50 Words or Less: 10 Thoughts Heading Into Organized Team Activities

OLB Daelin Hayes

Various thoughts on Ravens Organized Team Activities (which begin Tuesday) in 50 words or less:

The Ravens have been happy to see how much work Lamar Jackson has been putting in this offseason. As soon as he was healthy enough, he was back on the field throwing with his mechanics coach. Now coaches and teammates are eager to see him join the team.

All the attention will be on the team's young wide receivers Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, James Proche II and Tylan Wallace. It will be their first chance to show they can carry the load. While I am a believer, let's also not forget this is shorts and T-shirts time.

Duvernay will specifically need to show that he can be a deep speed threat this offseason. Bateman can make big plays, but he's not known for being a pure burner. Duvernay isn't either yet, and seeing him try to get overtop Marcus Williams and the defense will be fun.

This is key for Nick Boyle to show he can get back to his previous form. Boyle is now a year-and-a-half removed from his serious knee injury. If he's participating in OTAs and moving well, that's a good sign that the mauling tight end blocker can be a factor again.

The best competition of the summer may be at left guard (again). It's tough to handicap who the leader is going into OTAs between Patrick Mekari, Ben Cleveland, Tyre Phillips and Ben Powers. There's an argument to be made for each. Health/availability will be a big factor this summer.

Another offensive lineman to watch is Ja'Wuan James, who is looking to return to game action for the first time since 2019. James practiced down the stretch of last season but didn't suit up for Sunday. Will he be called upon to fill in for rehabbing left tackle Ronnie Stanley?

This is a critical summer for Malik Harrison, the third-year linebacker and former third-round pick. He only had one defensive snap last year after returning from his bullet wound and now Baltimore has signed Vince Biegel, who is nearly the exact same size, to compete for the same versatile role.

Don't forget about second-year outside linebacker Daelin Hayes. He showed good explosion and a nifty dip move to turn the corner in practices last offseason. Injuries derailed his rookie year, but if he continues to develop he could carve out a role this summer in a unit that needs reinforcements.

Brandon Stephens is presumably moving back to cornerback this year considering all the depth the Ravens have at safety and the need for more corner depth. It's another transition for the former college running back and this is the start of seeing whether he can hang in the slot.

Under Head Coach John Harbaugh's continued injury-prevention plan, this year's OTAs may look even a little more watered down in true "action" than years past. Baltimore's first order of business is to come out of this healthy. Expect a lot of work on the fundamentals as they build up.

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