Ravens who stood out over two weeks of OTAs

OWINGS MILLS — While it’s still early in the offseason, several Ravens players are off to a good start in the first two weeks of Organized Team Activities.

Coach John Harbaugh has been happy with the pace of the practice under the strict parameters of the practice.

“They’re getting faster and quicker,” Harbaugh said about his players. “The biggest thing we have to do is really work hard to control when guys get in bad positions. You’re not in pads. … The good news is [that] you’re not allowed to play with the physicality, but it challenges and tests your feet, your foot quickness and your ability to change direction more on the offensive line.

“So, take advantage of that opportunity. Focus on moving your feet and staying in front of your guy, or the two-man game or whatever it might be. So, we just have to keep working on that and always try to chase keeping people off the ground.”

Here are the players who stood out in the first two weeks:

Inside linebacker Trenton Simpson — Simpson is expected to take over the starting role for Patrick Queen, who signed with the Steelers as a free agent. Simpson added muscle this offseason and could be a thumper in the middle of the field. In OTAs, Simpson has been adept at dropping into pass coverage and has a knack for finding the ball.

Outside linebacker Odafe Oweh — The Ravens exercised Oweh’s fifth-year option, and he has been solid over the first two weeks of OTAs. He has put pressure on the quarterbacks and is flying around the field. This past season, Oweh appeared in 13 games after dealing with an ankle injury in Week 2 and finished with 23 tackles, 12 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles, and tied a career-high with five sacks.

Wide receivers Rashod Bateman, Zay Flowers, and Tylan Wallace — All three veteran wide receivers have been busy and each has taken the next step in their development. The ball has rarely touched the ground when Bateman, Flowers, and Wallace are targeted. The trio should have plenty of opportunities to make plays during the regular season.

Charlier Kolar catches a pass at the Ravens OTAs. Photo by Ravens media.

Tight end Charlie Kolar — Kolar has caught several, passes downfield and has become another sure-handed option for the offense. His blocking also has improved, which will be another way for him to get on the field.

Safeties Ar’Darius Washington and Sanoussi Kane — Washington, entering his fourth year, and the rookie Kane are battling for the third spot on the depth chart behind Kyle Hamilton and Marcus Williams. Both Washington and Kane had interceptions this past week and they have been adept at breaking up passes. Their performance has softened the need to add a veteran safety to the mix.

Running back Rasheen Ali — The rookie from Marshall was busy Thursday with Derrick Henry and Justice Hill sitting out practice. Ali also showed good burst out of the backfield, and most importantly, he was aware of protecting the football. He will get plenty of work in the preseason games.

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