When the Ravens wrapped up their selections for the 2015 draft class almost three months ago, the team brass was clearly satisfied.
"It we had imagined this draft beforehand, we'd be very, very excited," Assistant General Manger Eric DeCosta said at the time. "We got it, and it looks great on paper. But hopefully, it looks good in person, as well."
The expectations are high for the rookie class, and a handful of the young newcomers will be in competition for key roles when training camp practices begin next week.
Which rookie do you expect to make the biggest impact this season?
WR Breshad Perriman
The first-round pick entered the NFL with more fanfare around him than any of Baltimore's other rookies. He's a big-play threat who is the first receiver the Ravens have selected in the first round since 2005. Perriman has breakaway speed that can exploit defenses, and the Ravens envision him in that role after the departure of Torrey Smith in free agency. He'll have to beat out stiff competition in training camp to win a starting job, but he has all the tools to make a quick leap to the NFL.
TE Maxx Williams
The Ravens traded up in the second round to get Williams, who was the consensus top tight end in this year's class. With Dennis Pitta reportedly set to miss at least the first six games of the year, Williams likely has plenty of playing time in his immediate future. The Ravens use a significant number of double tight end sets, so Williams will have his share of opportunities alongside second-year tight end Crockett Gillmore. Quarterback Joe Flacco loves throwing to the tight ends, and that could benefit Williams.
DT Carl Davis
Davis made it known after getting taken in the third round that he wasn't happy about falling to the No. 90 overall pick. He's out to prove he deserved an earlier selection, and that chip on his shoulder could help make him an important piece of Baltimore's defensive line rotation. The Ravens need depth behind starters Brandon Williams and Timmy Jernigan, and Davis will be part of the group that has to replace perennial Pro Bowler Haloti Ngata.
CB Tray Walker
The small-school cornerback isn't in line for a big role off the bat, but last season proved Ozzie Newsome's mentality that "you can never have too many cornerbacks." The Ravens like Walker's potential, and he could end up in an important role if the injury bug strikes again in the secondary.
OLB Za'Darius Smith
The comparisons between Smith and his predecessor Pernell McPhee started as soon as the Ravens selected the former Kentucky pass rusher. That could be a good sign for Smith, as McPhee registered six sacks during his rookie campaign in 2011. The Ravens hope Smith can help offset the loss in pass-rushing production that left when McPhee departed, and he had plenty of bright spots during offseason practices.
RB Buck Allen
The fourth-round running back put up more than 2,000 total yards last season at USC, and he could be the top option behind starter Justin Forsett in the backfield. Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman has a history of utilizing running backs in the passing game, which plays to Allen's strengths as a receiving threat. Allen will push Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro for reps, and has a chance to carve out an important role for himself in the offense.