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5 observations from Monday's OTA workout


5 observations from Monday's OTA workout

The Ravens wrap up their final week of voluntary OTAs this week, with the session on Monday being the last one open to the media. The team will be back on the field three more days this week, and then will hold a mandatory minicamp June 16-18.

A lot will still happen between now and Week 1 in September, but here are five impressions from Monday's workout:

* Crockett Gillmore shows off his hands

On back-to-back plays in a red zone drill, the tight end went over the top of linebacker Arthur Brown to haul in touchdown catches. He made several other good grabs as well. Gillmore had 10 catches for 121 yards and one touchdown in the regular season as a rookie last year, but with Dennis Pitta sidelined and Owen Daniels gone, Gillmore should be much bigger part of the offense this season.

* Matt Elam is on the rebound

Elam, whose 2014 season was a major disappointment, has been getting a lot of reps with the starters at safety. He, Will Hill and Kendrick Lewis all are in the mix, and after practice, defensive coordinator Dean Pees praised Elam as having his "best camp ... bar none, not even close." One of Elam's biggest issues last season was tackling, and it's hard to see whether that has improved until contact is allowed. Still, the Ravens would greatly benefit from an improved Elam.

* Breshad Perriman is living up to billing

Perriman made a leaping touchdown catch in traffic yesterday, and his combination of size (6-foot-2) and speed is impressive. Drops have been an issue for Perriman in the past, but you wouldn't know it from watching OTA drills. Thus far, Perriman has caught pretty much all the balls he should catch. He's also made some nice adjustments on less-than-perfect throws to haul in catches.

* Who is the No. 3 corner?

Jimmy Smith took part in just some light individual work on Monday, and Lardarius Webb skipped the voluntary OTA session. That left Asa Jackson, Kyle Arrington and Rashaan Melvin all getting a lot of work in the prototypical corner spot, matched up 1-on-1 outside against a receiver. But both Jackson and Arrington are better suited to play inside as a slot/nickel corner. If either Webb or Smith goes down this season, who takes over on the outside?

* Matt Schaub still finds the wrong team too often

The Ravens like having a proven NFL quarterback behind Joe Flacco, but Schaub can't seem to avoid the interception. Za'Darius Smith had what would have been a pick-six against Schaub in an earlier OTA, and on Monday, reserve cornerback Quinton Pointer grabbed a tipped pass and could have scored on the return as well. Schaub might have the NFL experience, but there is a big dropoff from Joe Flacco to him.



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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst


Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 


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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."