As we await the start of training camp, here are three returning Ravens whose careers are trending up, compared to a year ago:
Zachary Orr, ILB:
He has a legitimate chance to start for the first time, with the departure of Daryl Smith to the Buccaneers.
Orr won’t be handed a starting job, and he’s unlikely to be an every-down player. But as an undrafted player in 2014, Orr has a chance to play more snaps than ever, in addition to keeping his role on special teams.
Dennis Pitta, TE:
Celebrating his 31st birthday on Wednesday (June 29), Pitta’s attempted comeback from a second serious hip injury will continue when camp opens.
Pitta was moving very well during non-contact OTA’s, and it was impossible to tell he had not seen game action since 2014. Making it through training camp and the preseason will be another hurdle. But Pitta believes he will be on the field Week 1, and seems determined to prove it to everyone else.
John Urschel, G:
After spending part of the summer working on his Ph.D in mathematics at MIT, Urschel hopes to win the starting job at left guard during camp.
The departure of Kelechi Osemele to the Raiders during free agency leaves a hole on the offensive line that needs to be filled. Osemele is bigger and more physical than Urschel, but Urschel played well as a backup the past two seasons.
We already know Urschel is smart enough to start. He can prove he’s good enough to start by winning a competition with Ryan Jensen and rookie Alex Lewis during camp.