Owings Mills, Md. — The Ravens will host a rookie minicamp this weekend for the first time since 2019.
Baltimore added playmakers on both sides of the ball.
Here's a look at some of the top five storylines:
1. The Impact of Wide Receivers Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace
One of the Ravens' main priorities this offseason is boosting a passing attack that ranked last in the NFL for yards per game and attempts. With the addition of Bateman and Wallace, Baltimore now has seven players vying for perhaps six roster spots. Newly acquired Sammy Watkins, Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay and James Proche all should be ready to compete when training camp opens in July. Batemand and Wallace each have the potential to make a first-year impact. They need to make an early impression with the roster crunch.
2. How Much Can Odafe Oweh and Daelin Hayes Add to the Pass Rush?
The Ravens lost three key pass rushers this offseason via free agency. The team added Oweh and Hayes in the draft to make an impact pressuring the quarterback. Neither player had overwhelming stats in college but they have the ability to be disruptive. Both players will be challenged to pick up the nuances of defensive coordinator Don Martindale's scheme. However, the Ravens need production from these first-year players because of the depth chart.
3. Can Ben Cleveland Take Over A Starting Role at Left Guard
Cleveland is nicknamed “Big Country” for his impressive 6-foot-6 and 343-pound frame. Despite his size, Cleveland had an impressive pro day, running a 4.85 in the 40-yard dash. However, he suffered a fractured fibula that forced him to miss six weeks during the 2018 season. Cleveland will get the chance to start at left guard if Bradley Bozeman moves to center or he will be a key backup.
4. How Much Brandon Stephens and Shaune Wade Add to the Secondary?
The Ravens have solid depth in the secondary to insulate themselves against injuries that inevitably occur each season. Stephens began his collegiate career as a running back at UCLA. He transferred to SMU in 2019 and made the transition to cornerback. Last season, he started all 10 games for SMU, finishing with 43 tackles (36 solo), including one for loss. Stephens will make an impact on special teams and provide depth behind starters Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters. Wade struggled with a lingering turf toe injury last season. He still managed to record 35 tackles, four pass breakups and two interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown in a seven-point win over Indiana.
5. Will Ben Mason Have A Defined Role?
Mason has the versatility to make an impact in multiple ways as a rookie. Mason appeared in 45 games for Michigan, including one start on the defensive line. He was voted team captain for the 2020 season. Fullbacks matter and maybe none more so than Mason, who was one of the top fullbacks in the draft class and a Senior Bowl participant in 2021. Mason is a solid blocker and people mover generating power from his strong lower body effectively. He uses his natural leverage to move bigger guys at an extremely high rate. Pat Ricard is a two-time Pro Bowler who already fills those needs for Ravens. The team could be creative getting Mason involved.