The Ravens held their first open practice of the offseason Thursday as they hit the field for Organized Team Activities (OTAs).
The players aren’t in full pads yet and the practices are not full contact, but the two-hour session still provides a glimpse of where the team is at this point of the year.
“It was a fast practice,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “It was about as sharp as it could be at this point.”
Here some of the news and notes of the day:
- Cornerback Tavon Young looks like he’s back to form after suffering a torn ACL during last year’s OTAs. He had no restrictions during practice and was working full-speed during 11-on-11 drills. He came up with a nice diving interception during practice on a pass that hit off the hands of rookie tight end Mark Andrews. Young’s teammates swarmed him after the diving pick.
- Rookie wide receiver Jaleel Scott flashed at points during practice. The 6-foot-5 target is physically impressive, and he showed that he could be dangerous near the end zone. He was a popular target during red-zone drills, and his size makes him a mismatch problem for opposing defenses.
- Running back Kenneth Dixon looks to have a good burst after missing all of last season with a knee injury. Harbaugh said that Dixon has knocked off the rust throughout the offseason and this week was a good step forward for him. He looked like he was going to compete for the starting job last year before the injury, and he’s again showing off his potential in practice.
- Wide receiver Michael Crabtree made one of the nicest plays of the day when he pulled down a fade route from quarterback Joe Flacco for a touchdown. Crabtree leapt over Young to make the snag in the corner of the end zone, and it was a glimpse of what the Ravens hope to see from their new veteran receiver.
- Flacco had a strong practice and it’s clear that he’s going to be the starting quarterback this fall. He throws a perfect spiral and is still the veteran leader of the offense, even with all the excitement about drafting Lamar Jackson in the first round. Jackson also flashed his skills at times during practice. He leaves defenders in the dust when he takes off from the backfield, and that’s an impressive addition to the position.
- Robert Griffin III also had a strong day at quarterback. He zipped several passes through tight traffic and he is one of the few players on the team who can match Jackson’s speed. Griffin is a remarkable athlete who almost looks like he’s gliding as he runs.
- Cornerback Marlon Humphrey looks ready to take another step in his development. He runs step-for-step with any receiver he covers, and he locked down veteran addition Willie Snead a few times on the day.
- First-round tight end Hayden Hurst saw plenty of targets come his direction. Hurst caught most of the passes thrown his way, but safety Tony Jefferson did break up one of the passes to remind the rookie about coming over the middle in the NFL.
- The Ravens had strong attendance during the voluntary practice. Linebacker C.J. Mosley didn’t practice because of a small tweak and wide receiver John Brown missed practice because of a family issue. Veteran safety Eric Weddle and linebacker Terrell Suggs didn’t practice, but they have participated in workouts throughout the offseason.