How many rookies will earn playing time?
Bateman has looked the part of a first-round pick and Cleveland could start, but how many rookies will carve out important roles right away? First-round pick Odafe Oweh (31st overall) has intriguing potential as one of the top athletes in this year’s draft. Oweh isn’t just a pass-rusher. He has the quickness to create havoc as a run defender who can penetrate into the backfield, and the has he versatility to drop into pass coverage. If Oweh learns quickly, he could give Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale multiple ways to use him. The Ravens drafted fullback/tight Ben Mason (fifth round) because he was a bruising blocker at Michigan, but he must prove his value as a second fullback or third tight end. Defensive backs Brandon Stephens and Shaun Wade will be trying to carve their niche in a deep secondary, and rookie linebacker Daelin Hayes had strong minicamp practices. Meanwhile, there’s always an undrafted rookie or two who makes a bid to make the 53-man roster, and safety Ar’Darius Washington could be that guy.