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Around the AFC North: Ravens kick off training camp with their rookies

The Ravens’ rookies are already reporting to training camp, and Antonio Brown reacheed the 30-year-old milestone.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens-Minicamp Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

As the Ravens welcome their rookies to their first training camp, Pittsburgh is celebrating the birthday of Antonio Brown. Could Cleveland fit in one more splash via the supplemental draft?

Ravens open up training camp for their rookies

The Ravens get a head start on most of the NFL with their training camp, because they play in the Hall of Fame game. The rest of the NFL is roughly two weeks away from starting their camp, and the Ravens’ veteran players will join the rookies on July 18th.

There is still plenty to keep an eye on with the Ravens during camp. The biggest thing is the possible future of the offense. Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews will likely be a tight end duo to keep an eye out for, and of course Lamar Jackson will have the chance to throw them the football.

As far as Bengals fans’ interest goes, they should be keeping an eye out for offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. as he was linked to the Bengals throughout the offseason. Before the scouting combine, many even thought Brown would be the Bengals pick at 12, but one of the worst performances ever in combine history quickly ended that.

His fall led to the Bengals opting to trade for Cordy Glenn to sure up the tackle position. Of course, the Bengals passed on Brown three more times after that including twice in the third round. If Brown ends up becoming a starting caliber tackle, it could be a fairly big what if for the Bengals.

Could Cleveland take someone in the supplemental draft again?

One of the most famous Browns in recent history (not always for the right reason) was selected in the second round of the 2012 supplemental draft. I’m speaking of course of receiver Josh Gordon. It looked to be a great move as in his second season he led the NFL in receiving yards.

However, after that a string of suspension related to the NFL’s substance abuse policy really derailed his career. Now that he looks to be back on track though, could the Browns choose to roll the dice one more time with a loaded supplemental draft?

There is a very good chance they will. After an 0-16 season, Cleveland has done everything possible to regain their fans’ interest. They added plenty of talent via trades and free agency. They also cashed in on all of money ball’s assets during the draft where they took Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward in the first round, and the Ward pick is really what makes me think Cleveland will use a pick in the supplemental draft. They know they need help in the secondary.

The supplemental draft includes Darius Phillips’ former Western Michigan teammate cornerback Sam Beal. He is viewed as the top player, but there are other secondary members like Adonis Alexander from Virginia Tech and Brandon Bryant from Mississippi State.

Any of these guys could develop into a solid NFL player, and depending on the pick, they’d have to give up to take them, then it could prove to be a huge value for this team.

Antonio Brown doesn’t want to focus on his age as he hits 30

We’ll end this post with a happy birthday to one of the most annoying rivals we have. Although, it doesn’t sound like Brown is too excited to celebrate.

“I don’t pay attention to my age,” Brown told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. “I’m feeling great, I’m healthy and I’m in great shape. I feel as long as I have that, I can continue to be productive. … Life is all about challenges and working to be the best. You never want to limp away from the game.”

Of course, Brown has been one of the most productive players of all-time, but a lot of that is due to playing in the era of the open passing game. He is already ahead of many of Jerry Rice’s receiving numbers at this age, but then again, Rice played for an extremely long time. He retired at the age of 42 in the face of riding the Broncos’ bench for the season.

Whether Brown has 12 or even 11 more seasons in him remains to be seen. Players have more information regarding the risks to playing this game that long, and Brown has already suffered quite a few nasty blows. We already saw one of the greatest receivers of this era in Calvin Johnson retire during his prime.

It’ll be more interesting to see if whoever replaces Ben Roethlisberger in a few years will be able to maintain that same kind of production that Brown has become accustomed to. After all, Rice was blessed to play with some of the greatest quarterbacks ever for his entire career. Brown enduring a few down seasons could really hurt his shot at reaching Rice’s unbelievable records.