xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Stock watch: Which Ravens have lived up to the hype or disappointed in full practices?

The deadline for NFL teams to cut their roster to 53 players is 10 days away, and the Ravens’ regular-season opener against the Cleveland Browns isn’t for almost three weeks, but the team’s roster is already starting to come into form.

Players have landed on injured reserve and through eight practices, it’s clear which players are roster longshots and which ones have a legitimate shot of making the team. With only a handful of padded practices remaining, bubble players only have a limited number of chances remaining to state their case for remaining on the roster.

Advertisement

Halfway through padded practices, here are the Ravens who have impressed and the ones who haven’t lived up to expectations yet:

Who’s rising

RB J.K. Dobbins

Advertisement

The second-round pick has looked every bit the steal many declared him to be when the Ravens selected him No. 55 overall. The Ohio State standout has looked elusive in team drills but has impressed the most showcasing his receiving skills, delivering multiple highlight-reel catches with linebackers in coverage.

“J.K., I’ve been really impressed with. I think every day, his athleticism, his physicality, his vision — all the things that make a great running back – show up on the field,” running backs coach Matt Weiss said Saturday. “I think honestly, though, I’ve been even more impressed with his mindset, of his make-up, which is really his competitiveness, his work ethic. He’s kind of wired a little bit differently.”

QB Tyler Huntley

Huntley’s claim to fame when the Ravens signed him as an undrafted free agent was for being the player who bested Lamar Jackson in high school. But the former first-team All-Pac-12 Conference quarterback has played his way into the discussion to be one of Jackson’s backups if the Ravens choose to keep three players at the position again.

In a training camp that has at times been uneven for incumbents Robert Griffin III and Trace McSorley, Huntley has impressed with his ability to push the ball downfield. Huntley’s deep-ball touchdown to wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown has been one of the best throws of practice so far. The South Florida native’s athleticism also makes him better suited to run Greg Roman’s scheme, as compared to McSorley.

WR Devin Duvernay

It’s been a strong training camp for the two wide receivers the Ravens selected in April’s draft. Duvernay has gotten open downfield as much as any wideout this summer. In one-on-one drills, he’s shown a savvy ability to separate from defensive backs, flying past cornerback Marcus Peters for long gains on several occasions. He’s also had an opportunity to field punts and has looked comfortable doing so.

WR James Proche

Like his draftmate, Proche has displayed a knack for getting open, particularly on in-breaking routes over the middle of the field. Proche had one of the most impressive catches of practice, beating two defensive backs to haul in a full-extension, leaping grab. (The play was called back because of a sack, but the effort was still noteworthy.) The sixth-round pick entered training camp as the favorite to be the team’s punt returner and he hasn’t relinquished that presumed role with his play in punt return drills.

LB Tyus Bowser

The fourth-year player has had perhaps his best training camp since entering the league, even if he’s humble enough to deny it publicly. After a strong second half of the 2019 season, Bowser has carried it over into the beginning of a contract year. He’s looked spry in team drills, slicing through the backfield for losses on run plays and overpowering blockers on pass rushes.

“The expectations are high,” coach John Harbaugh said after Tuesday’s practice. “He’s really, really worked. I see it on the practice field. He’s doing a lot of things really well. He’s setting the edge well. He’s pass rushing. He’s dropping into coverage. He’s working on special teams. So there’s a lot on his plate, and I feel like he’s been successful at every single thing he’s taken on.”

Advertisement

WR Miles Boykin

An impressive training camp isn’t new for Boykin. As a rookie, it was Boykin, not fellow draftmate Marquise Brown, who flashed his potential. But growing pains hampered what were big expectations for the third-round pick out of Notre Dame.

In his second year, he’s been up to the task, whether confronted with internal or external competition. A day after reports emerged that Dez Bryant was being brought in for a workout, Boykin had perhaps his best practice to date with several acrobatic catches. In one-on-one matchups against the defense’s top corners and other team drills, he’s made several plays.

“He’s a 6-foot-3, 225-pound guy who’s very strong and powerful and can run,” wide receivers coach David Culley said Saturday. “And basically, I’m starting to see right now — we as a franchise are starting to see on offense — that he’s starting to show he’s 6-foot-3, 225 [pounds], because he’s comfortable in our system, he knows what we’re doing right now, he’s playing much faster, and he’s playing stronger.”

Who’s falling

QB Trace McSorley

McSorley made the 53-man roster last year as a project at quarterback and intriguing gadget option on special teams. But in his second season, he hasn’t made significant strides as a passer, and any idea of using him in a Taysom Hill-like role has yet to materialize.

The sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft has struggled with accuracy at various points in training camp. He’s thrown the only interception of 7-on-7 drills so far and several other passes had the potential to be intercepted. Through the first half of padded practices, he’s been outplayed by Huntley.

RB Justice Hill

Hill hasn’t had a bad camp but compared to Dobbins, he hasn’t made nearly as many plays in team drills, especially as a receiver. The former fourth-round pick has also missed the past three practices with what Harbaugh called a soft-tissue injury. Judging by the way coaches have spoken, Hill’s spot on the 53-man roster doesn’t seem to be in jeopardy. But Mark Ingram II is the team’s established starter and behind him, Dobbins has made a strong case to be next in line for touches.

G Ben Powers

After being a healthy scratch for the majority of his rookie season, Powers entered training camp as a potential option to start along the interior offensive line. Through the first set of padded practices, it doesn’t seem as if Powers has played his way into consideration for a starting role.

Advertisement

Powers received repetitions at center during Tuesday’s practice but had an embarrassing sequence in which he snapped the ball over the quarterback’s head twice and was taken out of team drills. With Bradley Bozeman and D.J. Fluker seemingly set as starting guards, and two rookie interior linemen in the fold, Powers is very much on the bubble.

Advertisement

LB Malik Harrison

Being selected in the third round of the 2020 draft, it wasn’t a realistic expectation for Harrison to be the instant-impact player that first-round pick Patrick Queen has shown himself to be. But Harrison hasn’t pushed veteran L.J. Fort to receive a legitimate look in a starting role.

Harrison has also struggled at times to stay with tight ends and running backs in drills and hasn’t looked quite as comfortable in the defense. Chris Board and Otaro Alaka, who are also competing for spots at inside linebacker, have outperformed the former Ohio State star. With the altered offseason regimen, learning curves will be different for every rookie. There’s still time for everything to click for Harrison, but he might not be ready to significantly contribute on defense just yet.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement