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Sam Koch’s Heir Shows Off

Rashod Bateman & Marlon Humphrey battle at training camp
Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens
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The first half of Baltimore Ravens practice was relatively slow on this scorcher of a Tuesday. The Special Teams units were the ones getting most of the work in. This gave us plenty of chances to see what Jordan Stout could bring as the heir to the position that Sam Koch held for so long.

The first thing that stands out is that the rookie punter has a boom tube of a leg. Stout had some of his punts go into the end zone, but some good, angled punts landed inside the 20-yard line, including one that was downed at the one-yard line by Kevon Seymour.

When they flipped the field, Stout unleashed some long punts with impressive hang time. It wasn’t the only thing he got to show off; he also had some work kicking field goals. Stout showed he had the leg to hit very long field goals. He hit a 60-yard field goal and it looked relatively easy for him.  Stout looks the part and that’s a major takeaway of the practice.

Let’s talk defensive backs

The best play of the day belonged to Tony Jefferson, who picked off a pass intended for Rashod Bateman. Jefferson went up for the football and tipped it, then pulled it in. That was just one part of a strong practice overall by the veteran.

There was eye-catching work done by Jalyn Armour-Davis at the cornerback position. He’s a gifted athlete and he flies around out there. He also got some work as a gunner on special teams, which seems a natural fit for his skill set. Damarion Williams intercepted a pass late in practice and had a nice return to go with it. Seymour is one of my favorite players to watch. He’s fighting for a roster spot and he’s bringing it. Every time you see number 25 on the practice field, he’s hustling. It’s hard not to root for this guy.

Kyle Hamilton has been on point. Tony Lombardi talked about the rookie on Monday, but he brought it again today. There’s a lot of young talent in the defensive backfield.

How about Lamar Jackson?

Lamar Jackson had an interception but otherwise, he was efficient, only missing on four passes. The only concerning thing about the pick is that it was an underthrown pass to Bateman. After struggling to hold onto the ball Monday, Bateman today had one target end up in a turnover and a drop that hit him right in the hands. Earlier in camp, it looked like the quarterback and the top wide receiver had a simmering connection. It’s something to keep an eye on.

Jackson’s timing was good during the Tuesday practice, and he seemed much more in a rhythm than he was on Monday. Jackson had zip on the ball and has been throwing the ball with confidence. In other words, the MVP is letting it rip. It’s a good sign for the offense.

WRs take turns showing off while RBs impressed

It seems like the undrafted and unproven receivers are taking turns showing what they can do. Today Baily Gaither and Binjimen Victor were the two most impressive wide receivers. Gaither has a style very similar to Slade Bolden, who has also had his moments at camp. Gaither can make plays after the catch. He’s the player that beat Hamilton at the open practice, for a point of reference, and he’s got a bit of Julian Edelman to him.

Victor had a nice leaping vertical at one point that got him a tough reception. He also caught a pass right down the seam for a big gain. On that play down the seam, he even got fans excited with a nifty spin move. Every day it’s somebody different. Are any of these receivers picking up momentum, or is it just as clumped together as it was at the very beginning of camp? Consistency is going to have to be key.

This was a good day to be a running back. Justice Hill had a very nice practice, and showed that he could be a weapon in the passing game. Tyler Badie showed off his athleticism. The rookie is playing way in front of his sixth-round draft stock. Everything he has done has looked impressive. Each day that I’ve been there Badie has made a nice catch or two, while being a jitterbug of a playmaker after the catch. Mike Davis had a nice cutback run where he roared down the field. The running backs got a little more to do.

Tight end is a position at which the Ravens surely aren’t lacking. Tony Poljan was very active today. While he probably doesn’t factor into the logjam at this position, he made some plays. Josh Oliver has continued to look solid. Oliver is a smooth 6-5 target who could be on the roster bubble. Solid is the word I keep going back to when it comes to describing him. Oliver has traits and he’s not too shabby at any aspect of the tight end spot. He could be a better blocker, maybe, yet he’s putting in respectable practices. He is going to force the Ravens into a tough decision one way or another. That’s what happens when you have a surplus.

Let’s get into the trenches

Travis Jones showed some striking athleticism. He’s the classic combination of speed, size, and power. Broderick Washington was also causing fans and media to take notice when the defensive line was doing drills. He attacks with no wasted movement and was very technically sound. He is more explosive than he’s often given credit for.

Daelin Hayes had some nice moments. One that stood out was when he sniffed out a screen pass and stopped it right away in the offense vs. defense portion of practice. I liked what I saw out of Daniel Faalele. The rookie right tackle is way ahead of where I thought he would be. I still see him as a backup for now, but the potential is there.

Well, there you have it, the takeaways from an interesting Tuesday practice. It started off slow, and it heated up with some very notable action.

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