Progress Report: Class of '09

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Now that the Ravens have broken their three-day rookie camp, the Class of 2009 has slightly more than a month before their first NFL training camp begins in late July.

How did they do?

A full rookie report card shouldn't be available until the prospects have been in the league three years, but judging from Day 1 to this point, will the Ravens get some positive returns on their investments into their six draft picks?

Here are updates on the progress of these fledgling Ravens:

Round 1: OT Michael Oher (6-foot-4, 312 pounds)

Oher immediately stepped in as the first-string right tackle and never looked back. The 23rd-overall selection has seen a ton of reps all offseason, playing opposite left tackle Jared Gaither with the starters, and then switching sides with the second team.

Built like a bigger tight end, Oher displayed superb mobility against even the best Ravens pass rushers. He is also physical and strong, two qualities needed in a top-flight right tackle.

"I have the same mindset for every pass rusher," Oher said, showing confidence already. "My plan is to put myself in the best situation to win every single one-on-one play. I work hard. It doesn't matter who the defender is – I try to bring my 'A' game every snap."

Coaches will say that Oher is still competing for a starting position, especially since Adam Terry has been limited by injury (knee) in each minicamp, but it would not surprise anyone if Oher holds on to his spot by the time training camp wraps.

Round 2: LB/DE Paul Kruger (6-foot-4, 265 pounds)

With Terrell Suggs staying away from Baltimore because he hasn't yet signed his franchise tender, Kruger got the starting nod at outside linebacker. It seemed to take Kruger some time to adjust to the speed and type of athlete he'll face at the NFL level, but he settled down as the spring progressed.

"Everybody here was an outstanding player in college, so you realize how fast everyone is going and the tempo of the game," he admitted. "It's amazing. What you're dealing with is somewhat overwhelming at times, but I'm getting the hang of it."

Kruger will be a boon to the Ravens' pass defense, offering a high-energy complement to the speedy Antwan Barnes as Baltimore's backup rushers.

Round 3: DB Lardarius Webb (5-foot-10, 180 pounds)

Webb may be smallish, but it's obvious that he is very tough and not afraid to mix it up with a bigger receiver. After excelling at Southern Miss and Nicholls State at safety, he is making the transition to cornerback, which he said has been a work in progress.

"You can be more of a ballhawk and fly around the field at safety," Webb stated. "But when you're a corner, it's a lot of technique. I'm learning every day."

Webb is also a major threat with the ball, and his comfort fielding punts and quickly accelerating upfield opened some reporters' eyes at rookie camp.

Round 4: LB Jason Phillips (6-foot-1, 240 pounds)

Phillips is an enigma thus far because his first practice work came this week due to a knee injury he suffered in February. He has been relentlessly rehabbing the injury, but even when he did line up on defense, there was still a slight limp in his gait.

Still, Phillips was a tackling machine in college, and the Ravens always covet players with a nose for the ball. He may start the year on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

Round 5: TE Davon Drew (6-foot-4, 260 pounds)

Drew could see even more time than anticipated this year if fellow tight ends Todd Heap (back) and L.J. Smith (groin) cannot fully recover from their injuries.

A reformed quarterback, Drew is athletically gifted at his position and possesses a good knowledge of the game. Even though Heap and Smith haven't been practicing, they have been aiding Drew's development.

"When you're just around those guys, you can only get better by soaking up their knowledge," Drew said. "I look up to those guys. Anytime I have a question or something, they help me out, or they just come up and give me pointers."

If Drew can show that he can contribute on special teams, he might earn an active roster spot.

Round 6: RB Cedric Peerman (5-foot-9, 220 pounds)

The Ravens have not kept their final draft picks in recent years, but Peerman has a shot for the final 53 because of Baltimore's depth situation at running back. Peerman has looked shifty and fast during practices, but he must demonstrate that he can be a special teamer, as well.

It may come down to whether the Ravens like Peerman (or one of the other free agent running backs in the locker room, such as Matt Lawrence and Jalen Parmele) or want to keep a fullback (undrafted free agent Jason Cook).

"I'm happy playing special teams my whole career, if I never get a carry at running back," Peerman said. "It's always been a dream just to play in the NFL. I'm happy to be a Raven." 

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