Twelve Ravens thoughts following Day 2 of full-team practice

August 18, 2020 | Luke Jones

With the Ravens conducting their second day of full-team practice on Tuesday morning, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. Lamar Jackson made several beautiful sideline throws, including a toe-tap grab from Willie Snead during an 11-on-11 period. The third-year quarterback chalks it up to simple “repetition,” but his offseason focus on out-breaking routes outside the numbers seems evident early on.

2. Much of the offseason talk about Jackson centered around playoff performance and his ability — as well as this offense’s — to play from behind. Those are fair questions, but Marlon Humphrey said it best about what’s next: “To put a ceiling on him, I don’t think there is one.”

3. A day after news of Dez Bryant coming to town to work out for Baltimore, Miles Boykin turned in a strong practice headlined by a high-point catch with Humphrey in tight coverage along the sideline. Coincidence or not, it was good to see from a 6-foot-4, 220-pound target with potential.

4. Jimmy Smith is in good shape and has been smooth in coverage against both wide receivers and tight ends. I still expect him to primarily line up at corner when on the field, but cross-training at safety as Brandon Carr did in previous years makes perfect sense.

5. Earl Thomas looks leaner than he did last year and is “ready to roll” in John Harbaugh’s words. With the 31-year-old acknowledging a learning curve transitioning to his new defense last season, I’m interested to see how Thomas fares in the second year of his $55 million deal.

6. While rookie third-round pick Tyre Phillips has been mentioned as the potential swing tackle, keep an eye on the 6-foot-7, 312-pound Will Holden, who is 26 and with his seventh organization since being selected by Arizona in the fifth round of the 2017 draft. Someone needs to fill that job.

7. You’d expect some rust from Tavon Young after the slot corner missed all of 2019 with a neck injury, but he impressively broke up a pass intended for Snead on a short double move in a 1-on-1 drill. That’s hardly a setting conducive to seeing tight coverage from the defender.

8. Evaluating kick and punt returners without the benefit of preseason games will be unsettling, but rookie sixth-round pick James Proche looks natural catching punts so far. Still, it will be difficult not to hold your breath considering the volatility at the Ravens’ returner spots for years.

9. Chris Moore being sidelined with a broken finger opens the door for someone like Jaleel Scott to stand out as a gunner on the punt team, something the third-year receiver did during a Tuesday drill. Scott’s roster hopes depend on becoming a legitimate special-teams contributor.

10. Tyler Huntley doesn’t have the most consistent mechanics, but the rookie has made some good throws over the first two days of open practice, including a perfect deep ball to Marquise Brown. It’s a shame he didn’t get a normal spring to work with quarterbacks coach James Urban.

11. Contact and 11-on-11 drills attract more attention for obvious reasons, but the Ravens spent quite a bit of time early in Tuesday’s session working on alignment and technique. The rookies and young players need as much of that work as possible after missing so much on-field time.

12. Brandon Williams — who was back at practice after missing Monday — and the rest of the defensive line are having fun with veteran free-agent arrivals Derek Wolfe and Calais Campbell. Wolfe received wolf howls from his teammates while Campbell has heard both playful teasing and praise.