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50 Words or Less: Best Roster in a While. Time to See It in Action

WR Odell Beckham Jr.
WR Odell Beckham Jr.

1. Head Coach John Harbaugh said he expects full attendance at mandatory minicamp. That means the arrivals of Odell Beckham Jr., J.K. Dobbins, Ronnie Stanley, Kevin Zeitler and Tyus Bowser. On paper, this is Baltimore's best roster in a while. Time to see what it looks like on the field.

2. Here's the debate on the roster strength. The 2019 team that went 14-2 was loaded. It had more depth at corner, Matthew Judon on the edge, and a stacked offensive line. This year's roster is far better at wide receiver and inside linebacker, and stronger on the defensive line.

3. The Ravens are No. 9 on ESPN's ranking of teams' top five core players. Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews, Marlon Humphrey, Roquan Smith, and Stanley made the cut. Justin Tucker and Marcus Williams could've made it too, and if OBJ returns to form, Baltimore has even more star power.

4. This is a key time for Jackson to bond with OBJ and continue his development in Todd Monken's offense. The Jackson-to-OBJ connection will be pivotal for the Ravens' 2023 fortunes. The two already seem to vibe off the field. Now it's time to see their chemistry on it.

5. We'll see if Beckham goes full speed in his first practice since his Super Bowl injury. Same goes for Rashod Bateman with his foot rehab. Zay Flowers is expected back after a soft-tissue tweak. We may not get a full glimpse of the remade wide receiver corps just yet.

6. Despite Dobbins’ tweets about his future, I expect him to be his gregarious self at the Under Armour Performance Center. Dobbins has always worn his emotions on his sleeve. He's also always been a guy who loves football, loves his teammates, and loves performing. He'll be ready to roll.

7. The practice return of Dobbins, and potentially Gus Edwards, will remind us that running the ball remains a pillar of Baltimore offense, regardless of coordinator. I'm bullish on the prospects of a healthy Dobbins, in a contract year, shredding defenses that can't devote so much attention to stopping the run.

8. The arrival of Stanley and Zeitler will bring into focus how good this year's offensive line could be. Four of the five starters are returning. Stanley is in position to have his first full year since 2019. Tyler Linderbaum continues to improve. Left guard is the only question mark.

9. With full attendance and the intensity of practices turned up at minicamp, the front office will evaluate whether any weak spots remain and where additions may need to be made before training camp kicks off at the end of July. Eric DeCosta watches every practice.

As the Ravens wrap up OTAs, here are 15 players who stood out during workouts.

Clifton Brown Staff Writer

10. In my estimation, there are only two starting jobs up for grabs. There's left guard, which Harbaugh said will be "quite a fight" primarily between John Simpson, Ben Cleveland, and Daniel Faalele. The other is No. 3 cornerback. There's depth, but who's first up after Humphrey and Rock Ya-Sin?

11. The Ravens didn't get the look at Jalyn Armour-Davis or Pepe Williams, two promising sophomore cornerbacks fighting for larger roles, they would have liked during OTAs. They appeared to be sidelined by minor injuries. Hopefully they're back on the field for minicamp because they need the reps.

12. The pass rusher market is heating up. Leonard Floyd (Buffalo) and Frank Clark (Denver) found new homes this week. There are reports of NFL trade interest in Vikings pass rusher Danielle Hunter. One has to think the time for Justin Houston to sign somewhere, potentially in Baltimore, is nearing.

13. While I ultimately expect the Ravens to add another veteran outside linebacker, the progress David Ojabo and Odafe Oweh showed during OTAs indicated that the pass rush situation isn't dire. Bowser's practice debut will also improve the outlook. New Outside Linebackers Coach Chuck Smith is elevating the group.

14. Barring injury, Nelson Agholor probably won't catch more than 40 passes this season because of all the other targets around him. However, expect Agholor to have a few plays in the Ravens' 2023 end-of-season highlight package. With that athleticism, it's easy to see why he was a first-round pick.

15. DeAndre Hopkins has visits lined up with the Titans and Patriots. Since signing OBJ and drafting Flowers, the Ravens' prospects of adding "Nuk" seemed unlikely. Landing somewhere other than Cleveland would be good enough for me, though the Ravens would see Hopkins in London if he signs with Tennessee.

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