With two preseasons in the rear-view mirror, I take a look at projecting the Ravens’ 53-man roster for the first time since the aftermath of the opener.
My current look at the roster suggests 45 players are locks if the deadline to trim the roster to 53 took place today. My rough assessment of the 90 players currently on the preseason roster lists 19 players on the bubble. Not all bubble players are on equal footing, with certain positions lacking depth and others enjoying an abundance of talent.
Though general manager Ozzie Newsome, coach John Harbaugh, and the remainder of the coaching staff and front office are aware of the number of players at each position, trying to boldly pinpoint a specific number of wide receivers or linebackers isn’t the most accurate way of projecting the roster. In filling out the back end of their roster, the Ravens will look carefully at players’ special-teams abilities in addition to what they bring to their position.
The Ravens must trim the roster from 90 players to 75 on Sept. 1 and will go down to the regular-season number of 53 on Sept. 5.
The numbers in parentheses indicate the total number of players currently on the roster at that given position. Bubble players’ names that are underlined are currently on my projected 53-man roster as of Aug. 25.
LOCK: Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub
LONG SHOT: Bryn Renner
Skinny: Renner continues to stake a nice claim for a spot on the practice squad and could be one to keep an eye on for the backup job behind Flacco in the future.
RUNNING BACKS & FULLBACKS (7)
LOCK: Justin Forsett, Kyle Juszczyk, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Buck Allen
BUBBLE: Fitz Toussaint, Terrence Magee
LONG SHOT: Kiero Small
Skinny: The knee injury suffered by Taliaferro opens the door for the Ravens to carry another running back, but the rookie free agent Magee has performed well enough to push Toussaint for that job.
WIDE RECEIVERS (12)
LOCK: Steve Smith, Breshad Perriman, Kamar Aiken, Marlon Brown, Michael Campanaro
BUBBLE: Darren Waller, Jeremy Butler
LONG SHOT: DeAndre Carter, Aldrick Robinson, Daniel Brown, Trent Steelman, Tom Nelson
Skinny: Waller is moving ever closer to lock territory and has improved immensely since the spring while Butler has had a quiet preseason and Carter isn’t reliable enough as a returner.
TIGHT ENDS (6)
LOCK: Crockett Gillmore, Maxx Williams, Nick Boyle
LONG SHOT: Konrad Reuland
PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO PERFORM LIST: Dennis Pitta
INJURED RESERVE: Allen Reisner
Skinny: There’s no roster drama at this position with Pitta set to begin the year on the PUP list, but the Ravens have to hope their young tight ends are ready to contribute immediately.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (17)
LOCK: Marshal Yanda, Kelechi Osemele, Rick Wagner, Eugene Monroe, Jeremy Zuttah, John Urschel, James Hurst
BUBBLE: Robert Myers, Jah Reid, Ryan Jensen
LONG SHOT: Nick Easton, Leon Brown, Kaleb Johnson, Marcel Jones, Darryl Baldwin, Blaine Clausell, De’Ondre Wesley
Skinny: Injuries currently plague this unit and it remains to be seen how many linemen they’ll carry, but Easton, a rookie free agent, has played well in the preseason and is someone to keep an eye on.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (10)
LOCK: Brandon Williams, Timmy Jernigan, Chris Canty, Carl Davis, Lawrence Guy
BUBBLE: DeAngelo Tyson, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Christo Bilukidi
LONG SHOT: Micajah Reynolds
INJURED RESERVE: Brent Urban
Skinny: Despite seeing his playing time dwindle last season, Tyson is likely safe after the Urban injury and with Lewis-Moore struggling to establish himself this summer.
INSIDE LINEBACKERS (6)
LOCK: Daryl Smith, C.J. Mosley, Zachary Orr
BUBBLE: Albert McClellan, Arthur Brown
LONG SHOT: Andrew Bose
Skinny: It will be interesting to see how this position shakes out as the 2013 second-round pick Brown saw early action with the first-team defense when veteran Daryl Smith was lifted from the game.
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (7)
LOCK: Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Courtney Upshaw, Za’Darius Smith
BUBBLE: Steven Means, Brennen Beyer
LONG SHOT: Zach Thompson
Skinny: Means’ groin injury is now helping his cause in trying to make the roster, creating more opportunities for Beyer to put himself in the conversation for a backup linebacker job.
LOCK: Lardarius Webb, Jimmy Smith, Kyle Arrington, Tray Walker, Rashaan Melvin
BUBBLE: Asa Jackson, Quinton Pointer, Cassius Vaughn
LONG SHOT: Tramain Jacobs, Chris Greenwood
Skinny: A solid performance against Philadelphia put Vaughn in the roster conversation while Pointer has come back to the pack since a strong start to the summer.
LOCK: Will Hill, Kendrick Lewis, Terrence Brooks, Anthony Levine
BUBBLE: Brynden Trawick, Nick Perry
LONG SHOT: None
INJURED RESERVE: Matt Elam
Skinny: The activation of Brooks provides a nice boost to an otherwise-thin position behind Hill and Lewis, but it will be interesting to see if Trawick or Perry can survive for special-teams purposes.
LOCK: Sam Koch, Morgan Cox, Justin Tucker
LONG SHOT: Justin Manton, Patrick Scales
Skinny: There’s still nothing to see here.