Various thoughts on various things, all in 50 words or less:
Yes, the Ravens' front office has given Lamar Jackson more varied receiving options, but after watching OTA and minicamp practices, I think it's a lock that Mark Andrews will still be among the quarterback's foremost targets. The fourth-year tight end was endlessly open and caught, oh, about a thousand passes.
The enduring connection between Jackson and Andrews emphasizes the importance of signing Andrews to a contract extension securing his future with the Ravens beyond 2021. A handful of other players are in the same contractual boat, but Jackson-to-Andrews is truly a core piece of how the Ravens plan to win.
The Ravens have to love what they're seeing from their top draft pick of 2021, who displays a veteran's poise and confidence. It's revealing that cornerback Marlon Humphrey told General Manager Eric DeCosta, "I think we got a pretty good one," after covering Rashod Bateman for a month in practice.
The league and the players' union sent a powerful message with those protocols for the 2021 season. Basically, vaccinated players can return to the life they knew before COVID-19 while players who aren't vaccinated will remain in pandemic mode. After enduring 2020, both sides desperately and understandably want players vaccinated.
If you can trust what happens in spring practices, Sammy Watkins is on his way to carving out a major role. He practiced energetically, ran sharp routes and caught tons of passes from Jackson and others – looking, as advertised, like he knows how to be a productive NFL receiver.
J.K. Dobbins runs with the starting offense and clearly is option No. 1 at running back, but I wouldn't label Gus Edwards a backup as much as option No. 1-A. The Ravens didn't give Edwards that nice contract with the idea of him being on the sidelines for long stretches.
Tavon Young only participated in light drills during minicamp, but the fact that he was on the field, in uniform, was a positive development. The Ravens were smart to bring in several candidates for his slot corner job if he can't go, but a healthy Young is the best option.
Interesting to see 34-year-old offensive tackle Andre Smith back in uniform and taking practice reps after he opted out of the 2020 season. He is largely forgotten and seemingly a longshot to make the roster, but with 98 career starts, has far more experience than every other reserve O-line candidate.
I don't know how long Calais Campbell with play for the Ravens, but his impact will continue past his final snap. He is all but attached at the hip with Justin Madubuike during individual drills in practice and never stops showing the second-year D-lineman the finer points of their position.
Funny that Campbell is just six years younger than his position coach, Anthony Weaver, the team's D-line coach and run-game coordinator, who looks like he could still play. Weaver, 40, was drafted by the Ravens in 2002 and was still an active player when Campbell was a rookie in 2008.