At The Midway Point of Preseason 2016
Through two preseason games, the Baltimore Ravens 2016 rookie class as a whole has faired well. First-round pick Ronnie Stanley looks like a solid starter, and day-three picks Kenneth Dixon and Matt Judon are shaping up to be year-one contributors.
The influx of talented youth on the roster is promising, and it is time to assess the progress of each Ravens rookie at the midway point of the preseason.
Let’s take a look at the Ravens rookie grades (ordered by draft selection) as preseason game three looms:
Ronnie Stanley – so far, so good for the first-round pick. Stanley has effortlessly stepped into the starting left tackle role, and has neither dominated nor stood out negatively, which is good enough for now. If he can play as well as a healthy Eugene Monroe, the Ravens will get a solid early return on investment in 2016. Grade: B+
Kamalei Correa – a fairly quiet first two preseason games for Correa, who has flashed some decent edge ability and versatility, but hasn’t had any standout plays. Grade: B-
Bronson Kaufusi – we’ll have to wait until this time next year to see what Kaufusi can bring to the table as he recovers from a broken ankle. Grade: Incomplete
Tavon Young – an injury has slowed down his progress, and Young hasn’t even played enough to even earn a grade per se. But, he can’t be worse than Jerraud Powers has been through two games, so let’s give him a C for good measure. Grade: C
Chris Moore – by getting on the field against the Colts, Moore showed he should be healthy and ready to contribute Week 1. He hauled in three passes against Indy, and promises to assimilate himself more against Detroit. Grade: B-
Alex Lewis – a pleasant surprise as Lewis has played a fairly clean, physical first two games. A healthy John Urschel likely still starts at left guard, but it has been reassuring to see Lewis get up to speed. Grade: B
Willie Henry – the athletic, disruptive former Michigan standout has failed to break through just yet, looking like “just a guy” out there. The final two preseason games could decide Henry’s fate as a regular contributor or regular inactive choice in 2016. Grade: C
Kenneth Dixon – he’s shown the burst, receiving ability and aggressive running style to instill confidence in the fan base that he can contribute as a rookie. Where he ultimately falls on the running back depth chart (likely second or third) remains to be seen. Grade: B+
Matt Judon – considering he was a fifth-round pick, Judon has easily been Baltimore’s most exciting rookie thus far. Capitalizing on second and third-string talent, Judon has been disruptive, aggressive and an all-around contributor. Grade: A
Keenan Reynolds – expecting the former quarterback to have any early success was never logical, and it would not be a massive shock to see the versatile now-receiver get cut before the regular season. Everyone is cheering for him and certainly can see him developing long term, but so far his production is non existent. The best bet is to try to sneak him onto the practice squad. Grade: D
Maurice Canady – the final 2016 Ravens draft pick had some bright spots against the Colts, but quite frankly is still on the outside looking in for the final roster. Grade: C