Isaiah Likeli extended every inch of his frame by 6 feet and 4 and, with one hand, pulled the ball out of the air just before it hit the ground.
The referees who worked on the last day of Ravens’ mini-camp rejected the beginner’s tight end outside the borders, but his athletic performance was still the culmination of the last week of the team’s work before the extended summer break.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson and coach John Harbo shouted at Lickley, who was selected in the draft in the fourth round from Coastal Carolina, at their press conferences after training. “Huge catch,” Jackson said.
James Proc II and Rashod Bateman said that the newcomer fulfilled his bills as a great broad receiver. Proche noticed that his younger brother was going to coastal Carolina, so he watched Lickley for several years. “I already knew what he was capable of,” he said.
The Ravens will probably start the season with four close ends: Mark Andrews, Nick Boyle, Lickley and his colleague from the fourth round, Charlie Collar. Given the small number of experienced vaiders on the list, one of the newcomers could easily become a frequent target of Jackson, who achieved his best season in 2019 when he regularly threw Andrews, Boyle and Hayden Hearst.
He probably doesn’t look or move like a traditional tight end, but if he continues to play stunningly in a row and in the red zone – he caught more touchdown passes on Thursday in addition to a spectacular miss – he’ll see the pitch come in September.
Jackson concludes a solid week
Although he did not throw in any dog as spectacular as the beauty from the field that he dropped over Bateman’s shoulder on Wednesday, Jackson continued to show the fruits of his off-season work with personal quarterback coach Adam Dedo.
He threw with a lot of zippers and with fine precision during the three days of the obligatory mini-camp, moving with his usual flight despite carrying an extra 10-12 pounds added during off-season training. Jackson did not look like a completely new player, but a good version of himself, which is all the Ravens could have hoped for after skipping three weeks of voluntary team training to “grind” himself.
Ravens quarterback coach James Urban said that he told Jackson that he would be able to immediately discern whether the former most useful player worked hard while he was not in the team. “I could say, in the best possible way,” Urban said on Thursday. “Lamar was obviously running his business when he was away from us.
Jackson and the belt catchers plan to continue that work with sessions at Florida Atlantic University in the weeks before the training camp. Talks on the quarterback’s contract negotiations will continue to hang over the Ravens, but from a purely football standpoint, this has been an encouraging week of training for their franchise player.
Veteran wears ‘silver line’
The Ravens continue to express optimism that Ronnie Stanley’s left-wing match will return to form for the Pro Bowl after he missed all but one game last season.
However, if Stanley’s surgically repaired ankle does not cooperate, two experienced players, Morgan Moses and Ja’Vuan James, will compete for the opportunity to protect Jackson. Both Moses and James had starting repetitions in the match on the left during the mini camp, and although it is always difficult to assess the game on the line in minimal contact, Harbo called their presence a “silver line” if Stanley’s recovery turns out to be harder than expected. .
None of the veterans is considered an ideal left-handed contender, and James has his own questions about the injuries he needs to answer, having played just three games since 2018. But the Ravens have more options to patch up their offensive line than a year ago.
Harbaugh also offered encouraging words for the match of newcomer Daniel Faalele, who struggled with fatigue again on Thursday despite relatively low temperatures. Faalele, who weighs 380 pounds, is one of the greatest players in NFL history, and Harbo said that he has “good weight”, but that he is “breaking through in NFL-like conditions like a match”.
Harbaugh has publicly criticized the players for their poor condition, but he is taking a more measured tone with a fantastic fourth-round pick from Minnesota.
Faalele was one of several offensive players (James and quarterback Ben Powers are also at fault) who made fake starts on Thursday, a sin that Harbo will be less patient in dealing with if the trend continues at training camp.
Hayes presents his case
Second-year outfielder Delin Hayes was a summer star last year before suffering through a losing starting season that was undermined by injuries.
With sharp catch shots, the fifth-round pick from Notre Dame is back to leave a strong impression this offseason. He missed the match with Jerid Jones-Smith to beat the quarterback on Thursday, the day after he took Jackson.
Hayes has a number of quality offensive moves that go along with his physical tools, and he has played with constant fire for the last three days, talking nonsense with the team’s offensive players at one point. As Harbaugh noted, his next step is to translate these summer flashes into a training camp and eventual action in the game. The Ravens, who are still low veterans on the edge, would benefit from his help.
Jackson and other quarterbacks Anthony Brown and Brett Handley (Tyler Huntley was resting due to shoulder tendinitis) had a good old time competing to throw 25 yards into a long, narrow net that Urban used to perfect their accuracy.
A few throws rang from the rim at the top of the net, but only two – one Jackson’s, one Handley’s – fell into the nylon. “We were, like, four in a thousand,” Jackson said later, although he enjoyed the competitive element of the warm-up exercise.
At one point, security guards Chuck Clark and Tony Jefferson wandered off to make their best shots. They were both short. “Go back to another field,” shouted the fleeing JK Dobbins, who pulled his head out of the training room to watch.