I was supposed to write an article about whether either of Tim White or Quincy Adeboyejo will make an impact for the Ravens this season. This had me excited. Two promising UDFA rookies who have excelled so far in training camp - easily being the two most exciting players so far. They play what is considered a “sexy” position (this is coming from a former offensive lineman) and have both had numerous highlight reel plays so far in training camp. I could discuss their histories, their important roles on special teams, and finally whether there was room on the roster for both. Well this was all ruined after the Ravens first preseason game against Washington as Tim White is now out for the season with a thumb injury. I will attempt to honour his fabulous first few weeks of the preseason, before discussing the role Quincy Adeboyejo may hold this season.
Tim White came to the Ravens from Arizona State University. The Ravens wide receiver corps lacks depth, especially in the slot; giving White a chance to make an instant impact. To be honest I did not pay much attention to White at the start of the preseason. White made it impossible to not notice him after he made play after play. His speed, and ease of lateral movement made him a Sportscenter candidate every time he touched the ball. He continued this Thursday when he scored a touchdown in his first preseason game. That was one of many highlights of what will come to be his only game of the season.
I believe that, barring injury, White would have had a great chance to make the roster this season. He would have had a role as a kick returner, and possible as a special teams gunner. Considering Harbaugh’s history as a special teams coach, White’s chances of making the final 53 were pretty high. Regrettably, we will have to wait for next season to see if White can fulfill the hype.
On the other hand, Quincy Adeboyejo gives Ravens fans a reason to be excited for the rest of this preseason. Adeboyejo, pronounced add-ah-BOY-joe, has been one of the Ravens most impressive players the first few weeks of camp. Running against the first team defense, Adeboyejo - an Ole Miss product, consistently made big plays. It looked like he was running against the scout team, as opposed to being on it. Although he never had much success at Oxford Adeboyejo looks like the real deal in training camp. How can this be, and what role will Adeboyejo fill this season?
The first key to Adeboyejo’s game is his size and speed combination. He is 6’3” and ran a 4.42 40 yard dash at the combine. At Ole Miss he totalled 1454 yards and 11 touchdowns; seven of those touchdowns coming in his junior season. While Adeboyejo never achieved great success at Ole Miss he has found success with the Ravens thus far. He is able to use head nods and jab steps to create the smallest hesitations in defensive backs. Once that has occurred Adeboyejo uses his speed and he is gone. If that fails he uses his 6’3” frame, 34.5” vertical, and nearly 32” arms to get above opposing DBs. The downfall of all of this is that Adeboyejo is NFL caliber at running 9 routes. While he did work in the slot a bit during college he lacks the lateral ability to succeed in the slot in the NFL. Adeboyejo joins a Ravens WR corps that has Mike Williams, Breshad Perriman, and Chris Moore that all exceed in running verticals. This will make it difficult for Adeboyejo to make the roster without adding value to the team elsewhere.
While Adeboyejo does not return kicks like Tim White he is able, and eager, to play special teams. I have heard throughout training camp that he has been one of the team’s best special teams gunners. For UDFA special teams is usually the best route to sticking on the roster. Adeboyejo clearly understands this and is doing his best to make the team. Let us hope that it is enough.
Adeboyejo has a lot of things in has favour at the moment. While his game against Washington was lacklustre he will have more chances to show his value to the team throughout the preseason. He is still a home run threat every time he is on the field. Adeboyejo just needs to work on his ability to consistently get on base. As a three time honour roll student at Ole Miss Adeboyejo has the intelligence to succeed both on and off the field. It is my belief that he will be able to translate that intelligence to success on the field for the Ravens this season as a role player, and key contributor on special teams.