Ravens Notebook: Rookies Make Strong Impression, Lamar Jackson Approves

Baltimore finished first of offseason workouts.
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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens coaches were impressed with the workout of the rookies.

In fact, one first-year player, Ben Mason, literally tore the skin off his feet during the rookie minicamp.

"Ben had some trouble with his feet yesterday, just a bad shoe situation," Harbaugh said. "Really had some legitimate problems in terms of tearing the skin off his feet. It will grow back quickly I'm sure and he'll be okay. He goes hard. He worked so hard yesterday he tore the skin off the bottom of his feet."

Overall, it was an encouraging performance by the rookies who apparently took advantage of being back on the field. Last year's workouts were canceled by COVID-19 and the 2020 draft class did not have an opportunity to get on the field until training camp.

Lamar Jackson On Board with the New Players

Quarterback Lamar Jackson has a couple of new weapons on offense with rookie wide receivers Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace.

He also has a massive new offensive lineman in Ben Cleveland.

Harbaugh said Jackson can't wait to get back on the field. 

"We’ve texted," Harbaugh said. "Lamar, I would say, is a short texter. So, yes – I’ve gotten his thoughts, but it’s the brief version. But he’s excited. He’s ready to go. I think Lamar, as much as anything, is thinking about doing what he can do so he can be the best that he can be, and then as a quarterback, work all these other guys into it from a chemistry standpoint. 

"So, he’s excited. He can’t wait to get back, and I can’t wait to see him here.”

Villanueva A Welcome Addition

The Ravens further boosted their offensive line by signing former Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Alejandro Villanueva to a two-year, $14 million deal. He'll fill the void at right tackle after Orlando Brown Jr. was traded to Kansas City. 

The familiarity with Ravens from playing with the Steelers for so many years won't hurt.  

"He’s going to play really well on the right side," Harbaugh said. "He’ll play well on the left side if required. He just adds to our offensive line. He’s a very good player. He’s a tremendous person. He’s a veteran. He knows how to play. He knows how to get himself prepared to play. He’s been in the trenches. He’s an upgrade for us, and I’m really excited to have him.”

Breeland Still on the Mend

Tight end Jacob Breeland is still recovering from a knee injury he suffered his final year at Oregon.

"Jake is not back yet from the knee [injury]," Harbaugh said. "He’s working on that. I spoke with him; he’s here in the building. I couldn’t give you a timeframe on it. I kind of think he’ll be there for training camp. I have to … Maybe the next time we get together I can answer that one for you, but [he’s] not ready to practice yet and be cleared."

The Ravens placed Breeland on the non-football injury list last year. 

Breeland remains an intriguing player and would have been drafted if not for the knee injury. He finished fourth among all-time Oregon tight ends with 1,225 receiving yards. Breeland was just the eighth Oregon tight end to surpass 1,000 career receiving yards. He had 74 receptions for 1,225 yards and 13 touchdowns over his career.