Ravens Rookies In Their First Game Action
We know plenty about our Ravens veterans. The question marks are attached the rookies who haven’t faced off against a fellow NFL team, until Thursday night in the preseason opener with the Washington Redskins. We got our first introduction to most of the Ravens rookie class. How did they look in the 23-3 victory?
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#29 Marlon Humphrey – 1st round – CB. Did not dress, has an undisclosed injury. Thanks, John. I’m sure the secret injury report will give the Ravens a big advantage over other teams.
#54 Tyus Bowser – 2nd round – OLB. Came in on the 3rd series of the game. Showed smarts in pass rush, dropping out from a rush to cover the swing pass and tackling the receiver in the open field. Tackling a little high on the body on his first two stops of the game. Flashes good closing speed with good body control. Doesn’t over run and miss his target. Promising look in his action. Gave way to Tim Williams at the start of the second half, but still got a little action in opposite Williams at times.
#93 Chris Wormley – 3rd round, DE – With the starting defensive front seeing a couple series, then stuck behind Bronson Kafusi for the early going, it took until midway through the third quarter until he got into his first action. Took a series off and wasn’t seen again until the 4th quarter. A little telling perhaps of his status on the depth chart. Didn’t make any plays of note, was rotated in along with Kafusi and Patrick Ricard. Wormley didn’t catch any eyes this week.
#56 Tim Williams – 3rd round, Edge – One of the more highly anticipated rookies that fans wanted to get a look at. Entered the game at the start of the second half. The first play was a run off tackle to his side and he wasn’t able to set the edge as the ball carrier turned to corner for a decent gain. Had trouble shedding a block when the left tackle leveraged him on his first pass rush attempt. Standing too tall, giving up leverage, and being a non-factor was a common theme for Williams. Not a good look for a first round talent the Ravens got great value with in the third.
#65 Nico Siragusa – 4th round, OL – Out for the season (knee injury)
#71 Jermaine Eluemunor – 5th round, LG. Starting along side Ronnie Stanley to his left at tackle, and Ryan Jensen to his right at center. Through two series, nothing of note. Seems to stand pretty tall in there. Will keep an eye on that as the preseason rolls on. May have gotten away with a holding call. Looks a little hesitant out there but not really getting beat. He doesn’t look like he has a nasty streak. He’s not going to pancake guys. Not embarrassing himself in his first taste of the NFL either though. Later in the 2nd quarter he made a nice pulling block going to his right to spring Buck Allen for a nice gain. He doesn’t look like he’ll be successful in a zone scheme because he doesn’t seem nimble enough, or quick enough on stretch runs to get out in front, or get to the second level. Often times a rookie might be so worried about not messing up that they tense up a bit. We’ll maybe get a look next week to see if a nasty streak comes out.
#36 Chuck Clark – 6th round, FS. Got onto the game in the centerfield role toward the end of the 1st quarter. Not tested early, but on a deep pass broken up by Jayleen Hill, Clark took a nice angle to the sideline as the deep help. Solid closing speed and an open field tackle in the 3rd quarter. Played into the 4th quarter. A good long look at the sixth rounder.
It’s also worth noting the play of a couple undrafted players in Tim White and Tiquan Mizzell. White (#6, WR), hauled in a TD pass where he made a slight adjustment to catch an under thrown ball. AA lot of buzz has surrounded White recently in camp, but I’m hesitant to get very attached. If you recall last year, Jeremy Butler was all the rage and even had a stellar preseason. Multiple scores, no drops, caught everything, did everything you expect of a bubble player worthy of earning a spot. The Ravens cut him anyway. Some guys there just won’t be room for, White didn’t exactly impress as a return threat, though Keenan Reynolds did with a punt return that setup the 33-yard strike to White.
Mizzell (#33, RB) was a pass catching back out of Virginia. He hauled in 126 passes with just two drops in his final two seasons as a Cavalier. In this game they gave him the ball a lot on the ground rather than the air. He racked up a team high 15 totes for 51 yards (3.4 YPC). He’s got a similar skill set to Kenneth Dixon who is out for the season. But he’ll have to beat out Buck Allen for a spot with Terrance West and Danny Woodhead pretty safely entrenched in a role.
Honorable mention goes to 4th string quarterback, Josh Woodrum out of Liberty College. (Pictured above). While he went undrafted in 2016 to the New York Giants and was cut three days later, he never has been on an active roster. Rookie? Eh, close enough. Would you know any different if I didn’t tell you he was undrafted a year ago rather than this year? I didn’t think so. Woodrum had a pretty TD pass of 33 yards to undrafted Tim White. White may have bailed him out on a slightly underthrown ball, but success nonetheless. On the next drive Woodrum ran a designed QB option run for a decent gain. An element the Ravens don’t have. Mobilty at quarterback. He took a crushing hit and still almost delivered a deep strike that was just underthrown, understandably, still drew a defensive pass interference call. In the red zone on a called bootleg he ended up tucking and running instead of forcing a bad ball where no one was open. Then he showed great pocket awareness and got out of a potential sack at the last second, again ran for a couple yards instead of forcing a pass when nothing was open. This with the worst players on the team blocking and running routes for him. A couple of smart plays that allowed Justin Tucker to extend the lead with a chip shot FG, rather than something bad happening.
On the last drive he floated another deep ball perfectly into one on one coverage on the sideline for a gain of 36.
Woodrum finished the night 4 for 4 for 85 yards and a TD. A 158.3 QB rating that football fans know as a perfect rating. Ryan Mallett was 9 for 18 for 58 yards. 3rd stringer Dustin Vaughan was pulled after taking his third sack on two drives.
The main reason I wanted to bring up Josh Woodrum is because Ryan Mallett did nothing to quell the Colin Kaepernick discussion as the severity of Joe Flacco’s back injury is still somewhat unknown to the media and fans. It’s unfortunate that the news will be Colin Kaepernick and how bad Ryan Mallett is without Josh Woodrum getting his due. Woodrum would be taking first team reps in the next practice if I was Coach. He earned it with every one of his passes looking far better than the ducks Ryan Mallett was chucking up. It even looked like near the end of the first half, Mallett was taking the team off the field on 4th down when Harbaugh wanted to go for it and burned a timeout in the process. Not a good look at all by Mallett tonight, but Woodrum made the most of his opportunity and then some. Like to see the young man keep up the good work and get rewarded for it.
Maybe Woodrum can do what Mallett can’t. Quell the Kaepernick to Baltimore hot takes.