5 observations from last day of Ravens minicamp

5 observations from last day of Ravens minicamp
June 20, 2014, 8:30 am
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(USA Today Sports)

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The Ravens held their final workout of the offseason on Thursday with the last of their three mandatory minicamp practices. Here are five observations after seeing the team's final workout until training camp:

  • Ray Rice looks leaner, quicker and sharper than he did last year. It's hard to gauge at times without pads, but he is hitting holes and appears to be making people miss again. "He’s definitely in good shape,” quarterback Joe Flacco said after Thursday’s workout. “I don’t know if he’s any quicker, you’d have to ask him, but like I said, he definitely looks good. He’s running the ball well, our guys are creating some room out there even with no pads … He’s doing a great job of pressing, cutting, getting in there, having the explosion afterwards.”
  • Undrafted rookie receiver Jeremy Butler continues to make a name for himself. He got a lot of reps with the No. 1 and No. 2 offense and appears to have vaulted over rookie receiver Michael Campanaro on the depth chart. The competition for the final wide receiver spots will be one of the more interesting battles in camp.
  • Veteran Darian Stewart seems to be the front-runner to start at safety alongside Matt Elam. They both ran with the first unit, and after practice coach John Harbaugh said that, "Darian looks good. Darian has done a nice job." Rookie Terrence Brooks, a third-round draft pick, was working with the third team, with Omar Brown and Jeromy Miles running as second-team safeties.
  • First-round draft pick C.J. Mosley worked with the first team alongside Daryl Smith, and barring injury should be in line to be a rookie starter. His athleticism stands out in individual as well as during team drills. "He has been here working his butt off, and he’s definitely got some ability," Daryl Smith said.
  • Second-year fullback Kyle Juszczyk is versatile, has good pass-catching ability and is well-suited for Gary Kubiak's system. Without pads, it's hard to assess whether he's improved as a lead blocker, which was a shortcoming last season. But he figures to see a lot more action this year than he did as a rookie, when he hardly played on offense.

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