Takeaways From Film Session on Ravens Rookies

WR Rashod Bateman

For the second straight year, Ravens Director of Player Personnel Joe Hortiz put reporters through a film session on the team's draft picks.

It's an interesting event in which Hortiz uses a handful of plays (he narrowed it down to eight today) to explain what the Ravens' scouts and coaches liked about each player and why they were selected.

Much of what is said is off the record because the Ravens don't want to divulge too much of their thinking when it comes to scouting, but Hortiz took questions after the film breakdown to go into more detail on some players.

Here are some of the takeaways from the film session and the Q&A with Hortiz afterwards:

WR Rashod Bateman

Bateman's suddenness in his route-running and ability to set up defenders made him stand out. Bateman really flashed his ability to get in and out of his breaks during his Pro Day, where Hortiz had a front-row seat. Hortiz also showed the array of different tactics Bateman uses to create separation and wide-open throwing lanes for his quarterback.

Hortiz: "When you watch his film, he's really just a polished [receiver] and I tried to show it on some of those routes where he's coming across the middle and he's bending underneath, the safety closing in. You get excited about that, certainly. But when you saw the suddenness [at his Pro Day] … you really felt it – his ability to really just get in-and-out and show that twitch and strength that can transition into the burst and explosion."

"It's just really the level of polish and development the player has. We talk about running the stem, and I mentioned using the stem to influence the [defensive back]. There's some players that are just not at that level yet and haven't been developed yet. I think one of the things that really stood out about Rashod is his safety awareness. And that's really critical, I think, for receivers to find success early is just overall awareness of the defense and what the defense is doing to him pre-snap, during the play, post-snap when everything is moving, when bodies are moving – to be able to process that. I think he can do that pretty well with his instincts and his feel. And that's more advanced, certainly."

OLB Odafe Oweh

While Oweh didn't have any sacks last season, he certainly created pressure. On one play, in which he nearly decapitated the quarterback, Oweh hit him a fraction of a second late and the ball fluttered into the air and was picked off. That's a prime example of how pressure (not just sacks) matters. Oweh dominated at times, including against Indiana where he was in the backfield nearly the entire game. Hortiz also showed some examples of why he's such a strong run defender, largely because of his strength and technique. For being relatively new to the spot (five years), he often lands his punch in the right place.

Hortiz: "There's no doubt he's speed – he has speed. But his rush is really a power, bend, hands, just core – and he's got the speed. That's where we've got to develop with him – using that speed and developing it even further. Because right now … And the way Penn State plays, they do a lot of read [and] run, [then] convert to pass. That's a lot of what we do, and that fits us."

G Ben Cleveland

While Cleveland's mountainous size is what first stands out, he's pretty nimble on his feet, too. That's important because the Ravens ask their guards to pull a lot in their run-heavy scheme. Cleveland also showed good awareness to pick up different blitzes and stay active in pass protection.

Hortiz: "When you watch Ben, you watch him move. You watch him pull. I only put one pull on there, but heck, I was at his workout, again, watching him run at [357] pounds running a 5.01 [40-yard dash]. Pulling is not going to be an issue for him, because he can bend his knees, he can get out of his stance and he has quick [feet]. So, it's just really adjusting to the left side, which so far, he's looked pretty good at. I really don't think … It's really right hand down, left hand, and then you're just going [in the] opposite direction. So much of guard play is really about staying square and sliding, which you do at either position. Obviously, the angles are a little different coming off the ball, but I think that's something that guys can adjust to pretty easily."

CB Brandon Stephens

Stephens has an alluring package of size, length, feet, instincts and awareness. Though he's only been playing the position for two years after converting from running back, he sniffed out a screen extremely quickly and did well passing off defenders in coverage (once leading to an athletic interception).

Hortiz: "You watch his physicality, and then you just watch his natural athleticism and ball skills and ball production and strength. Yes, there is some work that's going to need to be done because of limited time on the job, but the work that he has done and what he's shown us is exciting. So, yes, there's a risk/reward for every player, but he's not a raw, fundamentally raw player; he just lacks the experience. And then just the temperament, the effort with which he plays, and the production he's put out there on film, that kind of makes it exciting. We feel like there's going to be a process of him developing, but a process of him developing into a good player."

WR Tylan Wallace

Toughness is what stands out with Wallace. Hortiz showed a couple of instances when the fourth-round receiver was searching to hit somebody, particularly early in a game to set the tone. Wallace drives through defenders to pick up extra yards when he could just step out of bounds. He is also so adept at making contested catches. The Ravens expect him to be a good blocker and immediate special teams contributor.

CB Shaun Wade

Fifth-round cornerback Shaun Wade's incredible length will be a major asset. It gives him an unusually good ability to reach around defenders and get to the ball for pass deflections.

Hortiz: "He didn't have a great [2020] year to Ohio State's standards and certainly to his standards. He didn't have a bad year, either. He had a couple bad games while he was dealing with [an] injury. So, what we're excited about is you look at his film as a nickel, and you look at the size and the speed and the potential of the player and the ball skills, and you say, 'Hey, this is a guy that has talent that we can work with and develop, and he has inside [and] outside flexibility.' That's what gets you excited. Hopefully, he comes in and just stays hungry and driven and builds off of what he's done and continues to grow."

OLB Daelin Hayes

Hayes is very physical on the edge, mauling tight ends who try to block him and using power to get into the backfield. If he does a better job finishing, his sack totals will improve.

TE/FB Ben Mason

Mason is not a traditional isolating fullback coming out of the backfield. His versatility is one of his greatest strengths. He never loses contact as a blocker and has strong technique. One clip of a receiving touchdown from last season shows that, even though he was hardly ever used in that role (three career catches), he's proficient. Mason made an impressive leap for the pylon to score.

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