5 Absolute Studs So Far in Ravens Training Camp
While the Ravens have a had a bad run of luck in the injury department to start training camp, there's been some impressive standouts that deserve the spotlight.
As Head Coach John Harbaugh says, players need to stack plays, practices and eventually games before we can get too high on them. But with four days of practice in the books, here are five studs of camp so far:
1) Marlon Humphrey a Rookie in Name Only
The rookie is showing why General Manager Ozzie Newsome made him a first-round pick. Humphrey is composed, and has come up with attention-grabbing plays in practice. On Friday, he made two picks and another pair of pass breakups. On one interception, he made an impressive break on the ball along the sideline and jumped in front of Breshad Perriman (more on him below).
ESPN's Jamison Hensley says Humphrey is a rookie in name only.
"Marlon Humphrey should be entering his third collegiate season at Alabama," Hensley wrote. "But in terms of composure, you can't tell the difference between Humphrey and 10-year veteran Brandon Carr after the Baltimore Ravens first-round pick's third training camp practice. Humphrey displays a quiet confidence, whether it's jumping a route for an interception during team drills or holding his own when matched one-on-one with one of the fastest receivers in the NFL. Even this early in camp, Humphrey looks like he belongs at this level."
One of the highlights in camp so far was when Harbaugh put Humphrey and Perriman in a one-on-one battle in front of the entire team. Two young, talented thoroughbreds going at it was quite a sight.
2) Tim White Making Highlight Reel Catches … And Flips
Tim White, an undrafted rookie wide receiver out of Arizona State, put on a highlight reel of moves in Sunday night's practice at M&T Bank Stadium with nearly 27,000 fans in attendance.
No really, it was a highlight reel. I'll let these clips do the talking for the 5-foot-10, 175-pound speedy track star…
3) Tim Williams Showing Ozzie May Have Gotten a Draft Steal
It's always a good sign when a player in the trenches starts to pop when the pads go on. That's what happened with third-round pass rusher Tim Williams Saturday.
In pass-rushing drills, not only did Williams beat backup Stephane Nembot, but he also got the better of starting tackles Ronnie Stanley and James Hurst.
"Williams got around Hurst by simply beating him on an outside move," wrote Hensley. "He flew past Nembot so quickly on an inside move that Nembot never got a hand on him. The most impressive moment was when Williams got a great jump off the ball and went inside to get past Stanley, the No. 6 pick in last year's draft.
"Williams lasted until the No. 78 overall pick because of issues off the field. He was arrested on a misdemeanor gun charge in September, and he acknowledged that he failed multiple drug tests at Alabama. On the field, Williams was among the best pass-rushers in college football. He produced 19.5 sacks in his last two seasons for the Crimson Tide despite playing a situational role. Compare that to No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett, who totaled 21 sacks in his last two seasons."
4) Kamalei Correa Getting Picks and Flattening Backs
With Zachary Orr abruptly retiring in February and leaving a hole at inside linebacker next to C.J. Mosley, it's important for second-year player Kamalei Correa to inspire confidence that he can take over the starting role.
So far, so good.
Correa came up with picks on consecutive days Thursday and Friday, then absolutely leveled undrafted rookie running back Taquan Mizzel in the backfield Sunday night by anticipating the play.
5) Breshad Perriman and Jeremy Maclin Looking Good
This a two for one with Perriman and Maclin. There really hasn't been any negative talk about two receivers who figure to be X-factors in the offense this season.
"Jeremy Maclin looks the part," wrote The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec. "The Ravens' big offseason free-agent addition has quietly gone about his business the first couple of days of camp, but the wide receiver has certainly made an impression on the cornerbacks. Working in the middle of the field, Maclin badly beat Sheldon Price in a one-on-one matchup early in Saturday's practice and then a few minutes later, he easily got free from first-round pick Marlon Humphrey."
Are Ravens Looking at OT Austin Howard?
A veteran offensive tackle hit the free-agent market over the weekend.
Austin Howard confirmed he was released from the Oakland Raiders on Instagram Friday. He had shoulder surgery in January to fix an injury that plagued him last season.
"Back in 2014, the Oakland Raiders signed tackle Austin Howard to a five-year deal worth $30 million in hopes that he could anchor their high-powered offensive line from the right side," wrote NFL.com's Conor Orr. "Three years, a handful of injuries and a few personnel shufflings up front later, Howard is back on the market."
If healthy, and the Ravens are interested in his services, The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec could see why it would make a good fit.
Hensley: Ravens No Longer Interested in RGIII
Well, the RGIII chatter didn't last long.
Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti revealed in a fan forum Sunday night that the team had discussions about bringing in Robert Griffin III for a workout. But a few hours later, Hensley tweeted that won't happen.
"Robert Griffin III is no longer in play for Ravens," he wrote. Hensley didn't elaborate.
"The irony of it all of Griffin making his way to the Ravens would've been the fact that his career altering knee injury occurred during his rookie season against Baltimore on a hit by Haloti Ngata," wrote Baltimore Beatdown's Evan Mazza. "Griffin has been plagued by injuries and poor play which prompted the Redskins to bench him in favor of Colt McCoy and then Kirk Cousins."
Keep An Eye on Ryan Mallett
As the Ravens continue to mull whether to sign quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Bisciotti said the team is monitoring both Flacco's back injury and the play of backup Ryan Mallett.
Hensley says to keep an eye on Mallett after he threw at least five interceptions Friday.
"On his last interception, Mallett threw his white towel in the air," Hensley wrote. "His struggles were noticed by linebacker Terrell Suggs. 'Hey Marty [Mornhinweg, offensive coordinator], tell Mallett to throw to the guys wearing the purple jerseys [the offense],' Suggs said."
Meanwhile, the Great Kaepernick Decision is getting plenty of national play.