Aaron Mellette is in a familiar position.
After making the Ravens' 53-man roster out of training camp last season, the second-year receiver will once again be in a tight competition for a spot when camp opens next month. He's coming back from a knee injury that ended his rookie season, and he's out to prove he still can make an impact.
"It's open competition again," Mellette said. "I'm just going to go out there and have fun and just show everybody what I can do, just in case they forgot. It's been a long time from training camp throughout the whole season, so that's what I'm waiting for. I'm just ready to get that chance again."
Mellette, a seventh-round pick, won a job last season after an impressive training camp and preseason. His knee bothered him throughout the summer, but he still caught nine passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns in the preseason.
Mellette's knee worsened once the Ravens got into the regular season, and the team decided to put him on injured reserve after the opener against Denver.
"That sucked," Mellette said. "The Denver game, I was in tears. I knew I couldn't play, but I wanted to play. I could barely even run."
Mellette had surgery soon after his season ended, and he spent the year working his way back from the injury. He wasn't able to practice, but could still participate in meetings.
He has also been a consistent face at the Under Armour Performance Center throughout the offseason.
"I learned the different nuances of the game because I was still coming to the meetings," Mellette said. "I learned to just enjoy it every day because you never know when it can be taken."
Mellette is back on the practice field now, although he was sidelined during the first week of organized team activities because of some lingering soreness in his knee. He has been a full participant in recent practices open to the media, and has not shown any limitations in his ability to run or make cuts on the field.
"I'm getting there," Mellette said. "By the time training camp comes around, I'm going to be rocking and rolling and back to normal, and ready to make this team again."
Mellette is one of 12 receivers currently on the roster. More specifically, he's one of eight wideouts battling for what will likely be one or two roster spots. Torrey Smith, Steve Smith Sr., Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown are likely locks to make the team, and the Ravens generally carry between five and seven receivers on the 53-man squad.
Mellette is up against other receivers like Deonte Thompson, LaQuan Williams, Gerrard Sheppard and rookie Michael Campanaro for the final few spots.
"I think in any situation you always have to prove yourself. They're always going to bring in someone to replace you," Mellette said. "I feel good. My competitive nature, I don't think it comes second to anybody. That's going to drive me to be the best."