During a lengthy practice in pads, rookie corners Pepe Williams and Jalyn Armour-Davis provided sticky coverage on a hot day.
It was an impressive practice for the two fourth-round draft picks who are battling to be part of the rotation behind Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters.
Early in practice, Williams made a nice interception after he tracked down a deep pass from Lamar Jackson that was intended for undrafted rookie Makai Polk. Williams used his speed on that play, then later in practice he displayed his leaping ability, going high to break up a pass intended for 6-foot-2 Robert Jackson. Williams is 5-foot-10, but doesn't back down from anyone. He was animated after breaking up the pass intended for Polk and received congrats from several defensive players.
Williams used his speed on that play, then later in practice he displayed his leaping ability, going high to break up a pass intended for 6-foot-5 Devon Williams. Pepe Williams is 5-foot-10, but doesn't back down from anyone. He was animated after breaking up the pass intended for Polk and received congrats from several defensive players.
Armour-Davis had two breakups in pass coverage and continued to make wide receivers work hard to get open. There's a lot of competition for playing time at cornerback with Kyle Fuller, Brandon Stephens and others in the mix. But with Stephens not practicing Wednesday, Williams and Armour-Davis took advantage of extra reps.
Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald was impressed with the way they competed on a hot day when several players were cramping up.
"The beautiful thing about camp is that the cream rises to the top," Macdonald said. "Everyone's in competition right now, but the rookies are doing a good job. Jalyn is doing a nice job, so is 'Pepe', you saw him make a play there at the end. It's just a day-by-day process, but you're right, we're trying to create as many situations where we can evaluate them and see who rises to the top."
Here are other observations from the most grueling practice of camp so far:
- Rookie safety Kyle Hamilton departed practice about 30 minutes before it ended, slowly walking off the field after taking a hard fall while breaking up a pass. Whatever was bothering Hamilton did not appear serious, but it was a physically demanding day and he took plenty of reps before leaving.
- Lamar Jackson had a strong day throwing the ball, with Rashod Bateman and Mark Andrews his favorite targets. Personal quarterback coach Adam Dedeaux was at practice for the second straight day.
- Marcus Williams broke up two passes early in practice, including a nice deflection away from intended receiver Tylan Wallace. Showing the ball skills that made him highly-covered during free agency, Williams made a quick burst to the ball and slapped the ball away before Wallace ever had a chance to catch it.
- Newly-signed running back Corey Clement showed nice burst while knifing through traffic on several runs. The preseason will help sort out the logjam at running back, but Clement is in the mix.
- Rookie tight end Isaiah Likely had another strong day, getting free from Hamilton for several catches during 1-on-1 matchups. Likely has become a friendly target for quarterbacks.