenty of players under the microscope this week. Here is a look at 10:
Arthur Brown, ILB: The Ravens continue to show faith in both Brown and Zachary Orr by not adding another inside linebacker to make up for Daryl Smith’s departure. At this point, Orr, a former undrafted free agent, appears to have the edge on Brown, a 2013 second-round pick. However, nothing has been settled and rookie second-round selection Kamalei Correa could be in the mix as well to play alongside C.J. Mosley. Brown needs to put his best foot forward to make up ground.
Matt Elam, S: Eric Weddle and Lardarius Webb are the projected starting safeties. Kendrick Lewis, who started 15 games last year, is the likely No. 3. The team still thinks Terrence Brooks has nice upside and Anthony Levine is one of the Ravens’ special teams captains. The reality is it isn’t clear if there’s even a roster spot for Elam, the 2013 first-round pick who needs to find a role.
Ryan Mallett, QB: Taking all the starting repetitions with Flacco sidelined, Mallett was erratic at best in the OTAs. The Ravens still seem comfortable with him as Flacco’s top backup, but a better performance from Mallett this week would ease any angst. Several veteran backups, like Jimmy Clausen and Mike Vick, are still available on the free agent market. Mallet doesn’t want to give the Ravens any reason to bring in more competition.
Eugene Monroe, OT: It’s moderately surprising Monroe is still on the roster at this point of the offseason, and there is no guarantee that he’ll be a participant this week. But he’s been at the facility and he said last week that he’s been cleared to play. That certainly doesn’t mean he’ll step in immediately as the starting left tackle over rookie Ronnie Stanley.
Keenan Reynolds, WR: Missing two organized team activities – one for Navy’s graduation festivities and the other because the Ravens had to forfeit it because of a CBA violation – was a setback for Reynolds who needs all the repetitions he can get in his transition from a college quarterback to a new position. The Ravens understand there will be growing pains, but Reynolds needs to show improvement every time he steps on the field.
Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB: Really, the third-year back is in the same boat as Terrance West and Trent Richardson. With the roles of Justin Forsett, Buck Allen and rookie Kenneth Dixon secure, Taliaferro, West and Richardson may be competing for just one spot. Taliaferro needs to have a healthy and productive summer.
John Urschel, G: The third-year player remains the likely starter at left guard with Kelechi Osemele in Oakland, but he’s going to have to play well this summer because the Ravens have other options. Ryan Jensen improved steadily last season. Rookie fourth-round pick Alex Lewis has also made a good first impression. Urschel, though, has the edge because of his experience. He’s played better at guard than he has at center.
Mike Wallace, WR: Even if Breshad Perriman gets relatively good news with his arthroscopic knee surgery today, he still figures to miss extensive time. Wallace’s continued emergence – he has impressed team officials with his effort level in OTAs – will make Perriman’s loss much easier to swallow. The veteran should get plenty of chances as a starter this summer with Smith still working his way back.
Maxx Williams, TE: Benjamin Watson is the new addition and Dennis Pitta is the exciting comeback story. Meanwhile, Williams, a second-round pick last year, remains firmly under the radar despite a promising finish to his rookie year. There’s a lot of competitions for targets, so Williams can’t afford to fade into the background.
Shareece Wright, CB: The Ravens didn’t do a ton to bring in competition for Wright for the starting outside cornerback job opposite Jimmy Smith. Free agent acquisition Jerraud Powers and veteran Kyle Arrington are probably better suited to play in the slot. Rookie fourth-round pick Tavon Young also has a ways to go before he’s viewed as a starting outside option. Still, Wright needs to play well to give the organization confidence that its secondary will be improved.