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What to watch at Ravens training camp August 7

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What to watch at Ravens training camp August 7

OWINGS MILLS -- Here’s the buzz surrounding the Ravens heading into Friday’s training camp practice at 1 p.m.:

1. Will Hill seems very comfortable as the starting strong safety.

Few if any Ravens are having a better camp than Hill. He’s in great shape, covering more ground in pass coverage, and he remains the most physical member of the secondary, delivering big hits to ball carriers. The offensive line was a question mark heading into 2014, but it became one of the Ravens’ strengths. It’s conceivable that could happen with the secondary this season, if Hill, safety Kendrick Lewis, and corners Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb all stay healthy.

2. The battle at No. 2 running back between Lorenzo Taliaferro and Buck Allen is close.

They have different styles. Taliaferro runs with more power between the tackles, while Allen is more fluid and runs taller. However, it’s hard not to be impressed with how Allen catches the ball on pass routes. Justin Forsett is going to get the majority of work, but anytime Forsett needs a break, both Taliaferro and Allen should be more than capable.

3. Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan looks very ready for an expanded role. 

Jernigan only played 12 games and 330 snaps last season, yet still had four sacks. I think he could double that sack total this season. Jernigan isn’t the run stopper Haloti Ngata is, but Jernigan’s quickness in camp practices is eye-opening for a player his size. Opposing quarterbacks will be aware of Jernigan this season. If he stays healthy and maintains his stamina over 17 weeks, Jernigan could have a huge year.

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

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USA TODAY Sports

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."

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