Ravens TE Isaiah Likely already looks like one of the steals of the draft

Ravens, Isaiah Likely Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Isaiah Likely Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

Through three weeks of training camp, there has been no bigger star for the Baltimore Ravens this summer than fourth-round rookie tight end Isaiah Likely.

Likely has shined both on the practice field and when it came to the team’s first preseason game last week, and he put together perhaps his most impressive practice to date on Monday.

The rookie tight end made a pair of highlight-worthy plays with the first coming during red zone one-on-one drills. Working against safety Geno Stone, Likely made a diving catch in the corner of the end zone for a would-be touchdown.

Later in the day, Likely skied above linebacker Malik Harrison and safety Kyle Hamilton to haul in a leaping pass from Tyler Huntley. It was his second acrobatic catch of the day and further evidence that he’s exceeded all expectations since arriving at Owings Mills.

The Ravens found a good one in Isaiah Likely

The Isaiah Likely story will always be a memorable one in Ravens lore. The organization reportedly planned to select Memphis wide receiver Calvin Austin III with the 139th overall pick in this year’s draft before the Pittsburgh Steelers took him one spot before their AFC North rivals.

The Ravens were forced to pivot to their next option. That option was Likely. Even with a need at the wide receiver position, the Ravens felt compelled to draft Likely, and the early signs are that they made the right choice.

The former Coastal Carolina star has been tearing it up at camp and looks primed to make a sizable impact as a rookie. Head coach John Harbaugh has already stated that Likely will have a role in the team’s offense this season.

It’s going to be difficult to keep him off the field, even with the presence of Mark Andrews. The good thing is, the Ravens use more two tight end sets than any team in the NFL.

On top of that, Likely (and Andrews for that matter) has proven that he could be just as effective when split out wide as a receiver. He may still be a work in progress as a blocker, but Likely is a dynamic receiving threat in a Ravens offense that needs players like that.

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It’s still early, but no player has impressed more at Ravens training camp than Isaiah Likely. Every indication is that the Ravens found themselves a draft-day steal.