Much of the talk about the Ravens’ wide receiver corps has been the new pieces.
Baltimore drafted Marquise “Hollywood” Brown in the first round and Miles Boykin in the third. The Ravens signed Seth Roberts earlier this offseason and Michael Floyd last week.
But a returning receiver stole the show Thursday with Chris Moore making several impressive leaping catches during the third Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice. He’s fast, extremely smooth and has great hands.
In March, former Ravens wide receiver John Brown (now with the Buffalo Bills) called Moore the team’s best receiver. Whether that’s the case remains to be seen, but Moore is off to a good start.
Moore hasn’t caught 20 passes or topped 250 receiving yards yet in his three seasons. He’s made some of the most impressive catches of any receiver in his limited opportunities, however.
With so much competition and starting spots up for grabs in the Ravens’ offense this year, he could carve out a big role if he has a strong summer.
Here are some other observations from Thursday’s OTA practice, which was the first open to reporters:
- For all the talk about Lamar Jackson’s throwing, he had a strong day Thursday. He had good zip on his passes and was accurate at all levels of the field. He did miss some throws and there were a few wobbly passes that bothered him, but that will happen and he has time to iron them out. All-and-all, it was a good showing.
- The work that Jackson did in the offseason in Florida with Jordan Lasley seemed to pay off, as the two showed a bit of a connection. Jackson hit Lasley with a nice mid-range anticipatory throw to the sideline on one play.
- Undrafted rookie wide receiver Antoine Wesley (Texas Tech) had the flashiest catch of the day with a one-handed snag as he reached behind his body.
- Expect to see a lot more of Chris Board in Year 2, as the former undrafted rookie (North Dakota State) spent time rolling in with Kenny Young next to Patrick Onwuasor. With C.J. Mosley’s departure, the Ravens are looking for a run-stuffing inside linebacker.
- Speaking of Onwuasor, his voice was definitely apparent on the field. The defense is doing a ton of communicating, and was often very loud. The communication will be a work in progress without Mosley, Terrell Suggs and Eric Weddle around anymore, but it seems to be on the right track.
- Second-year defensive end Zach Sieler stood out on several occasions, including keeping Jackson contained on a rollout and batting down another pass. The 6-foot-6 seventh-round pick (Ozzie Newsome’s final pick) could end up replacing departed Brent Urban.
- Cornerback Marlon Humphrey had a very nice interception, leaping to make a nice play on the ball along the sideline. He picked off the pass by Robert Griffin III, then launched the ball in celebration. Humphrey is looking to get more picks this year.
- Outside linebacker Tyus Bowser was active off the edge, tipping one pass and nearly intercepting it, and looking good in coverage.
- New veteran outside linebacker Shane Ray passes the eye test. He’s huge and seemingly in great shape. Veteran Pernell McPhee also looks to be in good shape. Both were praised by Head Coach John Harbaugh.
- The practice basically ended with a game-on-the-line scenario crafted by Harbaugh. With the offense on the goal line, it trailed by six points with four seconds left. The offense won as Jackson zipped a pass into a tight window to running back Gus Edwards.
- Edwards had a strong day overall, showing he shouldn't be forgotten after the signing of Mark Ingram. After catching just two passes all last season, he hauled in more than that in Thursday's practice.