By Chris Schisler
The Baltimore Ravens’ first preseason game was a great first look at players that fans may not have been familiar with. The players we’re talking about today are either just popping onto the scene and being noticed, or they’re picking up some momentum for the first time. It’s players like this that make the preseason more meaningful. Let’s get into it.
Ty’Son Williams is a running back who came to the team as an undrafted free agent. Williams was one of two undrafted players at his position, Nate McCrary also got some playing time against the New Orleans Saints. On a night where Justice Hill barely got used and didn’t have success when his number was called, Williams turned some heads.
Williams was a multi-dimensional running back. He had 10 carries for 41 yards while picking up 23 yards on five receptions. Williams showed power and the ability to fight for extra yards. One first down he earned, he earned the very hard way.
Williams is a running back who could probably use more sudden burst, yet he’s fairly elusive. This was a good first impression at the very least. On a small sample size, I’m intrigued. The third running back spot seems open (Remember the Ravens showed interest in a mostly washed-up Todd Gurley) and I want to see more from Williams.
Do you remember when the Ravens traded Kaare Vedvik to the Minnesota Vikings? The Baltimore Ravens are probably trying to build up Jake Verity as some trade bait. It’s so obvious that it’s just about all that Gerry Sandusky, Rod Woodson, and Mike Nolan could talk about on the WBAL broadcast, any time there was a kicking situation.
Verity looked sharp. He hit both of his field goals with what looked like confidence and ease. His longest made field goal was 53 yards. Verity made an impression. It wouldn’t be shocking if the Ravens got a pick for him at some point and he became a starting kicker. At this point, it’s almost an expectation. The Ravens have the greatest kicker of all time in Justin Tucker (Not a debate). It’s a win for everybody if Verity becomes a trade asset for the Ravens.
Jaylon Moore is a wide receiver from UT Martin. He’s a bit too much of what the Ravens already have at the wide receiver position as he’s a 5-11 receiver with a smaller frame. Moore has some quickness though, and he ran some good routes against the Saints.
In this game, Moore probably should have had a touchdown, but Trace McSorley didn’t make the throw. Moore had two receptions for 32 yards. He did his part. When he got chances he took advantage of them.
Moore has an uphill battle to make the roster. In fact, it’s a very uphill battle. Moore’s biggest problem is that even if he impresses he’s not in front of Tylan Wallace or James Proche. Moore may have a shot to be there for week one if Miles Boykin starts the year on injured reserve. It’s still an uphill battle, though I really like what he brought to the table in the preseason opener.
This is almost cheating. You already have gotten a little familiar with Geno Stone, but not the way he played against the Saints. Stone had three total tackles and more importantly two interceptions. Stone is making a very good case for himself. It’s only his second year in the league, though you could argue this is the only good pitch he’s made for the Ravens to keep him to date.
NEXT POST: Ravens vs. Saints: 3 subtle lessons from preseason outing number 1
Stone was a sixth-round pick out of Iowa. A lot of draft analysts (myself included) were high on Stone and declared the Ravens to get a steal. Stone always had the potential to be a play-maker. With his ball skills, Stone has a chance to make a name for himself. Stone needs to keep it up. Technically this may not be him popping onto the scene, yet this is the first time we’ve seen him make a mark.