The Ravens have already lost two defensive linemen for the season and Terrence Cody remains on the PUP list after hip surgery, leaving playing time for the taking for the players currently practicing in camp.
It sounds like second-round pick Timmy Jernigan is making a serious bid to earn a fair amount of it. Jernigan has proven to be a good fit on the Ravens defensive line, using his size and speed to make plays in the backfield since he started practicing with the team this spring. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees said that 49ers coaches raved about Jernigan when the two teams were practicing together and he shares their positive read on the rookie’s skills.
“Quick, explosive, everything we saw on film, a good draft pick,” Pees said, via the Baltimore Sun. “I really like him. I think he’s practicing really hard. I’m real pleased with where he’s coming, learning every day about the system. It’s a little different than what he did at Florida State. Very active.”
Haloti Ngata, Brandon Williams and Chris Canty look like the first three up front for the Ravens this year, but it figures to be a fluid situation as the season unfolds. If Jernigan continues to show an ability to help the team in a variety of ways, he should see his playing time climb steadily on a defense that’s remaking itself after winning the Super Bowl two years ago.