The Ravens' 2016 rookie minicamp began with a couple firsts, Head Coach John Harbaugh announced Saturday.
It was the first year that not one rookie (drafted, undrafted or tryout) missed a plane flight. It was also the first year that every single player passed the physical, which was so unexpected that the Ravens had to cut a couple players Friday to make room on the roster.
Baltimore's two-day rookie minicamp only went up from there. The Ravens had four up-tempo practices and plenty of work in the classroom.
"It's very competitive," Harbaugh said. "The tempo has been good. They're really quick learners."
Here are some quick observations from Friday's afternoon practice that was open to the media:
- First-round left tackle Ronnie Stanley had no problem clearing running lanes in the Ravens' 11-on-11 drills. Twice, Stanley collapsed the right side of the defensive line, opening big holes for running backs. Baltimore frequently ran outside to his side. Stanley shows quickness off the snap to wall off defenders.
- Second-round outside linebacker Kamalei Correa is explosive and powerful off the edge. He's lighter than Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, but when he decides to bull rush, he does it with force. Correa will spend much of the summer improving on his coverage. He had trouble on back-to-back reps in 1-on-1 coverage.
- Third-round defensive end Bronson Kaufusi didn't practice Saturday because of a back strain.
- Fourth-round cornerback Tavon Young caught Harbaugh's eye. Harbaugh said, "his speed has shown up – changing direction. He's had a good start, and I'm really impressed with what we've seen so far."
- Fourth-round wide receiver Chris Moore may have had the most impressive practice of any of the rookies. He's fast, polished and tough. His first catch in Friday's practice was on a long bomb, showing that playmaking knack from college, but he also looked smooth and quick in his routes. He once juked a safety to get open during 11-on-11 drills. On another play, he slipped on the wet turf and still made a tough, contested catch … from his back.
- Fourth-round offensive tackle Alex Lewis was moved to left guard, where he may get a chance to compete for the starting job. The 6-foot-6 Nebraska product is a big guy who looks to have that Midwestern toughness. Remember, Kelechi Osemele was a college left tackle who moved to guard.
- Fourth-round defensive tackle Willie Henry gets off the snap quickly and with power. He can be a handful for offensive linemen in the middle.
- Fourth-round running back Kenneth Dixon didn't practice because of a hamstring injury.
- Fifth-round outside linebacker Matt Judon could be a very effective interior pass rusher early in his career. His first step is impressive and he once powerfully knifed across the face of the right guard to get after the quarterback.
- It's evident that sixth-round wide receiver Keenan Reynolds is getting accustomed to playing a new position. Playing behind Moore in wide receiver drills, Reynolds doesn't have the same polish, which shouldn't be surprising considering he caught one pass in college. Reynolds dropped a couple passes but made other impressive snags. Harbaugh said he has natural hands and he can get in and out of routes. "Keenan is doing a heck of a job. It's definitely a transition. It's real," Harbaugh said. "He's a guy that has a lot of work to do, but he has the ability to pull it off."
- Sixth-round cornerback Maurice Canady has some sticky fingers. His ability to play the ball was clear during individual cornerback drills.
- Amongst the undrafted rookies, keep an eye out for inside linebacker Patrick Onwuasor, nicknamed "Peanut." The first-team All-Big Sky selection from Portland State was a safety in college who ranked second in the FCS last season with nine interceptions. He's a little small (6-foot-0, 213 pounds) for your typical inside linebacker, but good and physical in coverage. The question will be how he adjusts to run-stopping duties.