Baltimore Ravens: Ryan Jensen

Only half of the members of the Baltimore Ravens' 2013 draft class are part of the team's 53-man roster. That's just 17 months after drafting those players.

The initial reaction is that this class has been underwhelming. There's only one established starter (safety Matt Elam) among those 10 players drafted, and two of the first four picks are either buried on the depth chart (second-round pick Arthur Brown) or on the practice squad (fourth-rounder John Simon).

[+] EnlargeMatt Elam
Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY SportsMatt Elam is the only established starter from the Ravens' 2013 draft class thus far.
What can save this draft class is the expected emergence of a handful of starters this season. There are four projected starters from the remaining five players from this draft class: Elam, nose tackle Brandon Williams, fullback Kyle Juszczyk and right tackle Rick Wagner.

Getting that many starters out of a draft class is a strong accomplishment when you consider the number of multi-year starters from the Ravens' draft classes in 2009 (two, Michael Oher and Lardarius Webb), 2010 (three, Ed Dickson, Dennis Pitta and Arthur Jones), 2011 (two, Jimmy Smith and Torrey Smith) and 2012 (two, Courtney Upshaw and Kelechi Osemele).

When evaluating this class, it should be pointed out that the Ravens drafted at the bottom of each round because they were defending Super Bowl champions. The Ravens also did well after the draft, picking up undrafted receiver Marlon Brown, who tied a team rookie record with seven touchdown catches.

Let's go pick-by-pick in the Ravens' 2013 draft:

SS Matt Elam: The first-round pick didn't immediately live up to expectations of being the third safety taken in the 2013 draft. Elam finished with 76 tackles (fourth on the team), but he made only one interception and broke up three passes. He also missed 11 tackles and gave up two touchdowns. The Ravens are hoping Elam plays better after moving to strong safety, which is his more natural position.

ILB Arthur Brown: The second-round pick isn't close to becoming a starter anytime soon. Although he plays fast, Brown too often gets gobbled up by big-bodied guards. He got on the field last year in passing situations, but that may not happen with the addition of first-round pick C.J. Mosley. This isn't exactly what the Ravens envisioned when they traded three picks to move up to get Brown.

NT Brandon Williams: The third-round pick was inactive for six of the final eight games last season. There are heightened expectations for Williams this season. He is a first-year starter who made big plays in the preseason when the Ravens' defense was backed up. Williams doesn't want to be a space-eater inside. He wants to be a difference maker.

LB John Simon: The fourth-round pick was cut Saturday and later signed to the practice squad. He could eventually return to active roster, but he's had trouble playing in space.

FB Kyle Juszczyk: The second fourth-round pick wasn't able to handle the fullback job last season, which is why the team re-signed Vonta Leach. If the preseason is any indication, Juszczyk is primed for a breakout season. He led the team with 10 catches this preseason.

OT Rick Wagner: The fifth-round pick struggled mightily when he was forced to fill in for an injured Michael Oher in last year's opener. Wagner steadily improved throughout his rookie season, and he's been solid in his first preseason as a starter. He was the Ravens' highest-graded offensive lineman this preseason, according to Pro Football Focus.

DE Kapron Lewis-Moore: An injury sidelined the sixth-round pick for a second straight season. He was placed on injured reserve last week after being earmarked as the top backup to Chris Canty this season.

OL Ryan Jensen: The sixth-round pick took a step back and lost his roster spot to rookie John Urschel. Jensen was the Ravens' lowest-rated guard this preseason.

WR Aaron Mellette: The seventh-round pick spent last season on injured reserve and was released in June after failing a physical.

CB Marc Anthony: The Ravens' last pick in this draft was waived in the final major cutdown and spent last season on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' practice squad. Anthony was cut by the Tennessee Titans and Buccaneers this summer.
The Baltimore Ravens signed nine players to their practice squad Sunday, and the names should have a familiar ring. All were players who spent the entire offseason with the team and were recently cut.

There were three former draft picks added to the practice squad: linebacker John Simon (fourth round, 2013), offensive lineman Ryan Jensen (sixth round, 2013) and quarterback Keith Wenning (sixth round, 2014).

The Ravens can sign one more player to complete their practice squad.

Here's a rundown on the nine who have been signed:

QB Keith Wenning: The rookie sixth-round pick was expected to be added to the practice squad after the Ravens kept two quarterbacks for the fifth straight year. Wenning improved throughout the summer and he showed potential by the preseason finale. He finished 10 of 17 for 140 yards for a 85.4 passer rating this preseason. Pro Football Focus graded him at No. 57 among quarterbacks, just two spots behind Tyrod Taylor.

LB John Simon: The 2013 fourth-round pick failed to make the cut, even though the Ravens kept 10 linebackers. Simon finished strong in the preseason finale with four quarterback hits. What works against Simon is he struggles making plays in space and he isn't a top special-teams player.

OL Ryan Jensen: The Ravens were so high on the 2013 sixth-round pick last year that they didn't place him on injured reserve after he broke his foot and kept him on the roster the entire year. Jensen, though, took a step back this year and slid behind rookie John Urschel on the depth chart.

CB Tramain Jacobs: The undrafted rookie out of Texas A&M became a favorite of the coaching staff. The Ravens believe Jacobs has great upside as a cover corner. His biggest problem is reducing penalties, which were a problem in the preseason and training camp.

DT Jamie Meder: The undrafted rookie out of Ashland was under the radar for most of the summer. Meder generally played on the third-team defensive line. He finished with four tackles this preseason.

CB Deji Olatoye: The undrafted rookie from North Carolina A&T generated buzz in spring workouts but he was unable to maintain that this summer. His struggles in coverage in the second preseason led to him getting waived in the first round of cuts. Olatoye, a former teammate of Jimmy Smith at Colorado (before he transferred to North Carolina A&T), has intriguing size and length for the position.

DT A.J. Pataiali'i: The undrafted rookie from Utah State was signed to the practice squad over nose tackle Derrick Hopkins, who received the biggest signing bonus of all the Ravens' undrafted rookies. Like Meder, Pataiali'i played most of the time on the third-team defensive line. He had one tackle this preseason.

TE Phillip Supernaw: The first-year player spent most of last season on the Houston Texans' practice squad before getting signed to the active roster in late December. Supernaw was signed by the Ravens in May, only five days after being released by the Texans. He didn't have a catch this preseason. Supernaw did work at fullback for the final preseason game after the Ravens cut Shaun Chapas.

RB Fitzgerald Toussaint: The undrafted rookie out of Michigan flashed his explosiveness in the preseason finale with several big runs. Toussaint ran for 103 yards at New Orleans, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. The Ravens hope he doesn't get signed away like Bobby Rainey did last year.

Ravens Camp Report: Day 12

August, 9, 2014
Aug 9
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Baltimore Ravens training camp:
  • Joe Flacco carried the momentum from a great season opener with a sharp practice. He continually found holes in the San Francisco 49ers zone, dropping in passes to his receivers. His best pass was a 50-yard completion to wide receiver Marlon Brown after Flacco rolled to his left and threw off his back foot.
  • There were no fights in the first joint practice with the 49ers. There were a few close calls, especially with guard Kelechi Osemele and linebacker Pernell McPhee. My guess is the players were warned about throwing punches after what the head coaches said before practice.
  • Jimmy Smith was the only cornerback who held up well for the Ravens. Smith set the tone in the one-on-one drill against Anquan Boldin, knocking the ball down in front of the former Ravens receiver. When Smith spoke to owner Steve Bisciotti during practice, I couldn't help thinking about the size of the check that Bisciotti will be writing Smith in a couple of years.
  • Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor didn't run in team drills for the first time in recent memory. The only way the Ravens can evaluate how he's progressed as a pocket passer is if he stays in the pocket. Taylor rushed his reads early and had several passes batted down when he tried to dump the ball off. He did finish with two deep throws, hitting Steve Smith (who had to dive for the ball) and Michael Campanaro.
  • Like he's done for most of camp, Osemele was crushing defensive linemen. Osemele knocked 49ers defensive tackle Tank Carradine to the ground three times during one session of team drills.
  • One of the more anticipated matchups didn't go the Ravens' way as Terrell Suggs couldn't get past 49ers left tackle Joe Staley. On the other side, Elvis Dumervil had his way with backup right tackle Jonathan Martin.
  • Cornerback Chykie Brown struggled again after putting together some decent practices. He was faked out early and often, allowing too many easy catches to 49ers receivers.
  • The Ravens started rotating rookie fifth-round pick John Urschel in with the second team at guard. This comes after Ryan Jensen got pushed around in the preseason opener. Jensen missed time in practice after injuring his left knee, but he returned after getting checked out by trainers.
  • Schedule: The Ravens hold their second joint practice with the San Francisco 49ers at noon Sunday.
  • Injury wire: This is the healthiest the Ravens have been since the start of camp. Only four players didn't practice. ... CB Lardarius Webb (back) missed his 10th straight practice. He last practiced July 25. ... G Will Rackley (head) also didn't practice. ... NT Terrence Cody (hip) is on the physically unable to perform list. ... DE Brent Urban (torn ACL) is out for the season.

Ravens Camp Report: Day 9

August, 2, 2014
Aug 2
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Baltimore Ravens training camp:
  • This practice resembled many of the Ravens' games last season, when quarterback Joe Flacco was under constant pressure. Some of it had to do with starting guards Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele getting the day off. Left tackle Eugene Monroe has to be looking forward to the preseason, so he will get to face someone other than Terrell Suggs, who has had his number in camp.
  • Cornerback Chykie Brown has been the lightening rod of this year's camp. After struggling mightily in the first week of camp, Brown drew headlines for a different reason Saturday. He was thrown out of practice briefly after kicking a ball, and he returned in enough time to trade swings with wide receiver Steve Smith.
  • Jacoby Jones had his best day of what has been an uneventful camp. He might have caught more passes Saturday than in the previous eight practices combined. With Marlon Brown struggling to catch the ball, Jones needs to assert himself as the No. 3 wide receiver.
  • Kamar Aiken, who has been released by three teams (Buffalo, Chicago and New England) in his career, continues to stand out in what has become an interesting battle for the last few wide receiver spots. He caught two passes in the back of the end zone in a red zone drill, showing off his strong hands again.
  • On a day when emotions ran high, guard Ryan Jensen and defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore got into a fight. It didn't escalate, but Jensen did end up on his back.
  • Along with the starting guards, tight end Owen Daniels and linebacker Pernell McPhee all got the day off. Jensen and A.Q. Shipley filled in at guard with the first-team offense.
  • Schedule: The Ravens have a 1 p.m. ET practice Sunday.
  • Injury wire: WR Michael Campanaro bruised his ribs after falling on the ball during practice. ... CB Lardarius Webb (back) missed his seventh straight practice. He will be sidelined for at least the first two games. ... ILB Daryl Smith (groin) was sidelined for a fourth consecutive day. ... DT Timmy Jernigan (back spasms) should return soon, according to coach John Harbaugh. ... G Will Rackley (head) also didn't practice. ... NT Terrence Cody (hip) is on the physically unable to perform list.
With the Baltimore Ravens starting training camp Thursday, let's take a look at some key position battles this week.


Why there is a position battle: The Ravens didn't re-sign Michael Oher, a 2009 first-round pick who got overpaid by the Tennessee Titans ($20 million over four years). While letting Oher leave was expected, the Ravens surprisingly didn't draft or sign a significant free-agent offensive tackle.

Early frontrunner: Ricky Wagner. The Ravens have shown their confidence in Wagner by not adding a right tackle this offseason. A fifth-round pick from a year ago, he worked exclusively with the starters all offseason. The Ravens thought he improved last season, when he played 12 percent of the offensive snaps as an extra blocker. It's now Wagner's job to lose.

Top contender: Ryan Jensen. In an unexpected move, the Ravens gave snaps to Jensen at right tackle. A favorite of offensive line coach Juan Castillo, Jensen had been projected as a center or guard. But the Ravens have veteran depth on the interior with Gino Gradkowski and A.Q. Shipley. So, they are giving Jensen a shot at right tackle, where he showed promise.

Dark horse: Someone not on the team. If Wagner struggles, the Ravens can bump Kelechi Osemele from left guard to right tackle. But the Ravens like Osemele and Eugene Monroe on the left side, so that could be a secondary option now. There's not much on the free-agent market outside of Eric Winston, who had been linked to the Ravens because of his history with offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. The real dark horse is someone on another team right now. The Ravens could repeat what they did in 2008, when they went with Willie Anderson at right tackle after he was cut by the Cincinnati Bengals following the preseason finale.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Here are some thoughts from the first day of the Baltimore Ravens' minicamp, where the heat index reached 100 degrees on Tuesday afternoon:

  • Joe Flacco looks more and more comfortable with his footwork every week. He was fluid in running a cone drill off to the side. His throws, however, were erratic. He was picked off again by cornerback Jimmy Smith, who returned it for a touchdown. Flacco's best pass was one that was zipped to Torrey Smith in between three defenders.

  • [+] EnlargeDeji Olatoye
    Patrick Semansky/AP PhotoRavens cornerback Deji Olatoye runs through drills during the team's first day of mandatory minicamp.
    There was a lot of talk of safety Terrence Brooks starting as a rookie. But the third-round pick appears to have dropped on the depth chart behind Matt Elam, Darian Stewart, Omar Brown and Jeromy Miles. Brooks was running in the defensive backfield with safety Dexter Moody. No one should jump to conclusions because it's still a long way until the season begins.

  • One cornerback to keep an eye on is undrafted rookie Deji Olatoye. He was rotated in with the first and second team defenses and can play a big role on special teams. Olatoye is from North Carolina A&T, but his college career began at Colorado where he was teammates with Jimmy Smith.

  • Ryan Jensen rotated between right guard and right tackle on the second team. He practiced mostly at right tackle for the first two weeks of offseason workouts before taking all of his snaps at guard last week. Jensen's versatility is a big plus for the Ravens. He did learn how much he has to improve when Terrell Suggs ran over him in a team drill.

  • The wide receivers had trouble holding onto the ball. Deonte Thompson, Jace Davis and even Torrey Smith had drops. Smith's came in the final two-minute drill when he ran wide open over the middle. He tried to catch the ball with his body instead of his hands, and the ball ricocheted off his midsection.

  • Only four injured players didn't participate in the start of mandatory minicamp: defensive tackle Terrence Cody (hip), offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf), wide receiver Kamar Aiken (leg) and offensive tackle Parker Graham (undisclosed). Reid will "definitely be ready for training camp," coach John Harbaugh said. Backup running back Bernard Pierce (shoulder) participated in individual drills. Harbaugh said wide receiver Aaron Mellette and linebacker Adrian Hamilton, both of whom were waived Tuesday, failed physicals and could return in training camp.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens opened another offseason practice to the media on Tuesday. Here are some observations I made during the two-hour workout:
  • Smith
    Wide receiver Steve Smith was the star of practice. It was impossible to cover him on slants over the middle, which should become a staple of the offense. When defenders were able to stick with Smith, like the time Asa Jackson was draped on him, the 35-year-old still made the catch in the end zone. Smith likes to spin the ball after every big catch in practice. On Tuesday, the ball was spinning a lot.
  • The one play this offseason where running back Ray Rice really showed off his speed was a pitch to the left. Rice not only beat everyone to the corner, but he didn't get touched until he was 10 yards down the field. It's difficult to evaluate the running game because hitting isn't allowed. What you can evaluate is Rice's ability to outrun everyone to the edge.
  • Unlike the first two practices open to the media, there were no interceptions made. The defense should have come up with one when cornerback Chykie Brown made a nice break on the ball. But the pass bounced off Brown's pads, a familiar sight the past couple of seasons. Brown went to the ground to do push-ups, which is the traditional punishment for Ravens defensive backs. Someone remarked that Brown gets the most on-field exercise of anybody on the team.
  • Ryan Jensen went back to working at guard on the second team. Jensen, who was a backup center and guard last season, had been practicing at right tackle behind Rick Wagner the previous couple of weeks. Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said Jensen's move back to the interior was based on need. Guards Marshal Yanda (absent) and Jah Reid (calf) aren't at practice. With offensive tackle Eugene Monroe skipping the practice, undrafted rookie James Hurst lined up at left tackle with the first team.
  • The athletic ability of first-round pick C.J. Mosley stands out even in individual drills. All of the Ravens inside linebackers were asked to backpedal and then jump up to knock down the pass. Mosley was fluid moving backward and easily leapt higher than anyone in the group. It wasn't even close.
  • The pecking order in the backfield remains the same: Rice, Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro. You sometimes have to do a double-take when watching Taliaferro. He's wearing No. 34, the number worn by Ricky Williams during his one season in Baltimore. Taliaferro, a big back as well, fills out that jersey just like Williams.
  • It's still unknown whether Tyrod Taylor can be a quality NFL quarterback. But he's definitely the Ravens' best player in a game of tag. He made three defenders miss badly when he decided to pull the ball down and scramble.
  • Last week I made the observation that the defense was still ahead of the offense. On Tuesday, you could see the gap begin to close. The offense is gaining a comfort level with the new scheme and is taking a positive step every week.

In case you missed them, here are my observations from Week 1 and Week 2 at the Ravens' offseason workouts. Remember to follow me on Twitter and on Facebook.
The Baltimore Ravens chat covered such topics as the need at cornerback, the impact of Dennis Pitta and the candidates to back up Jacoby Jones at returner. You can click here for a full transcript. Here are some highlights:

D'Juan (Pennsylvania): Any word on picking up a veteran CB? Asante Samuel maybe?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Don't see the Ravens picking up a cornerback until the final major cutdown. The available corners, like Samuel, are either aging or coming off injury. I expect the Ravens to stick with the group they have and evaluate them. Then, if there is still a hole, they can sign someone let go after the final preseason game.

PJ (Midlo): Hi Jamison, I hope your summer is going well. Do you see Ravens using tight end Dennis Pitta more and running more? More importantly, can the Ravens really be successful running with their OL and RBs they have?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I do see Dennis Pitta making a big impact. It's no secret that Gary Kubiak's offense is very tight-end friendly. I believe the Ravens' leader in catches this season will either be Pitta or Steve Smith. As far as running the ball, the Ravens are quietly optimistic about their offensive line. Coach John Harbaugh loves the left side of Eugene Monroe and Kelechi Osemele. Jeremy Zuttah is an upgrade at center. There will be more running lanes for Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce this year. It all starts up front.

Dio Rules (Baltimore): With the most talented WR corps in years, do you still see the Ravens running a 2 TE offensive set for most of the 1st and 2nd down situations this year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I do because that's the history of Gary Kubiak's offense. For that reason, I wouldn't be surprised if the Ravens carried four tight ends this year. At this point, Owen Daniels (as a No. 2 TE) is more proven that Marlon Brown or Jacoby Jones (the No. 3 WRs).

Mike (Maryland): Do you predict Joe Flacco bouncing back this upcoming season and quieting his critics?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Flacco will look much better if the Ravens can protect him and run the ball. A lot of Flacco's success has come off play-action. But the Ravens couldn't sell that because they failed to establish a ground game. Based on his history, he should finish with 24-25 TDs and around 10 INTs.

Ryan (Boston): With all this talk of Ryan Jensen switching to offensive tackle, does that mean that James Hurst is struggling? Or could the Ravens possibly keep Wagner, Jensen and Hurst on the 53-man roster? Thanks!

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): The reason the Ravens moved Jensen to tackle is to give him a better opportunity to get on the field. He's not going to beat out either guard, Marshal Yanda or Kelechi Osemele. Moving Jensen to tackle doesn't hurt Hurst's chances. But if the Ravens view Jensen as the top backup option at tackle and guard, Hurst could be battling someone like A.Q. Shipley for that final roster spot on the line.

Mary (Colorado): Who do you see as an alternative for Jacoby Jones as a return guy this year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): The Ravens had Michael Campanaro, Deonte Thompson and Asa Jackson returning kicks during offseason workouts.

Remember to follow me on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest news and insights on the Ravens.
The Baltimore Ravens opened their second practice of the offseason on Wednesday and here is what caught my eye ...
  • Not surprisingly, the defense is way ahead of the offense. The defensive backs and linebackers were jumping routes so often in team drills that you had to wonder whether they knew what was coming. There are going to be growing pains for the offense as first-year coordinator Gary Kubiak installs his scheme. But the Ravens probably would like more success against a defense that was playing without four starters: linebacker Terrell Suggs, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, defensive end Chris Canty and inside linebacker Daryl Smith.
  • I mentioned in last week's observations that I saw backup Justin Forsett taking most of the first-team reps, and a Ravens official later contacted me to say that wasn't the case. There was no question about who was taking the snaps with the starting offense on Wednesday. Ray Rice was behind Joe Flacco on nearly every play. For the second straight time, Rice showed he could hit that extra gear after getting the ball, especially when catching a pass in the open field.
  • Wide receiver Steve Smith is going to be a favorite target for Joe Flacco because of his ability to run slants and the comeback route. Smith also let everyone know he can still get behind defenders. On what was Flacco's best throw of the day, Smith beat safety Matt Elam over the middle of the field and caught a bomb for a touchdown.
  • The Ravens are going to make first-round pick C.J. Mosley earn his spot in the starting lineup. Even with Daryl Smith skipping the voluntary practice, Mosley ran with the second team. Josh Bynes teamed inside with Arthur Brown on the first-team defense. It's still a safe bet that Mosley is going to be in the starting lineup when the season begins. He can be a difference-maker inside, and he has a comfort level with this defense.
  • Wide receiver Torrey Smith is catching everything thrown his way. He was blanketed by cornerback Jimmy Smith along the sideline and still found a way to come down with the ball by making an adjustment in mid-air. That was part of Torrey Smith's game that I didn't see much of last season.
  • Ryan Jensen continues to impress coaches in his move to offensive tackle. He got into a scuffle at one point, and the Ravens like that scrappiness. Rick Wagner is still considered the starting right tackle, but Jensen can make this an interesting battle during training camp. The Ravens' commitment to Wagner and Jensen decreases the chances of adding a veteran like Eric Winston.
  • The Ravens have some depth on the interior of the offensive line behind Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele. Who has the upper hand right now? Perhaps A.Q. Shipley. He stepped in at right guard with Yanda not showing for the voluntary practice. The other options are Gino Gradkowski and John Urschel. The Ravens could have more players in the mix, but Jensen is working at tackle and Jah Reid is dealing with a calf injury.
  • File this under the "don't do that again" category: Instead of throwing the ball away while running toward the sideline, Tyrod Taylor tossed the ball back over the middle of the field. This is what frustrates the Ravens. Taylor shows flashes but then makes a careless decision that could hurt the team.
  • Rookie quarterback Keith Wenning won't floor anyone with his arm strength. There's a noticeable difference when Flacco throws 15 yards downfield and when the sixth-round pick does it. Wenning, though, has a good touch on the intermediate throws. He also seemed comfortable when rolling out, which is a staple of the Kubiak offense.
  • Rookie tight end Crockett Gillmore is a work in progress as a pass-catcher. There were three instances where the pass bounced off his hands, although he did have a defender draped over him on one play. Gillmore, a third-round pick, has the size to immediately make an impact as an inline blocker.
  • Coach John Harbaugh is great about instilling a mindset with the sayings that he has plastered in the locker room and meeting rooms. This time, he was a walking billboard. Harbaugh's T-shirt read: "Ravens football is hustle. Constant hustle." The Ravens and Harbaugh pride themselves on having the most up-tempo practices in the NFL.
The Baltimore Ravens opened their first full-team offseason practice to the media on Thursday. Here are some thoughts I jotted down in my notebook:
  • Offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele was the most impressive player on the field. There is no contact in offseason practices, but Osemele jumped out because he showed intensity in every drill. Even coach John Harbaugh pointed out how Osemele was running from drill to drill. After missing the last nine games with a back injury, Osemele seemed like he was letting everyone know that he's at full strength. The biggest question is whether he will line up at left guard or right tackle.
  • Rice
    Ray Rice was noticeably slimmer and appeared to have a good burst when hitting the holes. But the running back who drew the most attention was Justin Forsett. The veteran journeyman is extremely small, but extremely fast. He displayed good hands in catching passes out of the backfield and turned upfield in a hurry. Forsett took most of the reps with the first team, although no one should read too much into that. This could easily have been a message to Rice and Lorenzo Taliaferro, both of whom were arrested this offseason.
  • Arthur Brown, a second-round pick from a year ago, will make plays on his speed alone. The Ravens have also been happy with how he's been picking up the defense better than last season. The biggest knock on him is his size. He just hasn't gotten that much bigger from last year. Inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, the team's first-round pick, ran with the second team. He will likely take over the starting job some time in training camp. But you can envision Mosley and Brown playing alongside each other in the future.
  • The biggest surprise was Ryan Jensen taking reps at offensive tackle. A sixth-round pick from a year ago, Jensen was a backup guard and center for the team last season. To his credit, he didn't look out of place when he lined up at right tackle. Jensen is considered a favorite of offensive line coach Juan Castillo, and the Ravens obviously like his potential by keeping him on the 53-man roster last season even when he was unavailable to play early in the year because of a broken foot. Having him compete against Rick Wagner for the right tackle job could be the fastest way of getting Jensen on the field. It might also be an indication of how much the Ravens want to keep Osemele at left guard.
  • Smith
    Wide receiver Steve Smith will undoubtedly help the Ravens convert more third downs this season. He will also be a big help when he's not lining up. In between drills, Smith worked with Marlon Brown and showed him how to run some routes better. That experienced presence will be a strong influence on what is still a young wide receiver group.
  • Tight end Dennis Pitta looks like the Dennis Pitta everyone remembers from the 2012 season. It was admirable that he came back to play the final four games last season after having hip surgery. He just wasn't the same. On Thursday, he was pulling away from defenders and even made a sliding catch in the end zone on a low Joe Flacco throw. That should alleviate any concerns about the hip. Owen Daniels, the other tight end, is also coming off a broken leg from last season, but didn't stand out as much. He didn't get much separation.
  • The new coaches have introduced new drills. Wide receivers coach Bobby Engram is using what looks like big rubber bands. Players put the them around their waists and run forward while a teammate holds the band. It's supposed to create resistance. The Ravens' quarterbacks are focusing more on ball security. As they drop back, an assistant coach is hitting the passer's hands with a blocking pad.
  • It was a good move for Harbaugh to keep his players practicing outside despite the constant rain and the temperature dipping to 50-some degrees. He could have easily moved the team to the warmer and drier field house. Instead, he chose to stick it out on what he described as an "AFC North kind of a day."
The weekly Baltimore Ravens chat tackled the chances of the Ravens going with three quarterbacks, the best plays in Ravens history and the probable starting lineup for the defensive line. If you want full transcript, click right here. Here are some highlights:

Rich (New Jersey): Since 2010, John Harbaugh has gone with two quarterbacks during the regular season, will he go with three this and if show who'll be that third QB on the depth chart?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): The Ravens haven't gone with three quarterbacks since 2009, when they had Joe Flacco, Troy Smith and John Beck. But I can see the Ravens going with three this year if they really feel like Keith Wenning, a sixth-round pick, is going to be the primary backup in 2015. The Ravens lost Derek Anderson, who was also a sixth-round pick, in 2005 when they tried to sneak him on the practice squad. That's why I see the Ravens going with Flacco, Tyrod Taylor and Wenning this year.

Natalie (New York City): How would you assess the depth of the O line? If the Ravens suffer 1 or 2 injuries, how big would the dropoff be and are we looking at another lost year if these guys don't all stay perfectly healthy (which is a lot to ask)?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): The depth is very young with Ryan Jensen, Gino Gradkowski, John Urschel and James Hurst. The Ravens did sign a veteran guard in Will Rackley, but there's no guarantee he'll make the team. He struggled a lot last year. I get the sense that Jensen is the next man up. If a tackle goes down, Kelechi Osemele will go to tackle and Jensen will step in at left guard. If a guard gets hurt, I expect Jensen to get the nod as well.

James (Towson): If Brandon Flowers is cut, do you think the Ravens would look to sign him? Or would he still cost to much after being cut?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Flowers is making $5.2 million this year. If he's cut, he won't make that money but he won't be cheap. I'm not sure he'll come down enough to get in the Ravens' price range. He may also get a better shot at starting elsewhere. He's not going to get that chance with Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb being here.

Brandon (Pennsylvania): I saw your early predictions for the 53-man roster and I agree with all of it except not having Aaron Mellette on it. I think he can be a hidden gem for us, and not having Sammy Seamster who I think could be more useful to us then Asa Jackson. Your thoughts?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Mellette has a shot but he'll need to show up on special teams to get one of the final roster spots. He may end up on practice squad. Seamster has the size-speed combination that teams want out of a cornerback, but it's a big step up from Middle Tennessee State. The Ravens don't often like to rely on young cornerbacks. That's why you've seen them sign veterans like Corey Graham, Corey Ivy, Frank Walker and Corey Fuller over the years. I suspect they will find another veteran after the final major cutdown.

Renn (Columbia, Md.): Your take: best play in Ravens history?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Craziest play: Mile High Miracle to Jacoby Jones. Monumental play: Jermaine Lewis returning kickoff for a touchdown in the Super Bowl. Best play: Ray Rice converting fourth down-and-21.

D'Juan (Pennsylvania): Most people believe the defensive line starting lineup will be Chris Canty, Brandon Williams and Haloti Ngata but I have high expectations on Timmy Jernigan. I also see Kapron Lewis-Moore beating out Canty sooner than later. So my lineup would be Kapron, Timmy, Ngata. Your thoughts?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Ngata and Canty should be the starters. If the Ravens had that much faith in Lewis-Moore, they wouldn't have used a fourth-round pick on Brent Urban. The other starting spot is between Brandon Williams and Timmy Jernigan.
NFC wrap-ups: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- A wrap-up of the Baltimore Ravens' draft. Click here for a full list of the Ravens' draftees.

[+] EnlargeC.J. Mosley
AP Photo/Dave MartinCan rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley become the heir apparent to Ray Lewis for the Ravens?
Best move: Sticking with their board. The Ravens' middle of their defense was significantly upgraded because the team took the best player available instead of addressing a more pressing need at offensive tackle and safety. The result: the Ravens landed a top-10 prospect (Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley) at No. 17 overall and a first-round talent (Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan) in the middle of the second round. Mosley and Jernigan are two of the best in this draft in shedding blocks and stopping the run. The Ravens could've taken Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round and Virginia offensive tackle Morgan Moses in the second if they were trying to fill holes. But the Ravens haven't finished in the top 10 in defense since 2011, and Mosley and Jernigan are impact players who can get this defense back to its traditionally strong level.

Riskiest move: Not taking an offensive tackle. The Ravens showed a lot of faith in Rick Wagner when they didn't draft a tackle with any of their nine picks in this year's draft. Wagner, a fifth-round pick from a year ago, is now penciled in as the starting right tackle. Even though Michael Oher never lived up to expectations, this is a downgrade on the right side of the line. If Wagner struggles, the Ravens could start Ryan Jensen, a sixth-round pick from a year ago, at left guard and move Kelechi Osemele to right tackle. Another option is signing veteran free agent Eric Winston, who played six years under Gary Kubiak in Houston. While it's a risky move not to draft an offensive tackle, it's difficult to argue with their strategy. The top four tackles were gone before the Ravens were on the clock in the first round, and it would've been a reach to take Moses or North Dakota State's Billy Turner in the second round. An offensive tackle just failed to fall to them this year.

Most surprising move: Drafting a blocking tight end in the third round. This was the one head-scratcher of the Ravens' draft. Colorado State's Crockett Gilmore is a blocking tight end who's only played the position for three years. ESPN's Todd McShay rated him as the 165th prospect in this draft, and the Ravens selected him at No. 99. By the time the Ravens picked again, five running backs (Florida State's Devonta Freeman, Boston College's Andre Williams, Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey, Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas and Wisconsin's James White) and two other players previously linked to the Ravens (Clemson wide receiver Martavis Bryant and Utah cornerback Keith McGill) were gone. Tight ends play a major role in Kubiak's offense, and the Ravens underscored their importance by taking Gilmore on Day 2.

File it away: The future starting center of the Ravens may have been drafted in the fifth round. John Urschel started at right guard the past two years at Penn State, but he can play all three spots on the interior of the line. There's no question he's smart enough to handle the center position. Urschel won the William V. Campbell Trophy, also known as the academic Heisman, and he has a master's degree in math. The Ravens don't need a center right now after trading for Jeremy Zuttah, but no one should be surprised if Urschel finds his niche there in a few years.
The few times Jacoby Jones lined up at wide receiver Sunday, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh obviously liked what he saw.

Harbaugh indicated that Jones' role on offense will continue to expand. Jones was slated as the team's No. 2 wide receiver before he hurt his knee in the season opener.

In his first game back since injuring his knee, Jones played only 17 of the Ravens' 66 snaps on offense. He did make an impact in the limited playing time, catching an 11-yard touchdown pass and recording a 31-yard reception on the other pass thrown to him.

"I was so anxious," Jones told The Baltimore Sun.

Here's the rest of your wake-up caw ...
  • The Ravens are .500 this late in the season for the first time in four years. But John Eisenberg from the team's official website provides a history lesson for those down on the defending Super Bowl champions. "If you think it’s getting too late for the Ravens to get their act together, consider this: Two years ago, the New York Giants were a .500 team in late December, with two weeks left in the regular season, and wound up winning the Super Bowl," Eisenberg wrote. "In other words, the Ravens still have time, all sorts of it."
  • Will offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell or run-game coordinator Juan Castillo be fall guys if the Ravens continue to struggle. The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston doesn't think so. "Offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell was widely praised as one of the reasons the offense turned around last year," Preston wrote. "Run game coordinator Juan Castillo is a very good friend of Harbaugh's. Also, Harbaugh praised Castillo as the best teacher he knows. I think that there are just too many voices in the offensive line meeting room."
  • The Ravens' red-zone defense, which is tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for the best in the NFL, is keeping the team in games, according to Comcast SportsNet. Offenses have scored on just 25 percent of the time when inside the Ravens' 20-yard line.
  • Rookie center Ryan Jensen has spent the last two and a half months working his way back from a broken foot and is getting closer to making a return after being limited in practice last week. The Ravens could've put him on injured reserve, but they decided to keep him on the 53-man roster for the first six games despite not being able to play. What's going to be the sixth-round pick's role when he comes back? “He’ll be a backup to start with, and then we’ll see what he does from there,” Harbaugh said, via the team's website. “We haven’t seen much of him yet. So, developmental backup – that will be his role.”
There were no changes to the Ravens' injury report Thursday.

Four players didn't practice: wide receivers Jacoby Jones (knee, already ruled out) and Deonte Thompson (foot); nose tackle Brandon Williams (toe); and center Ryan Jensen (foot).

Defensive lineman Arthur Jones (illness) and backup running back Bernard Pierce (thigh) were limited again. Offensive tackle Michael Oher (ankle) had full participation for a second straight day.

"(Oher) is an unusual guy -- extremely tough, extremely dedicated and disciplined," offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell said Thursday. "He has a very, very high tolerance for pain. He’s been able to get back out. He’s obviously committed to this team, and he’s working at it extremely hard.”
Here is the Baltimore Ravens' injury report for Thursday's game in Denver:

OUT: DT Art Jones (non-football illness).

DOUBTFUL: C Ryan Jensen (foot), WR Deonte Thompson (foot), DT Brandon Williams (toe).

PROBABLE: TE Ed Dickson (hamstring), DE Pernell McPhee (knee).