Originally posted on Ravens Football Machine  |  Last updated 5/13/12

Thanks to Ryan Mink, who is one of the Ravens' official PR writers and bloggers, we get to eavesdrop on a bunch of "inside impressions" of what just happened in Baltimore's rookie camp.

Guard/tackle Kelechi Osemele (6-6, 333) made a great impression on inside observers, according to Ryan Mink, who was there...

Here's how Ryan Mink recorded his "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.

Nice. Ryan Mink gives me the flavor of what it must have been like to be inside the ropes at drills.

Meanwhile, Ray Rice is no closer to signing his franchise tender...but says he's in shape and ready to return to work as soon as a contract is worked out.

“I actually have the burning to desire to come back, not only for myself, but to come back ready to play,” Rice said at Calvert Hall during the first Ray Rice Day in Baltimore. It is Ray's free football camp for area kids. As the free camp opened for more than 700 children Saturday morning, Rice talked with the media about his off-season training, emphasizing that he’s in great shape despite not participating in the Ravens voluntary conditioning program during his contract negotiations.

“Training is something that I never worried about,” Rice said. “My training has always been part of my routine. Nobody ever had to beat me in the head to work out.”

Rice didn’t talk about the ongoing contract negotiations, but the Ravens have repeatedly said that they are continuing to negotiate with his agent Todd France. The Ravens applied the franchise tag to Rice for this year, but he has yet to sign the tag and is hoping to get a long term deal. The two sides have until July 16 to work out a new deal, or else Rice would have to play the 2012 season under the franchise tag. 

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