The Ravens tend to hang on to second-round draft picks, having cut only one in the past six years. So if history is any indicator, Tyus Bowser should feel relatively secure about his spot on the team, right?
"That's not my mindset right now," said the outside linebacker, who was the 47th overall pick in April's NFL draft. "I'm just out here trying to play as hard as I can. My mindset is to make the 53-man roster. Being a second-round draft pick, I still have the mindset of an undrafted free agent.
"I want to come out here and work hard understanding that every day is an opportunity to prove yourself to these coaches and these players that you can play on this team and play in the NFL."
Bowser compared his approach to his rookie year with the Ravens to his freshman year at Houston.
"Just coming from college and working your way up from freshman to senior and then just coming here as a rookie, my mindset is I'm starting back over from the bottom and I'm working my way back up to earn the respect of these guys and contributing the best way that I can," he said. "I'm here to prove myself and earn the respect of these vets and prove to the coaching staff and this organization that I can come out here and play with this team."
Bowser, 6 feet 3, 240 pounds, had a solid practice Monday. In one passing drill, he dropped back into coverage and disrupted a pass from quarterback Dustin Vaughan to fullback Ricky Oritz on an underneath route. Later, he batted down a throw by quarterback Ryan Mallett at the line of scrimmage.
Bowser said his comfort level in pass coverage stems from his time with the Cougars.
"Out of 100 percent, I probably dropped at least 60 or 70 percent," he said. "So just coming out here and doing the same thing, it's not a bad transition for me. I'm pretty comfortable back there dropping into coverage."