5 Things To Watch For At Rookie Minicamp

A guide to news fans should listen for coming out of Owings Mills, Md.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Friday, May 11th, 2012 at 10:38 am | Categories: Ryan Mink

On Friday, the Ravens will get their first taste of their 2012 draft class.

It’s the start of the once-a-year rookie minicamp, where the newbies get three days of individualized help from coaches.

All eight draft picks, plus 19 undrafted rookie free agents are on hand.

Here are five things to watch as the rookies get underway:

1.       Does Courtney Upshaw’s play resemble Terrell Suggs’?

Whether Upshaw can step in for Suggs won’t be determined in a few spring practices, but getting a first look at Upshaw could give an indication if he has the tools to at least grow into that spot. We’ll see if Upshaw plays the same physical way as Suggs and if he looks explosive and strong off the edge. It will also be interesting to see Upshaw drop back in coverage, an underappreciated element of Suggs’ game.

2.       How polished is Tommy Streeter?

His size, 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, almost undoubtedly will be impressive. But we’ll get a glimpse of how his hands look and how far Streeter has developed as a wide receiver in his routes and breaks to the ball. The sixth-round pick out of Miami is going to need time, but we’ll see where the starting point is.

3.       Who’s more impressive, Kelechi Osemele or Gino Gradkowski?

This is the only position where two draft picks will be playing for the same spot. Osemele is the second, second-round pick and Gradkowski is the fourth-rounder. Both have said they feel they could step into the starting left guard position vacated by Ben Grubbs. Let the competition begin.

4.       Can Bernard Pierce be the No. 2?

The competition for the No. 2 running back spot expects to be one of the best in training camp. Anthony Allen and Damien Berry have been present during voluntary workouts, and know the offense better than Pierce after having been part of it for a year. Pierce will have work to do in the classroom, but can stake his claim by showing his combination of burst, speed and power that made the Ravens trade up to get him.

5.       Which undrafted rookie free agent is going to stand out?

It happens every year. An undrafted free agent establishes himself early on, carries that momentum and ends up making the active roster. Last year, wide receiver LaQuan Williams showed his playmaking skills from Day 1 and was almost a lock for a spot on the 53-man team. The Ravens have a big class this year due to expanded rosters, so there’s a better chance of finding a gem.

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