Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Intelligent Conversation

Predicting the Ravens’ 53-man roster at the end of 2015 preseason

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST BaltimorePositive.com and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at Luke@wnst.net.

With the 2015 preseason in the books, the Ravens now turn their full attention toward the season opener against the Denver Broncos on Sept. 13.
But first, it’s time to go on the record with the final projection of the Ravens’ 53-man roster to begin the regular season as head coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome will make their final decisions by 4 p.m. on Saturday. Of course, this will only be the beginning as the Ravens will explore the possibility of adding other players who will become available over the next few days.
With injury concerns at receiver, running back, and on the defensive line as well as overall depth questions in the secondary, the Ravens could be active as they have been in the past in adding veteran talent just before the start of the season. Many have also speculated that Baltimore could be in the market to add a veteran return specialist, which appeared to be an even bigger concern after Thursday’s preseason loss in Atlanta.
Though Newsome, 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 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 numbers in parentheses indicate the total number of players they are projected to keep at that given position.

QUARTERBACKS (2)
IN: Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub
OUT: Bryn Renner
Skinny: The veteran Schaub quelled some concerns with a strong performance in the preseason finale, but the Ravens hope they won’t need him to play for the rest of the season. Meanwhile, Renner was solid after a rough start on Thursday, but he still figures to have a decent chance to make the practice squad.

RUNNING BACKS & FULLBACKS (4)
IN: Justin Forsett, Kyle Juszczyk, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Buck Allen
OUT: Terrence Magee, Fitz Toussaint, Kiero Small
Skinny: The prediction here is that the Ravens will waive both Magee and Toussaint to create a temporary roster spot to accomodate Brent Urban and to explore veteran backs that may become available elsewhere. They will then have the option to bring back either one assuming they clear waivers.

WIDE RECEIVERS (6)
IN: Steve Smith, Breshad Perriman, Kamar Aiken, Marlon Brown, Michael Campanaro, Darren Waller
OUT: Jeremy Butler, Daniel Brown, Tom Nelson
Skinny: Butler has had a role on special-teams units this summer, but he just hasn’t shown enough ability to gain separation with extensive looks in the passing game. Marlon Brown’s job wasn’t in danger, but it was nice seeing him show up emphatically in the first quarter on Thursday night.

TIGHT ENDS (3)
IN: Crockett Gillmore, Maxx Williams, Nick Boyle
PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO PERFORM LIST: Dennis Pitta
OUT: Konrad Reuland
Skinny: This position group has been decided ever since Harbaugh confirmed last month that Pitta would begin the year on the PUP list. You have to wonder how quickly Williams will be able to make an impact after being limited with injuries quite a bit this summer.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)
IN: Marshal Yanda, Kelechi Osemele, Rick Wagner, Eugene Monroe, Jeremy Zuttah, John Urschel, James Hurst, Robert Myers, Jah Reid
OUT: Ryan Jensen, Kaleb Johnson, Nick Easton, Blaine Clausell
Skinny: The current injury to Jensen makes the decision a little easier to stick with Myers, a 2015 fifth-round pick who struggled during the preseason. A good summer for Johnson makes him an attractive option for the practice squad along with Jensen.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (7)
IN: Brandon Williams, Timmy Jernigan, Chris Canty, Carl Davis, Lawrence Guy, Kapron Lewis-Moore
INJURED RESERVE-DESIGNATED TO RETURN: Brent Urban (must be on the 53-man roster until Sunday)
OUT: DeAngelo Tyson, Christo Bilukidi, Micajah Reynolds
Skinny: A strong finish to the summer put Lewis-Moore back on the positive side of the bubble as he’s finally starting to show signs of the player he was at Notre Dame before suffering two major injuries. Tyson becomes the odd man out after an injury-riddled summer and a disappointing 2014 season.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS (5)
IN: Daryl Smith, C.J. Mosley, Zachary Orr, Albert McClellan, Arthur Brown
OUT: Andrew Bose
Skinny: Brown is in a tenuous position as the Ravens still think he possesses upside as a linebacker, but his special-teams ability clearly lags behind Orr and McClellan. Baltimore will try to carry the 2013 second-round pick on the roster, but positional needs elsewhere will make it difficult.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (4)
IN: Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Courtney Upshaw, Za’Darius Smith
OUT: Brennen Beyer, Zach Thompson
Skinny: The Ravens hope Smith is ready to step into Pernell McPhee’s old hybrid role in passing situations, but the fourth-round rookie remains a work in progress. A strong performance in the final preseason game was a nice statement from Beyer to land on the practice squad.
CORNERBACKS (6)
IN: Lardarius Webb, Jimmy Smith, Kyle Arrington, Tray Walker, Rashaan Melvin, Asa Jackson
OUT: Cassius Vaughn, Quinton Pointer
Skinny: Jackson makes the 53-man roster for now, but the Ravens really need to pursue an upgrade at cornerback and in the return game. Vaughn and Pointer were too up and down over the course of the summer to warrant roster spots.

SAFETIES (4)
IN: Will Hill, Kendrick Lewis, Terrence Brooks, Anthony Levine
OUT: Brynden Trawick, Nick Perry
Skinny: Trawick is a victim of the numbers game after serving a steady role on special teams over the last couple seasons. The Ravens need Brooks to knock off the rust from the knee injury as quickly as possible to sure up depth behind Hill and Lewis.

SPECIALISTS (3)
IN: Sam Koch, Morgan Cox, Justin Tucker
OUT: None
Skinny: This trio begins its fourth season together as the Ravens easily possess one of the best sets of specialists in the NFL.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Once again, the Ravens refuse to “move on” from Draft mistakes. It is my only peeve with them in their roster makeup. I’m talking about Reid and Arthur Brown. Please………………..
    (L.J. — Not saying I disagree with your general sentiment, but who are you so adamant about wanting to keep instead? They’re backups.)

  2. In my opinion you cut both Jenson and Reid to make room for Renner. Of the three of them, Renner is the most likely to get picked up by another team and he is too promissing to loose. Either Reid or Jenson should clear waivers and be available to pick back up. After Saturday, Renner can be assigned to the practice squad and one of the O-Linemen brought back up. This may not be legal, I’m not sure. But it protects a valuable asset in Renner we don’t have room for on the 53.
    (L.J. — Not saying Jensen or Reid would be that crucial to lose, but I’m not sure Renner is so valuable that other teams would claim him. Decent possibility as an eventual backup? Sure, but let’s not get too carried away.)

  3. I’m going to go rogue on you here Luke:) I see Jensen, Butler & Bilukidi making the final 53. Aside from Reid, I don’t see who else they would get rid of. That’s why I’m not the GM of the Ravens.
    (L.J. — Should give us some fodder for debate on Sunday morning!)

Comments are closed.

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