The Ravens opened training camp on Thursday, July 25. Going into training camp, many eyes were on Lamar Jackson and whether he had improved as a passer.
Through one day, the results have been mixed. Jackson started slowly, but he found a solid rhythm and was delivering precise passes by the end of the day. His spiral was far from perfect, but he was able to target and hit Mark Andrews who proved to be his favorite receiver.
Miles Boykin had a good close to practice, hauling in a pair of late catches. Undrafted rookie Antoine Wesley had the highlight of the day, pulling in an over-the-shoulder grab.
Moving to the offensive line, Ben Powers took reps as the first-string left guard. While it is only the first day of camp, Powers is a threat to be a Week 1 starter if he continues to look good in camp.
On defense, the story of the day was Michael Pierce. Pierce showed up to prior offseason workouts at an absurd 390 pounds, about 50 pounds heavier than his playing weight. In just a month, Pierce shed about 30 points and passed the Ravens’ conditioning test.
In terms of standouts, third-round pick Jaylon Ferguson and undrafted rookie Gerald Willis made impactful plays. Ferguson denied fellow rookie Justice Hill on an outside run, a pleasant surprise considering that Ferguson was primarily known as a pass rusher during his time at Louisiana Tech. Willis was effective in generating interior pressure on passing plays. There is a solid chance that Willis makes the final 53-man roster if he has a good training camp and preseason. This would be nothing new, for the Ravens have had an undrafted rookie make the roster in 15 consecutive seasons.
Moving forward, the Ravens will be looking forward to their opening preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 8.
Their preseason schedule looks as such:
August 8: Jacksonville Jaguars
August 15: Green Bay Packers
August 22: @ Philadelphia Eagles
August 29: @ Washington Redskins
The Ravens have an impressive/weird stretch of winning preseason games. Dating back to 2016, the Ravens have lost a total of zero preseason games. They have won all 13, including five last season due to the Hall of Fame game. While the team would prefer their wins to come in the regular season or playoffs, it will be interesting to see if the Ravens can once again roll through the preseason slate of games.
Moving into the 2019 season, there are a couple of position battles to watch out for. At left guard, it appears that Ben Powers has taken the early initiative ahead of more experienced options. For Patrick Onwuasor’s middle linebacker mate, Chris Board was earning early reps over Kenny Young. Young generated buzz late in his rookie season, so it is a slight surprise to see Board slide into this point. Of course, nothing is final, and both players will be entrenched in a battle until September 8th.