Ravens’ rookies look to get acclimated to NFL in first minicamp

OWINGS MILLS — About 50 players gathered at the Under Armour Performance Center for the Ravens’ first rookie minicamp on Saturday.

All nine of the team’s draft picks were in attendance in addition to 22 undrafted rookies. Some second-year players, such as offensive tackle Andrew Vorhees, wide receiver Sean Ryan, running back Owen Wright and cornerback Tre Swilling, who didn’t play last season because of injuries, or were on the practice squad also participated in the workout.

Several players were invited to try out for the team, including wide receiver Qadir Ismail (Samford), the namesake of the former Ravens receiver, running back C’Bo Flemister (Pittsburgh), quarterback Emory Jones (Cincinnati), defensive lineman CJ Ravenell (Missouri Western State), punter Colton Spangler (Maryland), outside linebacker John McCartan (Oregon State), guard Kam Stutts (Auburn), kicker BT Potter (Clemson) and guard Prince Pines (Tulane).

“I think the biggest message is that you’re here for a reason,” coach John Harbaugh said. ‘”You’re in the NFL for a reason, and don’t underestimate your ability to fulfill your dreams. Don’t underestimate that possibility,’ and they generally don’t. [The] guys are confident; they’re excited. And, ‘Know that you’re here with the Ravens for a reason. You liked us; we liked you.’

“Everybody understands how we play and what we believe in. They know our identity, and that’s your identity. That’s why you’re here. So, ‘Be great at great, be great at that, and see where it takes you.’” 

The practice was held indoors because of rain.

Coach John Harbaugh and his assistant, including offensive coordinator Todd Monken, observed from the field while the position coaches ran drills.

This is an important camp for first-year players. The Ravens need depth at numerous positions, including the secondary, offensive line and wide receiver, so there is an opportunity to make the team.

One player who looked impressive was quarterback Devin Leary, who was selected in the sixth round (218th overall) from Kentucky. Leary showed a strong arm and the potential to one day throw passes in the NFL.

Some of the rookies were limited in their participation. Running back Rasheen Ali, a fifth-round selection, ruptured his biceps at this year’s Senior Bowl and ran drills individually without a helmet.

Safety Beau Brade, an undrafted rookie from Maryland, was wearing a walking boot after rolling his ankle.

Outside linebacker, Adisa Isaac, a third-round pick from Penn State, watched from the sideline while holding his helmet because of a hamstring issue.

First-round pick Nate Wiggins looks like he will need to add some muscle to his 6-foot-1, 182-pound frame, but the expectations are that he will make a significant impact as a rookie even if he doesn’t win a starting job at cornerback.

Some pundits contend that fellow cornerback  T.J. Tampa was one of the steals of the draft after the Ravens were able to grab him in the fourth round. He also will compete for playing time next season.

Wiggins, Tampa, offensive tackle Roger Rosengarten, center Nick Samac and safety Sanoussi Kane already signed their rookie deals.

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