Often times, early-round draft picks are tossed into the fire right off the bat in their rookie season.
Because many teams draft for need in the first and second-rounds, the players they select have an inside track to starting jobs and often get to play significant reps in their first year in the league.
The Ravens don't appear to be in that type of situation.
John Harbaugh's squad returns most of the key players from last year's playoff team, which means they don't need to give any of their rookies significant playing time unless they earn it.
With Terrell Suggs and Jarret Johnson in place, it won't be necessary for rookie outside linebacker Sergio Kindle to step in right off the bat. With Kelly Gregg back this year, rookie defensive tackle Terrence Cody can ease his way into playing time as he progresses.
So that begs the question: Given the current state of the roster, what are the Ravens' expectations for their rookies this season?
"That's a good question because I think we do have a good team," Harbaugh said. "We've got some depth. I think we expect them to be the best they can be, and we're really hopeful that it's really good. I would say we don't have expectations. We're not going to say we expect this guy to be that. We don't want to put a label on it. But we're hoping that they exceed whatever hopes we have, if that makes any sense. We want the most for them."
"Sergio said he wanted to be the Rookie of the Year when he first [interviewed with the Baltimore media]. You guys made a big deal about that, and it was kind of fun. But, I guarantee you we'd all be pretty happy if he was the Rookie of the Year. We don't expect that, and that's not something that we're thinking about every single day, but Terrence Cody or whoever it is, if they could achieve that kind of individual accomplishment, that would be great for our team."
In reality, the chances of any Rookie of the Year hardware ending up in Baltimore are slim, not because of a lack of talent in this year's rookie class, but because it might be tough for Kindle, Cody and Co. to see the field as much as some first-year players.
As Harbaugh said, the team will expect their rookies to contribute, but there won't be as much pressure on that group as maybe there had been in years past.
Two seasons ago, Joe Flacco needed to learn the ropes right out of the gate. Last year, Michael Oher was thrust into action immediately.
The Ravens can take it slow with this year's draft class and allow the rookies to develop. That's a luxury that not many teams get to experience.