With the Ravens' offseason additions of Anquan Boldin, Donte' Stallworth, David Reed, Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta, it might be easy to overlook Mark Clayton, the quiet, mild-mannered wide receiver who has seemingly dropped on the depth chart due to the new bodies in camp.
But Clayton isn't being overlooked by the Ravens' coaches.
In fact, when Derrick Mason went down with a sprained ankle three days ago, it wasn't Stallworth, the speedy free agent acquisition, or Reed, the sure-handed rookie, who got the reps with the first-team offense.
Instead, it was Clayton who was called upon to fill in for Mason.
That might surprise some, but it shows how much the Ravens value Clayton's role on this team, even if he's no longer expected to play as big a role in the offense as in years past.
"Mark's had a really good camp," head coach John Harbaugh said. "Mark's caught the ball really well. Mark's a polished receiver. Last year he had the hamstring in training camp; he missed most of training camp, so this year he's getting a lot of good work."
It's been an interesting offseason for Clayton, who went from the Ravens' No. 2 wide receiver to battling for playing time with the first-team.
As the Ravens were upgrading their offense by bringing in a host of other pass catching targets, Clayton finished up his degree in communications and went to Africa for a church mission trip.
He was potentially getting bumped out of a job, but that wasn't a concern for the 28-year-old. Instead of thinking about catches and contracts, Clayton says he was focusing on the deeper things around him.
"I'm always thinking about life and purpose," Clayton said. "Why are we here? Why am I on this football field? What's the purpose of me being here? And at the end of the day, it comes with having an eternal mindset and just the value of what football has on eternity.
"It's not nothing, to be honest. So, I know I can enjoy this and just leave it at that, man. It's just playing, having fun, enjoying myself. No worries."
A deeply religious man, Clayton doesn't let much in the football world bother him. He's coming off arguably his worst season as a pro, posting 34 catches for 480 yards and two touchdowns.
But Clayton doesn't view this training camp as different than any other he's experienced in his six-year career. He doesn't see anything to prove, doesn't see a need to press or try and win over the coaches.
"Every time I step on this field, I don't do anything different than I've always done," he says. "I don't work any less hard than I've always worked. Nothing is changed, I'm just consistent in what I do. That's what I said my rookie year coming in. I said, 'My job is to be consistent. Period.' Work hard, do what you're supposed to do, take care of your business, be a constant pro, and everything else will take care of itself.
"So, I know I can enjoy this and just leave it at that, man. It's just playing, having fun, enjoying myself. No worries."
Over the last week and a half, Clayton has impressed when given the opportunity. He's been a solid performer in red zone drills and has shown the speed and smooth route running which led the Ravens to draft the Oklahoma product in the first round back in 2005.
But, as could be expected, Clayton isn't focusing on his strong start to camp. Asked about his increased role in the Ravens' offense the last few days, Clayton smiles and issues a level-headed response.
"Honestly, I just come out here every day and do my best and leave it at that," he says.