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50 Words or Less: Brandon Stephens Isn't Resting on Success

CB Brandon Stephens
CB Brandon Stephens

Another week of OTAs is in the books as the calendar flips to June.

Here are 10 thoughts on the Ravens as they continue building toward the 2024 season, all in 50 words or less:

Nobody needs to worry about Brandon Stephens resting on last year's laurels. He was Baltimore's most consistent cornerback in 2023 and plans to "take it up a notch." If that happens, Stephens could be headed for his first Pro Bowl.

Tre Swilling was on the practice squad last season but has sights on a bigger role. He's making an early bid for a roster spot as a backup safety. Switching from safety to corner worked for Stephens in 2023. Switching from corner to safety may work for Swilling.

Ar'Darius Washington and rookie Sanoussi Kane also had interceptions during practice this week. The competition for the No. 3 safety spot will be interesting whether the Ravens sign a veteran like Jamal Adams or not.

Ronnie Stanley has been a consistent presence at OTAs, and Head Coach John Harbaugh said the former All-Pro left tackle has looked good. This is a pivotal season for Stanley, and the first step for him is staying healthy while stacking practices. So far, so good.

Wide receiver Deonte Harty, who was signed this offseason, may become the Ravens' new returner, but Tylan Wallace's ability on special teams could be important again. Wallace's walk-off punt return against the Rams in overtime was one of the most memorable plays of last season.

Rookie cornerback Nate Wiggins is relishing the challenge of going against Zay Flowers and Rashod Bateman every day in practice. That head-to-head competition is only going to accelerate Wiggins' development. He's talented and looks supremely confident as a rookie.

Odafe Oweh looking strong during OTAs is another positive sign for Baltimore's defense. All-Pro defensive lineman Justin Madubuike is the favorite to lead the Ravens in sacks again, but Oweh could be his biggest challenger.

OLB Odafe Oweh

620: Takeaways From Ravens OTAs Week 2

Our insiders, Ryan Mink and Garrett Downing, talks about Lamar Jackson, Nate Wiggins' early impression, the safety battle heating up, a strong start for the linebackers, and more.

It was interesting to hear Isaiah Likely discuss how much Trenton Simpson is embracing his opportunity to take over as a starting inside linebacker next to Roquan Smith. Simpson is a second-year player who looks the part of a starter.

Patrick Queen is an excellent linebacker, but he benefitted from playing next to Smith, and so will Simpson. Smith is one of just six active linebackers with six straight 100-tackle seasons. His experience and range will help Simpson play faster.

Wide Receivers Coach Greg Lewis said rookie Devontez Walker has been soaking up information like a "sponge" in OTAs. Walker's big-play ability is already there, but becoming a more polished route runner could be the key to earning reps on Sundays.

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