The Ravens had been studying the free agent market for weeks before they completed the exciting signings of veteran CB Ronald Darby on Thursday and doubled down on their late spending by adding former no. 1 pick and EDGE Jadeveon Clowney to the fold on Friday.
These two come with their particular bags of question marks, namely injury concerns in the case of Darby (he only played five games last year and is coming off an ACL injury) and shaky production in the case of Clowney (more of a run-stopper than a pass rusher and a perennial bust-label carrier).
Should the Ravens sit tight and be comfortable with these two additions with just exactly three weeks between now and the start of the regular season?
Hardly, but possible following Friday's training camp developments.
First of all, Harbaugh spoke after practice and said that Marlon Humphrey's surgery "went very well," and that the timeline is "very well defined" and "not super long." According to JH, Humphrey's going to be back "pretty early in the season," although the coach warned reporters that they "don't need to ask [about the injury] probably for a few weeks."
Ronald Darby is expected to step into Humphrey's shoes at least until he recovers from his foot surgery. Darby should lead the cornerback room and play CB1 to Rock Ya-Sin's CB2 (RYS is also injured, mind you).
Darby already practiced with the rest of the Ravens Flock on Friday, and according to Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com he looked "really good" after suffering an ACL injury last October.
Mink added that Darby made some "strong cuts during individual drills," and "even participated in some full-team work."
With three weeks to go before the regular-season kick-off, this is phenomenal news regarding Darby's availability and fitness to start the season strong in Humphrey's absence, which is all Baltimore can ask and demand from him right now.
As for Clowney, Harbaugh labeled the former first-overall pick of the 2014 draft as a "high-energy, very physical, reckless with his body" player.
More importantly, and perhaps a deciding factor in Baltimore's signing of the veteran EDGE, is the fact that Harbs sees Clowney as a "little underrated pass rusher."
Of course, Clowney has always been more of a run-stopper than a quarterback chaser judging by his sack numbers, but that doesn't mean he won't bring the heat to opposing lines.
Although Clowney didn't practice on Friday he attended Day 19 at The Castle after signing his contract watching the second half of the session live on location. Harbaugh said that the team "expects [Clowney] to help in preseason," and that he should "play a little bit" in the next two prep games.
"Then, right away in Week 1, [Clowney] should be out there, playing hard, doing a good job for us," Harbaugh finished.