Through five days of his first NFL training camp, rookie cornerback Anthony Averett is still amazed by his path to the Ravens. The most immediate adjustment has been performing in front of up to 2,000 fans who have attended practices at the team’s headquarters in Owings Mills.
“It’s new,” he said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever had a crowd at my practice. So it’s definitely different from my college days, but it’s fun though.”
However, that transition pales in comparison to getting acclimated to the pace of the NFL. Averett, a fourth-round draft pick out of Alabama, marveled at the way veteran cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Brandon Carr pick up hints on receivers’ routes based on their stances, footing and other tells.
“A lot of these guys, they know the route that’s coming before the guy runs the route,” he said. “That’s something I’ve got to prepare for and work my way up.”
Averett has held up at times in camp. During a five-snap stretch of a full-team drill Friday, he would have sacked rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson, knocked down a slant pass from quarterback Josh Woodrum intended for rookie wide receiver Andre Levrone and broke up another throw by Woodrum to wide receiver DeVier Posey. During a one-on-one exercise Sunday, the 5-foot-11, 178-pound Averett broke up a pass to the 6-2, 222-pound Levrone, who also earned a flag for offensive pass interference.
Averett has already drawn notice from defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale.
“He’s really jumped out since our OTAs and minicamp,” Martindale said. “He’s come back ready to go. He’s done some good things.”
Averett was pleased to hear Martindale’s comments.
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“From any coach, it’s a blessing to hear anything like that, anything positive,” he said. “Camp is definitely tough, but I mean, I’m keeping my head down and staying in the playbook.”