Ravens organized team activities are over and minicamp is just around the corner.
Here are my latest thoughts, all in 50 words or less:
The defense feasted in OTAs. One reporter joked Wednesday that defenders may have touched the ball as often as offensive players. While an exaggeration, it's true that the pass defense was suffocating in most practices so far, and notable considering the lack of contact. This secondary could be scary good.
It's great to see Marlon Humphrey practice all three weeks of OTAs and look back to form. It's also neat to hear how he's inspired by the 2000 Super Bowl Ravens’ defensive dominance. Baltimore's defensive pride was hurt last year and it's determined to bring it back.
Keep in mind, Marcus Peters isn't back yet and Kyle Fuller didn't join the team for OTA's. The safety depth is well documented but the cornerback depth looks strong with the additions of fourth-round rookies Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams. The rookies are confident and talented.
Armour-Davis' athleticism shines. He's fluid and fast, able to glue himself to targets. He oozes Alabama defensive prospect. Williams' feistiness jumps out, as he even clapped back at wide receiver Rashod Bateman Wednesday. After practice, "Pepe" told Pass Game Specialist Keith Williams he can't wait for more 1-on-1s.
Obviously, Lamar Jackson's expected presence at mandatory minicamp next week will tilt the balance of power in practice. Tyler Huntley and the Ravens' other quarterbacks have done well with the reps, but Jackson is clearly a game (and practice) changer. He'll give the offense a jolt.
The Ravens' reported tryout of Jason Pierre-Paul is another reminder that they aren't done tweaking this roster. Daelin Hayes has stood out in OTAs, but the Ravens still could use more help with two key pieces (Tyus Bowser and David Ojabo) on the mend. Expect a move at some point.
375: Daelin Hayes Joins The Lounge
Second-year outside linebacker Daelin Hayes has a golden opportunity to impress this offseason. He talks about his ambitions, a tough rookie year, the Kyle Hamilton pick and much more.
With Jackson expected back, minicamp will be the time for the young wide receivers to truly prove a veteran addition isn't needed. It's been a mixed bag so far. Bateman has had some drops, but big plays too. James Proche II ended Wednesday's practice with an impressive long 50/50 grab.
Kyle Hamilton will get his first sack ever this season. Hamilton is an inch taller and just 20 pounds lighter than Bowser. The rookie safety is a force coming off the edge with his physicality and speed. His leaping ability will also affect quarterbacks trying to throw around blitzes.
Props to Nick Boyle for his persistence in coming back from his knee injury. He personifies a Raven. Rookie tight ends Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely are intriguing but expect Boyle to still play a lot of snaps this year as the offense gets its ground game humming.
Reporters got a glimpse of J.K. Dobbins walking out to practice. He took balls off the Jugs machine and chatted with folks. There's been no update on Dobbins' timeline for return, but it's a reminder that the Ravens have a star waiting in the wings. A healthy return would be massive.
The decision to have a team bonding day on Friday, and to go to Arizona a couple days early for more of the same during the preseason, is a good one. After two years of COVID procedures, the players could use more time to get to know each other.