As we countdown to training camp, Clifton Brown and Bo Smolka will take turns putting 25 key Ravens under the microscope this month.
They’ll speculate on a best-case, worst-case scenario for at least one player every day. They’ll begin with players looking to carve out a role, or a roster spot. They’ll end with the Ravens’ most important players, concluding with quarterback Joe Flacco on July 25.
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE - Keenan Reynolds, rookie wide receiver
Reynolds is the starting punt returner and a contributor as a slot receiver.
Why it could happen:
Reynolds has been working diligently to make the transition from Navy quarterback to NFL receiver/return specialist, and no one should question his work ethic or resolve. Ravens special teams coach Jerry Rosburg converted Josh Cribbs from a college quarterback to a standout NFL returner, so he's been through this before. In OTAs and minicamp, Reynolds showed good hands and instincts as a returner. Reynolds makes people miss and creates big plays when he gets the ball in space, which is how he racked up an NCAA record 88 touchdowns in his Navy career. Another factor in Reynolds favor: One of his top competitors figures to be Michael Campanaro, who once again was slowed by injuries this spring.
Reynolds fails to make the transition and is cut
Why it could happen:
It's a huge adjustment for Reynolds to convert from NCAA triple option quarterback to NFL receiver, and he doesn't have a whole lot of time to do it. The Ravens wide receiver group is deep, and as a former college quarterback, Reynolds' experience in route running and receiving lags well behind his competitors. Reynolds will probably be among five or six receivers battling for that final receiver roster spot. The Ravens could decide Reynolds was worth a sixth-round pick but not quite there in terms of progress. Ideally, in that case, the Ravens would like to stash Reynolds on the practice squad and continue his adjustment to the NFL that way, but it's also very possible he'd be snatched up by another team.