The first weeks of padded practice were a success for the Baltimore Ravens. Just a week ago, we released an update on the Ravens’ training camp that had little major news. This week we have some big changes, including a surprise as we watched the Ravens release Earl Thomas after a scuffle with Chuck Clark.
Besides a bit of bad news with Thomas, the Ravens have had some positive impressions and have been fortunate in their 2020 training camp. With a few starting positions on the line, who will emerge on top for the Ravens?
The Baltimore Ravens’ injury report has been thin so far this camp. Lamar Jackson and others have encountered the usual bumps and bruises, but have mostly maintained good health. During our first Ravens’ training camp update, we mentioned cornerback Iman Marshall going down to a torn ACL.
Sadly, it appears another 2nd-year player has been a victim to the injury bug. Wide receiver Antoine Wesley has been placed on the Ravens’ injured reserve list after a shoulder injury in the past week. Wesley likely had a tough path to true production, but it’s disappointing regardless for the young player.
It doesn’t look like we have any major changes to note on the offense quite yet. There are some potential changes on the way, but until we see more from some position battles or the Ravens’ 2020 depth chart, we will hold off on noting anything permanent.
It can be noted that reporters aren’t so sure that J.K. Dobbins will be climbing the ranks quite as fast as originally expected. Despite having an awesome start to his NFL career, Dobbins is still going to have to earn time over Gus Edwards. Edwards has made a significant contribution the past two seasons and looks to be in line to continue specializing as a bruiser with sneaky speed.
The Ravens’ defense may have suffered a small setback by losing Earl Thomas, but it shouldn’t break them. The Ravens have one of the most talented defensive backfields in the league. DeShon Elliott is the anticipated heir to Thomas’ throne, and he should have enough support nearby that he can be successful. The impact of losing Earl Thomas shouldn’t be catastrophic.
We continue to see strong reports coming out on the Ravens’ defense during camp, so it will be interesting to see how they transition into the regular season. It’s notable to mention that most reports mention speed when referring to the defense. Keep in mind that’s even again MVP Lamar Jackson, so there must be some truth there.
The Baltimore Ravens have had only a few losers from training camps so far. Most of the positional battles are still up-for-grabs. One of the indirect losers here will be the fans. Sorry guys, but it looks like there will be no fans at Ravens’ games during the start the NFL season. Many teams aren’t allowing fans due to COVID precautions. Even Ravens season ticket holders will have to watch from home.
With a talented and crowded RB room, we knew there would eventually be an odd man out. We can’t say that Justice Hill is that guy yet, but we have a growing concern. Why? Hill has missed the last week of practice with a soft tissue injury and resultantly missed out on earning reps while rookie J.K. Dobbins continues to impress.
We know that Hill has a different skill set than many of the other backs, but the Ravens have also invested heavy draft capital into Dobbins. Hill’s playing time might be slowly dwindling.
Broderick Washington is another guy with a very specific role in Baltimore. Washington is a nose tackle who should be playing to relieve the big man, Brandon Williams. We know that Williams can’t handle every snap, so can Washington step in?
According to reports, Washington has not been impressive during camp. That said, Washington is a 5th-round pick and is a rookie. He could easily develop as he gets accustomed to handling NFL caliber players.
Who is Chauncey Rivers? Rivers is a “Last Chance U” player who was signed as a free agent after playing ball at Mississippi State. He is currently listed as a backup defensive end. Rivers has been practically non-existent in Ravens training camp reports.
No news is bad news in training camp. The Ravens have reported on their defensive lineman and mentioned being impressed by other newcomers like Justin Madubuike. Rivers will need to impress soon to secure his spot on the Ravens roster, given his minimal capital.
We have seen considerably more positive reports on the Baltimore Ravens compared to negatives. The team seems to be shaping up nicely. There were some concerns with a few key departures, but it appears the Ravens feel confident in their replacements.
After a slow start and our initial report noting that we hadn’t seen much from the likes of Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay, and James Proche, things have changed. Two weeks into training camp and we are starting to see the wide receiver group emerge. One of these guys might be able to gain some fantasy football relevance by the end of 2020.
Devin Duvernay might've run the best route of #Ravens practice today on a post to beat Geno Stone for a touchdown catch in the back of the end zone.
Tyus Bowser stood out, too, beating Orlando Brown in a one-on-one and making several plays against the run in team drills.
— Aaron Kasinitz (@AaronKazreports) August 22, 2020
Miles Boykin has regained his confidence. He was a 2019 training camp standout but claimed he didn’t feel as fresh last season. This year he is doing a better job focusing on recovery. He continues to impress during camp. Will he be able to keep it that way?
Miles Boykin's biggest area of improvement has been battling for contested passes.
Last season, he was the only Ravens WR who had double-digit receptions and didn't record a tight-window catch. During this training camp, he has excelled in that area.https://t.co/0jz5qnY7Cl
— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) August 26, 2020
Devin Duvernay and James Proche have also been showing some flashes in camp. Devin Duvernay has displayed his explosive speed while Proche has showcased his clean route running ability and acrobatic catches. The receiving core is young and talented.
Ravens WR James Proche wins this goal-line rep vs. CB Jimmy Smith.
Proche’s not the biggest or fastest guy, but he’s clearly a very technical route runner. pic.twitter.com/R0vYedUPUr
— Jonas Shaffer (@jonas_shaffer) August 21, 2020
There is one problem for this group. They will have to earn playing time over Marquise Brown and Willie Snead. Hollywood looks good and Snead continues to be a reliable target for Jackson. It’s hard to battle against trust, and Lamar seems to trust Snead. All receivers will also have to fight for redzone targets against Mark Andrews.
Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison
We said it in our first report, and we’ll say it again. These rookie linebackers are impressing early. There have been strong reports on Harrison, who was a 3rd round pick in 2020. Harrison was used as more of a run-stopper at Ohio State, but it looks like he is more dynamic than we thought. Harrison is credited with the first Lamar Jackson interception of training camp after a ball was deflected by Chuck Clark.
Defensively, Malik Harrison stood out. He had INT, nice pass breakup and also chased down QB Tyler Huntley. Khalil Dorsey also had INT.
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) August 27, 2020
Patrick Queen has also had a strong start to camp. Queen is athletic and explosive. He should be a strong contributor to the defense immediately. The Ravens missed having a CJ Mosley or Ray Lewis, can Queen be the next leader for Baltimore?
Welcome back, Tavon! Young was an emerging player for the Ravens in 2018, but injuries have continued to hold down the talented defensive back. There have been endless positive reports on Tavon’s return to Ravens training camp.
#Ravens practice is wrapping up. Good day for QB Trace McSorley and WR Jaylon Moore, who connected for two TDs in team drills.
CB Tavon Young also continued his strong training camp. He was targeted several times today and rarely gave up anything in coverage.
— Daniel Oyefusi (@DanielOyefusi) August 27, 2020
With a deep cornerback room, this might give the Ravens more flexibility given the departure of Earl Thomas. If Tavon Young can fill the nickel, Jimmy Smith might be able to spend some time at safety, as indicated by some reports. Depth is a huge plus for the Ravens.
Another rookie pick-up for Baltimore, Tyre Phillips has been impressive through camp thus far. DJ Fluker has also been impressive as a veteran, but during his absence due to injury, Phillips has been a viable replacement. The offensive line is one of the most challenging positions for rookies, his performance is indicative of future success.
Ravens offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris says "the rookies are really developing well." Ben Bredeson and Tyre Phillips are the headliners, but there are some good UDFAs, too.
— Jonas Shaffer (@jonas_shaffer) August 22, 2020
The offensive line looks to be stabilizing with a few versatile pieces, including Phillips. Other notable mentions are Ben Bredeson and Will Holden, besides the expected stars. It’s not easy to replace a guy like Marshall Yanda, but Tyre Phillips might be able to help keep the line intact for another big season rushing.
The Ravens have had a productive training camp so far. The expectations are high for this talented team led by the league MVP. 2020 is an important season for the Ravens who have some major contracts to fulfill in the upcoming offseason. They will need some young players to step up if they want to make it to the Super Bowl.