Ravens, Mellette open preseason at Tampa Bay tonight

Aug. 07, 2013 @ 06:56 PM

The defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens will begin their preseason schedule for the upcoming NFL campaign Thursday night at Tampa Bay.

It'll be the first professional game action for former Southern Lee standout and Raven rookie wide receiver Aaron Mellette, who Baltimore drafted out of Elon University in the seventh round in April.

The Ravens held their last training camp practice before the first preseason game on Tuesday afternoon before traveling for the 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Raymond James Stadium tonight. Mellette, who is one of 12 wide receivers, and one of four rookie receivers, on the Raven roster, is listed with the fifth pair of wide receivers on Baltimore's official depth chart. He gained positive mentions in a couple of media sources following Tuesday's practice.

The Baltimore Sun's Matt Vensel reported, "Wide receiver Tommy Streeter is buried on the depth chart behind LaQuan Williams, Aaron Mellette and even Marlon Brown, who is just coming back from a knee injury suffered in college."

Streeter is ahead of Mellette on the official depth chart. Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones are listed as the top two receivers. The biggest hole the Ravens are trying to fill at the position is to replace Anquan Boldin, who left the Ravens via free agency.

On baltimoreravens.com and Garrett Downing's report of Tuesday's training camp, he reported, "Rookie wide receiver Aaron Mellette has made strides in recent weeks and is getting targeted more frequently during practice. He’s even been working more with quarterback Joe Flacco and the first-team offense during some drills, although most of his work has come with the second teamers."

“Aaron Mellette has made good progress," said Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh. "He continues to get better every single day. He’s got lots of talent. I don’t think it’s too big for him, coming from a small school, but at the same time, he’s got a long way to go.”

The Ravens and Buccaneers have three preseason games to go following tonight.

Tampa Bay went 7-9 last season and is entering the second season under head coach Greg Schiano.

Baltimore will open its title defense on Thursday, Sept. 5 at Denver.