Three Ravens Whose Stocks Are Up in Training Camp
After four days of training camp, early judgment has been cast on players and their progress. The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec and The Baltimore Sun’s Jonas Shaffer both gave stock reports and saw similar players up after the first week.
“During the one-on-one period in Friday’s practice, Bateman shook Ravens top cornerback, Marlon Humphrey, with such a smooth curl route that it produced gasps from the fans watching nearby,” Zrebiec wrote. “There’s a ton of pressure on Bateman this year to lead a young and unproven receiving corps, but it doesn’t seem to be bothering him. He consistently made plays in all areas on the field and cut out the drops that were happening too often in minicamps. The 2021 first-round pick has a no-nonsense and business-like demeanor and the way he competes in practice is similar to tight end Mark Andrews’ tireless approach.”
“The 2021 first-round pick has lived up to expectations in his first camp as the Ravens’ top wide receiver, quieting concerns about his readiness as a replacement for Marquise “Hollywood” Brown,” Shaffer wrote. “Those inconsistent hands he showed in offseason workouts? Not a problem in camp. Field-stretching speed? Bateman caught up to a nearly 50-yard bomb Saturday down the right sideline. Consistency? ‘He does the same thing every practice,’ Harbaugh said Saturday.
“He showed up to training camp early and ready to work and he’s shown with how well he’s thrown the ball that he put in a ton of work this offseason on both his mechanics and his body,” Zrebiec wrote. “It remains to be seen whether the two sides will reach a contract extension before the regular season. Jackson, though, seems determined to have a bounce-back season either way.”
“Jackson has been the most impressive Raven in camp…” Shaffer wrote. “Playing under an ever-intensifying spotlight, Jackson appears unburdened by expectations or pressure…Most encouraging, though, is Jackson’s development as a passer. Over his career, he’s struggled with his accuracy on deep shots. He’s also been reluctant to attempt back- shoulder throws, preferring instead to look for receivers crossing over the middle. Early in camp, his best completions have come from those two categories. If Jackson can continue to avoid throwing interceptions, the Ravens’ passing attack will be in good shape come Week 1 .”
“The minicamp darling has carried the momentum from the offseason into camp, making several big plays and drawing comparisons to Andrews in the process,” Zrebiec wrote. “There were questions about Likely’s athleticism heading into the draft, but the fourth-round pick out of Coastal Carolina has shown an ability to get separation from defensive backs and find space, and he’s caught most of the balls thrown in his direction. When you take into account his play and Kolar’s injury, Likely seems close to certain to have a notable Week 1 role with the Ravens as long as he stays healthy and continues to progress this summer.”
“Likely’s 55-yard touchdown catch in 11-on-11 action Thursday is now all the more impressive considering the separation he created against Brandon Stephens, one of the Ravens’ better defensive backs in camp,” Shaffer wrote. “The fourth-round pick ended June’s mandatory minicamp on a high, earning targets and praise from Jackson, and his production has continued in camp.”
Tyler Huntley Should Be Considered for ‘Quarterback-Needy Teams’
While most of the attention regarding Ravens quarterbacks is focused on Lamar Jackson, the man behind him on the depth chart, Tyler Huntley, could soon catch the attention of NFL teams. ESPN’s Rivers McCown recently ranked Huntley No. 7 on his top 25 NFL prospects under 25 and thinks he should be considered by “quarterback-needy teams.”
“Huntley had to start down the stretch after Lamar Jackson was hurt last year,” McCown wrote. “He finished with a 1.8% passing DVOA and 14 DYAR, completing 64.9% of his passes. He did take a ton of sacks (his unadjusted sack rate was 8.7%), and his tenure was one of being one play away from winning the game rather than actually winning the game. But all in all, it was a fairly successful debut. Any time a quarterback shows even the remotest sign of a pulse like this as a backup, it’s worth monitoring.”
Last preseason, Huntley made waves after putting up five touchdowns against the Washington Football Team in Week 3, going 24-of-33 passing for 285 yards and four touchdowns to go along with six carries for 14 yards and a touchdown. If he has another big game or two this preseason, “Snoop” may be heavily sought after.