As one of the Ravens' eight picks in April's NFL draft, DeAngelo Tyson knows that he performed well enough at the University of Georgia to draw the organization's attention.
But the 23-year-old defensive end dismissed any notion that being a seventh-round pick assures himself of a spot on the team's active 53-man roster.
"I know I've got to work for everything that I want," he said after Monday's practice at the Ravens' headquarters in Owings Mills. "That's what I was taught since I was little. So being drafted has nothing to do with me having a spot on the team. I have to work just as hard or even harder than anybody else trying to make the team."
Tyson's worries would appear to be warranted. Outside of defensive tackles Haloti Ngata, Ma'ake Kemoeatu and Terrence Cody and defensive ends Pernell McPhee and Arthur Jones, Tyson is competing with the likes of fellow end Terrence Moore and tackles Bryan Hall, Nicolas Jean-Baptiste and Ishmaa'ily Kitchen for a future with the team.
Coach John Harbaugh said he likes what he has seen from Tyson thus far.
"He's done well," Harbaugh said. "He's gotten better. DeAngelo is a really hard worker. Very quiet. Comes to work every day and does his job, and he's improved a lot as part of the techniques that [defensive line coach] Clarence [Brooks] has taught him. So he continues to improve. He's one of the guys we'll have to make a decision on."
Tyson said he's been trying to soak in everything and has not been shy about asking his more senior teammates for advice.
"I've just been taking it one day at a time and trying to learn from these veteran guys," he said. "I ask Haloti questions all the time about how to play a certain technique or how to line up. He probably gets tired of me asking, but I'm out here trying to learn."
Tyson has been a fixture with Cody and Hall on the second defensive line when McPhee and Jones have taken time off to deal with injuries and personal matters. He could get the start in the team's preseason finale at the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night if many of the starters are held back. That prospect appealed to Tyson.
"If I get the opportunity to play more than I have been, I'll take it because of the opportunity to show the coaches and the players that they can rely on me and that I can be one of the guys that they can go to war with during the season," he said. "I know I can [do] better, and I'm willing to get better."