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Ravens Rookies Need to Get Up to Speed ... Quickly

Baltimore has 11 draft picks.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens coach John Harbaugh admits there's a steep learning curve from college football to the NFL.

Nonetheless, Baltimore is going to need its new crop of players to get up to speed quickly because they are expected to make an immediate impact, especially with the depth of the roster. 

"It’s a steep learning curve in many ways," Harbaugh said "In other ways, you just tell them, ‘It’s still football. Let’s not overthink it a little bit.’ It’s still 100 yards by 53-and-a-third. There are still 11 on each side. The hashes are different. Some of the receiver splits and the DBs messed up some of their leverages because they just kind of got out of whack on the hashes. So, that’s kind of part of it. 

"But it’s a pretty steep learning curve in terms of volume. There are very few teams out there in college football, offense, defense or special teams, they all do all the things you see in pro football, but very few do all the things that a team will do in pro football. So, there’s … We say they’re drinking from the firehose, a little bit, but we want them to drink from the firehose." 

The Ravens rookies just participated in their first practice. 

The Ravens rookies just participated in their first practice. 

First-round picks, safety Kyle Hamilton and center Tyler Linderbaum, are expected to start or at least see significant playing time as rookies, Third-rounder Travis Jones is also expected to play his way into the rotation at defensive tackle.

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The fourth-round picks, offensive tackle Daniel Faille, cornerbacks Jalyn Armour-Davis and Demarion Williams, tight ends Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely should push for playing time as position players and on special teams. 

Jordan Stout, another fourth-rounder, is expected to be the starting punter in place of Sam Koch, who retired. 

The Ravens are hopeful outside linebacker David Ojabo will be back from an Achilles injury, 

Running back Tyler Badie will compete for the third running back. 

All of the players showed flashes of potential at the recent rookie camp. 

"We come out, and we do a tempo period," Harbaugh said. "No contact, but it’s fast. Man, everybody is moving fast. It’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, how can I …’ It’s the first day they got their installs. I’d rather them understand what they’ve got to build into in terms of their knowledge and tempo the thing, rather than go slow and then later say, ‘Well, now we need to go faster, because we know what they’re doing.’ Let’s start with a tempo, and then let’s work our way and build into it.”