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First Impressions Of The Rookies

Baltimore’s 28-man rookie class took the field for the first time on Friday.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Friday, May 11th, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink

Friday offered the first look at the Ravens’ 28-man rookie class, and it was a good one.

They learned how a practice works, went through some basic formations and did a variety drills. But for the most part, it’s just a day of first impressions:

  • It’s easy to see why Eric DeCosta called Courtney Upshaw a “junkyard dog.” He’s built like defensive end Pernell McPhee, but Upshaw is up moving around at different positions. It makes sense considering Upshaw is just an inch shorter and eight pounds lighter than McPhee.
  • Upshaw’s arms are huge.
  • Upshaw’s strength was obvious, even when it wasn’t real contact. Coaches stressed it was all about fundamentals, but offensive players will know when Upshaw puts his hands on him.
  • Upshaw did a very nice job in coverage on a couple instances. He recognized a swing pass on one play, and would have had a tackle for loss, drawing praise from Linebackers Coach Ted Monachino. He also had a tipped pass that was picked off.
  • Guard/tackle Kelechi Osemele is massive. He looks like a bigger version of Michael Oher. He’s got active feet and looks very athletic for his 6-foot-5, 333-pound frame. He looks like he can maul people at guard.
  • Wide receiver Tommy Streeter is more physically defined than expected. Maybe he’s been hitting the weight room this spring.
  • Streeter can pluck the ball away from his frame. He had a few impressive catches both behind his body, low and high. He hasn’t grabbed any deep bombs yet.
  • Streeter has some competition in the big-boy wide receiver battle. Undrafted rookie free agent Lamont Bryant of Morgan State is 6-foot-6, 230 pounds. That’s an inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than Streeter.
  • Syracuse receiver Dorian Graham and Florida wideout Deonte Thompson can fly.
  • Cornerback Asa Jackson has moxie. He plays with confidence and combines it with major speed and quickness out of his breaks. He broke on a couple balls that could have been interceptions.
  • Rookie free agent kicker Justin Tucker hit a 55-yard field goal to end practice. The other rookies applauded him.

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