Mailbag: Which Undrafted Wide Receiver Is Standing Out Most?

(From left to right) WR Shemar Bridges, WR Makai Polk, & WR Slade Bolden

Mink: Nobody has separated from the pack so far. Each are taking turns making plays in practice. Shemar Bridges made a lot of plays in OTAs and minicamp, and he's had his moments in training camp as well. Your guy, Slade Bolden, made a spectacular diving touchdown grab in practice earlier this week, despite defensive pass interference. Makai Polk has hauled in a fair number of passes over the past several days. The Ravens clearly felt like a big-bodied wide receiver would round out their receiver unit (they brought in several at 6-foot-2 or above), so that would suggest that Bridges or Polk would have a leg up in the competition. But at the end of the day, I think the fifth wide receiver spot will go to whoever offers the most on special teams and stands out the most in preseason games.

I also wouldn't forget about Jaylon Moore and Binjimen Victor when it comes to the fifth receiver spot. They aren't undrafted rookies anymore, but both have stood out in practice over the past week. Moore has arguably been the most consistent performer in the wide receiver competition throughout the summer.

Downing: Mekari has done well since stepping in for Linderbaum when the rookie went down with a foot issue. The snaps looked on target and there wasn't a major noticeable change to how the line held up in practice. Keep in mind that Mekari has started plenty of games in his career, including at center, so he's a highly capable backup. The Ravens have confidence in Mekari to back up every spot along the offensive line, and that versatility helped him earn the contract extension last year. The hope is that Linderbaum only misses a week or two of practice (Head Coach John Harbaugh said this week that nothing has changed with his timeline) but Mekari can certainly hold his own if he gets thrust into the starting lineup.

Mink: The Ravens are a little thin at outside linebacker now and I do expect they will bring somebody in to compete for a roster spot. It's not going to be a high-priced move, but probably along the lines of a cap-friendly veteran who has some experience – somebody like Vince Biegel. I would be throwing darts if I tried to pull a name for you.

Biegel was playing well in camp and I think he would have made the team as a SAM linebacker. Right now, Tyus Bowser is the projected starting SAM and he's still working his way back from injury. That leaves Daelin Hayes as the top fully healthy SAM. While I like Hayes, the Ravens probably need more depth. It is a chance for undrafted rookie Jeremiah Moon to step up and push to make the 53-man roster.

Downing: For players having quiet training camps, they could find themselves in trouble if they are competing for roster spots. The competition is stiff for the final spots on this roster, and the coaches are looking for players to stand out over the course of training camp. Preseason games will play a big part in that assessment, so players who've had quiet camps can quickly make up ground if they shine in preseason action. Another point to consider is the position that's being assessed. An interior offensive or defensive lineman may not get much buzz in camp because it's more difficult to tell what's happening in the trenches at practice, but the coaches can get a better sense of how those players perform when watching the practice tape.

An important note on this question is that this really only applies to the young players competing for roles. Veteran players often have quiet camps because they may not take as many practice reps and they know the process of getting their bodies ready for the season. Calais Campbell is a good example of that, but I'm not worried at all about Campbell being ready to have a big season for this defense.

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