Baltimore Ravens Position Battle: WRs in Training Camp

The Baltimore Ravens have a nice competition going on in the wide receiver room. Come check out the details of these positional battles.

It’s time to look at another Baltimore Ravens position battle! The Ravens have a tremendous opportunity to have a big bounce-back in the 2022 season with the help of new coaching techniques, returns from injury, critical free agents, and fresh rookies. With training camp inching our way, it’s time to start looking at some expectations we may have going into the season

With all that being said, the Ravens training camp is also an essential piece of position battles, where certain players will shine their brightest. In the most recent episode of Around The Flock, we talked about the center and left guard position battle. In this article, it’s time to talk about other positions.

The first one up for discussion? Wide receivers.

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Rashod Bateman is going to be WR1. His skill set is not only being able to be the big body guy who fights for the ball but also a technician of a route runner, speedster ability, and just overall a guy we can trust to be the face of the position on the Ravens team. His rookie stats and film can show you the proof, too.

 WR2 at this moment in time is a toss-up. 

It could be Devin Duvernay, who is and can be the Ravens’ version of Deebo Samuel or Cordarrelle Patterson, utilizing not only key receiver routes but also as an RB/Jet sweep ball carrier. There is so much you can do with Duvernay at this point with the correct play calling. There’s also a reason he was voted as an All-Pro and Pro Bowler, even if it was as a returner.

The other contender for WR2 at this point would possibly be — and yes, I’m ready for the heat — James Proche II. Even though he didn’t have a stellar first two seasons, and the rest of the fans make it very clear to our faces and Twitter feeds of that fact, he still has a lot of potential to have a breakout season in his third year. He was trying to show us that he’s getting better with his hands and footwork during this off-season, but can it translate to camp and in-game?

I believe Devin Duvernay will win the WR2 slot by the time week one comes around.

Photography Team @ BaltimoreRavens.com

The Baltimore Ravens WR3 position battle is going to be heated.

If Duvernay does indeed win the WR2 position, then we’ll see James Proche compete with a young second-year player out of Oklahoma State, Tylan Wallace. Wallace has only played a couple of snaps in the regular season on offense, but has started to become an excellent player on special teams.

Special teams are where many players get going, then, out of nowhere, bloom into something extraordinary. I’ve got a feeling Wallace will be just that. They are going from just two snaps to being a key WR3 making grabs in the open when Bateman and Duvernay are doubled up. 

Honestly, I’m tied with these two as WR3 so we can move on to the fourth. 

Photographers @ University of Alabama

The one and only Alabama legend himself, Slade Bolden. An undrafted free agent, this guy has all the potential to be that diamond in the rough. His time at Alabama was a shadow behind Jameson Williams and John Metchie.

Still, with the coaching and schemes of the Ravens organization, there isn’t any reason this guy can’t show that he will be a key rotational player for this team.

I’m all in on Slade becoming the last or second-to-last wide receiver on the active roster. Some folks in the Ravens fan base believe that Mr. Bolden is the official WR2 of the team, and I’m not saying that he couldn’t be, but I’m comfortable with him being a WR4 or WR5 now. Eventually he could be in that second spot. We’ll just have to wait and see.

What about the position battles for the rest of the Baltimore Ravens?

The next set of guys will be basically of a 6th man or practice squad quality — if they make the team at all. It’s going to be fun to watch them through camp and the preseason, but outside of that have high hopes but low expectations. This list includes:

  • Shemar Bridges
  • Trevon Clark
  • Jaylon Moore
  • Makai Polk
  • Raleigh Webb
  • Devon Williams

Out of all these guys, I’d like to see Jaylon Moore or Makai Polk be added to the practice squad, but only time will tell. Each of these young guys has an opportunity to show that they earn the position they deserve. Training camp is the perfect time to show off.

Some of you may be asking, “what about Binjimen Victor?” Well, I would include him as WR4 or 5, but he was recently placed on the non-football injury list. There isn’t much indication of how long he’ll be out. I had such high hopes for Mr. Victor, but this injury, unfortunately right now, has him on a pending list.

We’re all excited about these competitions, and we’re just days away from the beginning.

My pre-camp final answer to the Ravens WR position battle is as follows the order:

Active Roster

  • Rashod Bateman
  • Devin Duvernay
  • Tylan Wallace/James Proche
  • Slade Boldin

Practice Squad

  • Makai Polk
  • Jaylon Moore
  • Binjimen Victor(Pending injury timeline)

Enjoy this prediction, tear it apart, whatever you fans need to do! This year is going to be exciting either way. Here’s to an enjoyable 2022-23 Ravens season!

Ravens Report: Preseason Week 1 Roster Preview

Welcome to the Baltimore Ravens Week 1 Roster/Depth Chart Preview. Come join the conversation & give your opinions.

Ladies & Gentlemen, you’ve seen this author & title across multiple websites, but it’s now here at the hottest up and coming sports news network. We’re all excited to be here for you all the fans, no need for introductions cause that was done on Twitter. With that being said let’s get down to business.

Starting out understanding the opponent. As most of us know already that they’re playing the New Orleans Saints at M&T Bank Stadium. I know this is usually one of my favorite preseason games to watch, whenever they play. Seeing the Saints go through a change at QB with an ongoing position battle & now some WR controversy. It’s definitely going to be something to watch. Game time is at 7pm EST.

While they have everything they got going on, the Ravens have some QB battles of their own. Yes, that’s right, QB2 battle. Tyler Huntley & Trace McSorley.

Both of these guys are great with what they do, Trace brings his own kind of cool balance of pocket passer & scrambler. Seeing them bring in Mr. McSorley was pretty awesome thinking back to it. At first when it happened I thought to myself “Why are they drafting another QB when they have LJ8 & RG3?” Well then remembered they duo need the depth for camps & after further research this guy was the real deal & has proven to be a solid back up since.

Mr. Tyler Huntley, the man who beat the one, the only, the Lamar Jackson back on the High school gridiron. Well technically it was the defense that he beat but that’s a whole other discussion for a later date. This guy as we all have seen in flashes of, is more a true copy cat of LJ8 vs any other mobile QB we’ve seen. This backup QB battle is easily the best in the league. It’s a sight to see to say the least. P.S. a main reason why I’m going into depth with this is because I don’t expect to see our beloved starter much suited up to play.

Let’s move onto one of my favorite pieces of the puzzle in this depth chart release. The Offensive & Defensive Lines! Starting out with the starting OL we have:

  • LT: Ronnie Stanley
  • LG: Ben Powers
  • C: Bradley Bozeman
  • RG: Kevin Zeitler
  • RT: Alejandro Villanueva

The only true shock but not shock to this is at LG. The Ravens’ Public Relations Dept put this depth chart together and as my understanding they put some of the more veteran/guys who have been with the organization longer first. I still feel like that spot is up for grabs with any of the other guys throughout the entire preseason. Whether it’d be Bredeson, Phillips, Cleveland, Mekari, or Powers. Any of them can take it and perform well.

As far as the center position goes, Bozeman was a killer at the spot in college & there is no doubt in my mind that he’ll succeed in it. but as far as who will be his backups. I cannot emphasize this enough. Keep Mekari healthy & ready to go but also have T.C.C. ready to go as well. Mr. Colon is the only dedicated center on this roster as far as we know of.

With the defensive line/rush LB, we have starting out a massive & monstrous unit coming after the backfield:

  • DT: Calais Campbell
  • NT: Brandon Williams
  • DE: Derek Wolfe
  • Rush: Pernell McPhee
  • SAM: Tyus Bowser

This set is a solid go to, and you can’t argue it. All these guys are dominant veterans who have the knowledge & skill sets to get the job done.

But the talk of the town has been that Rush position and who is gonna be the quality guy(s) to take over.

Well let’s look at who is in the running for starting & rotations shall we? *Note: this also includes our depth SAM LB*

  • Justin Houston
  • Jaylon Ferguson
  • Chris Smith
  • Odafeh Oweh
  • Aaron Adeoye
  • Darlin Hayes

All of these guys are key impact/rotational players in one way or another & we’ll get to see a lot of our draft picks in action in this game coming up especially Oweh & Hayes.

Next up is another huge position group that’s been talked out in the offseason: the wondrous WR.

According to a lot of the fan base on both Facebook & Twitter, the team’s WRs weren’t getting the job done or missing the X-Factor in the position. Well Ravens Flock, you all got your wish in Rashod Bateman & Sammy Watkins. Picking up Batman.. I mean Bateman in the draft was a mean steal. The guy has size, route running abilities, speed, and everything you want in a young receiver to compliment what the team already has. Expect to see alot of playing time against the Saints so he can get used to things.

As far as Sammy goes, we may see him in the first quarter only because he’s a NFL vet. Yes, even though it’s his first year with the team & a way for a fresh start to get more his stats under the belt over making room for Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill.

Both of these guys will be an immediate compliment to Hollywood Brown.

These two guys are great additions but my eyes will be on these four guys: Miles Boykin, James Proche, Devin Duvernay, & Tylan Wallace. All young & hungry wideouts looking to make themselves household names. It’s going to be a straight up brawl for the final spots with these gentlemen.

Now with everything being said, there are plenty of other position, rotation & backup battles going on. Everyone above listed in depth aren’t the only ones we’re going to be watching & evaluating. In the secondary we have names such as Nigel Warrior, Shaun Wade, Brandon Stephens(Who has officially been moved from college CB to NFL Safety), Geno Stone, & Ar’Darius Washington.

At FB/TE(Since the team has been doing dual roles with both or flip flopping them), we have a heated battle for TE 3 & 4/FB2. Josh Oliver, Ben Mason(my current favorite), Eric Tomlinson, Eli Wolf, etc.

So much fun & excitement going on right now in preseason that this preview of the team. Be prepared & have your jerseys, hats, tumblers, etc ready.

Wrapping this up, just want to say thank you to everyone who has made it to the end of this article & read ever bit of it. Means more than any of you all could imagine. Don’t forget to check out everything Around The Block, here on the website or on your favorite social media platform. Till next week have a great day!

Best Picks/Fits of the 2021 NFL Draft

The first round of the 2021 NFL Draft has come and gone, so it’s only right to react immediately. As expected Trevor Lawrence went number one overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Zach Wilson is a New York Jet. Despite all the reports before the draft, the San Francisco 49ers elected to go with the quarterback out of North Dakota State, Trey Lance.

Enough repeating what happened last night, let’s get into what everyone came here for.

Jaylen Waddle to the Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins need to give Tua Tagovailoa as many weapons as possible and they do exactly that by drafting Waddle. Waddle is an absolute speed demon and gives this offense something they don’t have right now; a playmaker who can turn a slant route into a touchdown on any given play.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban had this to say about Waddle “One of the things that I always look for in a receiver is how fast he can come out of a break and how fast he can accelerate. Jaylen Waddle probably does that better than anyone I’ve ever seen.”

That is extremely high praise from a guy who has coached many 5-star players and players like Henry Ruggs, Julio Jones, and Amari Cooper among others. Pairing Waddle with his former teammate Tagovailoa was a good choice by Miami and gives this team an extremely dynamic weapon on the outside.

Justin Fields to the Chicago Bears

After falling out of the top 10, Justin Fields is now a Chicago Bear after they traded up to the 11th pick with the New York Giants. Matt Nagy and Co. have put their jobs on the line (even though they were already) for the second-best quarterback in the draft. Fields arguably has the highest ceiling of all the quarterbacks in this year’s draft and the Bears make a very good decision trading up to get him.

Due to Fields falling as far as he did we may see a guy who is carrying a bag of chips on his shoulder. Since high school, he has been battling with Trevor Lawrence as the top quarterback in his respective class but is now the fourth-best based on his selection in the draft. If Fields can reach his ceiling we could be looking at a top 5 quarterback in the NFL in a few years.

It will be interesting to see what the Bears do heading in to next season with the quarterback position. They still have Nick Foles in the room and just signed Andy Dalton in the off-season after telling him and the media that he would be the starter. Landing Fields could certainly change that thought process because he is easily the more talented prospect and gives them some of what they had in Trubisky, the ability to make plays with his feet.

Lastly, we get to finally see Allen Robinson with a good quarterback.

Rashawn Slater to the Los Angeles Chargers

Protect the young, promising quarterback and that’s exactly what the Chargers do with their first-round pick. Sitting pretty at 13, they allow the teams in front of them to trade, scramble, try to outsmart their opponents, but instead, the Chargers look like the true brainiacs sitting pat and getting one of the best offensive tackles in a very deep class.

If Los Angeles were to trot out Trey Pipkins at left tackle for another year, that’s just malpractice. He hasn’t been able to get it done and hasn’t shown any type of improvement over the past two years. The Chargers need help on the left side of their offensive line and Slater will help bring that.

Slater, despite opting out of last season is going to be able to immediately come in and compete for the starting position. Slater was one of the only linemen in college who gave Chase Young all he could handle in the 2019 season. If all else fails and he doesn’t look like a great tackle, they could move him inside to guard. Slater gives the Chargers options up-front, a luxury they haven’t had in YEARS.

Christian Darrisaw to the Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings not only land the second-best tackle in the draft, but they were able to trade back from 14 to 23 with the New York Jets and still get their guy. Landing Darrisaw outside of the top-20, hell the top-15 is an absolute steal. Had they stayed pat at 14 and still landed Darrisaw, there’s a decent chance he still makes this list.

Even with guys like Sewell and Slater, there isn’t an offensive tackle in this class who made the position look easier than Darrisaw. From his effortless movement in pass-pro to his ability to get out on the edge in space. He will be an excellent fit for what the Vikings want to do in the run game with their heavy zone scheme.

It’s feasible that when we look back at this draft in 3-5 years, that Darrisaw is the best non-quarterback pick in the draft.

Rashod Bateman to the Baltimore Ravens

I don’t know how they do it, and frankly, I’m not sure I want to because it could get the Ravens in serious trouble (they have to be holding a gun to somebody’s head), but EVERY SINGLE YEAR they just let good players fall into their lap. This year is no different.

After trading away Orlando Brown Jr. to the Kansas City Chiefs and getting another first-round pick it wouldn’t have been shocking if the Ravens traded up for one of the top-3 receivers. However, they sit tight at 27 (their first pick in the first round) and get the best receiver outside of the Waddle, DeVonta Smith, and Ja’Marr Chase.

Baltimore gives Lamar Jackson a very technical route runner who can provide Jackson with some room for error with his ability to create space in short areas. They finally get themselves a guy who can win on a slant route and in the intermediate areas of the field consistently.

Can someone start drafting good players so the Ravens don’t get them? Please.

Honorable Mention: Penei Sewell to the Detroit Lions and Greg Newsome to the Cleveland Browns.