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Ravens observations on Lamar Jackson, Binjimen Victor and the second day of minicamp

Lamar Jackson’s best throw on Day 2 of Ravens’ mandatory minicamp Wednesday was perhaps his first of team drills. The fourth-year quarterback lofted a deep pass along the sideline to wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who separated from cornerback Marlon Humphrey and made the catch.

The South Florida natives and new teammates continued to develop what has been a consistent pairing through offseason workouts. Watkins arrived in Owings Mills for the second week of OTAs and has since built a healthy on-field rapport, with Jackson finding the veteran all over the field. Jackson also connected with Watkins for another downfield pass along the sideline in which he extended to bring in a pass that was perfectly placed on his outside shoulder.

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Overall, it was an improved showing from Jackson after he threw two interceptions Tuesday. He threw just one interception Wednesday, which came off a bad decision to launch a deep pass to wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, who was sandwiched by defensive backs Marlon Humphrey and DeShon Elliott. Humphrey came up with the pick.

The offense was bogged down, however, with multiple presnap infractions. The defense also was able to collapse the pocket on several occasions, forcing Ravens quarterbacks to scramble out of the pocket in the noncontact drills.

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Victor making plays

On Tuesday, it was second-year receiver Jaylon Moore who stood out with an acrobatic catch. On Wednesday, Binjimen Victor was as active as any receiver in team drills. He was able to turn around and track down a pass from quarterback Trace McSorley despite being double-teamed by defensive backs Anthony Averett and Geno Stone. Later in a red zone drill, quarterback Tyler Huntley threaded a pass to Victor in the middle of the end zone. Victor capped practice with a diving catch in traffic that the defense adamantly contested was an incompletion.

The Ravens signed Victor to a reserves/future contract after the 2020 regular season concluded. At this point, he’s likely a long shot to make the 53-man roster but he’s still another piece of a revamped receiving corps that coaches and players have lauded in recent weeks.

Strong outing for Harris

Cornerback Davontae Harris had an impressive practice with multiple pass breakups during team drills. On one play, he swatted away a ball intended for Moore over the middle of the field. On another, he stayed step for step with rookie receiver Tylan Wallace on a deep route along the sideline and reached his hand out to knock down the pass attempt.

Signed in the middle of the Ravens’ coronavirus outbreak last season, Harris appeared in four games before being placed on injured reserve with a thigh injury in December. The Ravens have a loaded cornerback room and the final spots at the position will likely come down to Harris, Iman Marshall and Khalil Dorsey. Harris’ experience on special teams should keep him in the mix.

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Tucker rebounds

After missing three straight field-goal attempts Tuesday, kicker Justin Tucker made all five of his attempts Wednesday, including from 50 yards.

Campbell stands tall

It’s been said multiple times, but it’s still jarring to see how much defensive end Calais Campbell towers over his teammates. The defensive line was working on a drill in which players put their hand around a teammate’s collar and then drove him back about 5 yards. The 6-8 Campbell was matched up with second-year player Justin Madubuike and dwarfed his 6-3 teammate.

Personalities shine under the sun

Players such as Campbell, Brandon Williams and outside linebacker Pernell McPhee were absent from voluntary workouts and while the Ravens missed their veteran presence, their personalities were also missing from the early practices.

On the side where the defensive line works, Campbell and Williams are often the most talkative of the bunch, messing with each other and with teammates.

During positional drills, McPhee, about 30 yards away from where the defensive line was working, jokingly called out to Campbell and Campbell made sure to return the favor to McPhee.

The team’s eccentric cast of characters isn’t just limited to its players, though. During the early portion of positional drills, inside linebackers coach Rob Ryan was working with players on driving back a tackling dummy.

Ryan has the same big personality as his twin brother, former Ravens defensive coordinator Rex, and it’s easy to see as he teased various players during the drill. His personable nature and tutelage will be key as the Ravens look for linebackers Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison to take a step forward in Year 2.

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