A rookie's first NFL minicamp is usually a pretty stressful experience.
He's getting a new playbook thrown at him, the coaches are yelling out new terminology, he's playing alongside guys that he's grown up looking up to...oh yeah, and he's fighting for a job which could pay him a decent amount of money.
Mike McLaughlin is going through that whole process right now, except he's got one added hurdle to overcome: the Ravens have him lining up at a position he hasn't played since high school.
Despite a productive college career as a middle linebacker at Boston College, where he recorded 221 career tackles and 19.5 tackles for loss, the undrafted free agent is getting all his reps at fullback with the Ravens.
It's a place where he has some experience, but the transition back to the offensive side of the ball hasn't been the smoothest one for the 23-year-old.
"The thing is, you've got to know where you're going or the moves aren't there," McLaughlin said during the Ravens first minicamp last weekend. "Just simple stuff like getting aligned and knowing your assignment is what I need to learn now, then the movements will come and the rest of it will come. But right now, it's really a learning process for me."
After going undrafted back in late-April, McLaughlin signed with the Ravens shortly after the draft ended. He said the Ravens came after him hard, with head coach John Harbaugh making multiple calls to try and persuade him to come to Baltimore.
McLaughlin lacks ideal speed (he ran in the mid 4.8s at the Combine), which is the main reason why he went undrafted. But because of his gritty, hard-hitting style of play, the Ravens feel McLaughlin will be a good fit as a fullback.
And with Le'Ron McClain as the only other fullback on the Ravens' roster, McLaughlin knows he has a chance to make an impression on the coaches.
"That's the ultimate goal, absolutely," McLaughlin said. "I'm just here learning. There's no better place...I mean, are you kidding me? In this locker room with Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Le'Ron McClain, Ray Rice...I'm learning from the best in the business.
"Just keep learning, I can't say that enough. I mean, I really, really need to do some learning."
I think the guy is ready to start learning.
It's not easy making a transition from college from the pros, and it's especially not easy when you're switching positions. But McLaughlin is ready for the challenge.
"It's tough," McLaughlin said. "It's a little frustrating, but you've just got to stay focused and stay loose as best I can, and like I said, just study. Study and learn."