Dec 27, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; USC Trojans running back Javorius Allen (37) looks on before the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the 2014 Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to the Daily Caw, where we round up all the latest Baltimore Ravens news from around the web. As we kick off Ravens OTAs today, we wonder if the team’s rookies can buck recent trends, and prepare for a heck of a competition at the wide receiver position. Plus, we dive into the new look offense and what needs to happen for things to click on the field.
Ravens CB Rashaan Melvin healthy after shoulder surgery – Aaron Wilson, The Baltimore Sun
"Melvin signed a $585,000 exclusive-rights tender this offseason. His shoulder has healed and he’s looking forward to offseason practices.“It’s coming along pretty good right now,” Melvin said. “We’re back getting our feet wet and getting ready for the season.”"
Predicting every NFL team’s surprise rookie gem – Dan Hope, Bleacher Report
"Smith should offer the versatility to play both standing up and with his hand in the dirt, while providing quality run defense and a complement to Baltimore’s more explosive pass-rushers, Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. If he can show his ability to disrupt the same way he did for two years at Kentucky and at the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl, Smith should see significant playing time—just as McPhee did—and be a solid contributor."
Ravens: Creating the blueprint for optimal offense in 2015 – Jason Marcum, Bleacher Report
"The line is the key to Baltimore having its most optimal offense in 2015. According to Football Outsiders, the Ravens had the No. 3 run-blocking offensive line in 2014 in addition to ranking No. 4 in pass-blocking."
Allen, other Ravens could “Buck” trend – Rob Rang, CBS Sports
"Quicker than Pierce but possessing a similarly well-built frame, the six-foot, 221 pound Allen is a slashing runner with the vision, burst and power. He had to wait his turn at Southern Cal but emerged as star the past two seasons, capping off his career with First Team All-Pac-12 honors as a senior. Unlike Pierce (who caught two passes last season for the Ravens), Allen is every bit as effective in the passing game as he is running the football. Tasked with catching passes out of the backfield and protecting the quarterback as a blocker in Steve Sarkisian’s pro-style attack at Southern Cal, Allen is more pro-ready than most rookie backs – something that Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh noted following Baltimore’s rookie minicamp this month."
The Ravens forgotten man – Carey Stevenson, Russell Street Report
"The selection of Buck Allen in the 4th round spoke volumes about how they feel about 2nd year running back Lorenzo Taliaferro. Allen is a good scheme fit but is the classic jack-of-all-trades, master of none. He’s a “gets what’s blocked” back with solid vision and pass game skills. However he doesn’t generate great power as a runner and lacks any plus traits. He’s reliable and useful but not someone that projects into a feature role or even a significant secondary role in the future. He’s essentially an upgrade over Bernard Pierce."
Wide receiver competition will be tight as OTAs begin – Jeff Zreibec, The Baltimore Sun
"The Ravens are carrying 11 wide receivers and only about six of them figure to make the final 53-man roster. Steve Smith, Marlon Brown, Kamar Aiken, Michael Campanaro (River Hill) and first-round pick Breshad Perriman are all pretty much locks if they are healthy.That leaves very little room for the rest of the group which includes sixth-round pick Darren Waller, Jeremy Butler and Aldrick Robinson, and undrafted free agents Daniel Brown, DeAndre Carter and Cam Worthy. Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones are gone, but the Ravens have plenty of players that will try to fill their roles."
Ravens offseason roster review: Joe Flacco leads new-look quarterback group – Jamison Hensley, ESPN
"Flacco, the unquestioned starter, won’t see any familiar faces in the quarterback room. The Ravens have replaced Taylor and Wenning with Schaub, Renner and Lovelocke. Schaub is the Ravens’ most experienced backup since Marc Bulger in 2010. He’s also the most expensive at one year, $2 million. This was a much-needed upgrade because Taylor was a below-average backup. Even though Schaub has struggled mightily the last two seasons, he has a higher passer rating (90.9) than Flacco (84.8) since 2008."
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