Baltimore had a void at safety after starter James Ihedigbo left in free agency. Florida State's Terrence Brooks was being touted as one of the top safety prospects heading into the 2014 NFL draft.
When Baltimore took Brooks with the 79th overall pick in this year's draft, it seemed like a perfect fit.
This past season, in 13 starts, Brooks registered 56 stops and two interceptions, and he was regarded as a great playmaker in coverage and in the run game.
With Matt Elam slated to start at strong safety, Brooks was thought to be the favorite to start at free safety once he was drafted.
However, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun, Brooks has been slow to adjust to the NFL game. That's led Darian Stewart, a free-agent pickup this offseason, and veteran backup Jeromy Miles, a seldom-used special teams player, to get the majority of reps at free safety.
Both of those players have played for four seasons in the NFL but have combined for just 20 starts, with 19 of them coming from Stewart.
Neither of those guys appears to be a long-term answer, but Brooks has been unable to rise past them on the depth chart, where he sits third behind the two veterans.
Brooks did get 20 snaps on defense in Baltimore's first preseason game, but he failed to record a defensive stat. The first preseason game is also when seldom-used backups and players on the roster bubble get the majority of snaps, so that amount of playing time isn't necessarily a good thing.
However, Brooks is slowly improving in camp, and head coach John Harbaugh is taking notice, per Wilson.
"He’s doing great," Harbaugh said. "He’s learning fast. Safeties have a long way to go as rookies, but he’s doing a good job. He’s going to play a lot this year, no doubt.”
While the Ravens were hoping Brooks could come in and become a full-time starter at free safety, they are willing to give him time to adjust to the NFL game. Harbaugh sounds pleased with his progress thus far, and there's still over three weeks until the regular season begins.