Sizing up the 2022 Ravens roster entering mandatory minicamp

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With Lamar Jackson arriving in Owings Mills and the Ravens set to kick off their mandatory minicamp this week, it’s time to take our latest look at the 90-man roster as the start of the 2022 season is now just three months away.

As we move into the preseason later this summer, I’ll provide updates complete with 53-man roster projections of who’s in and who’s out. Following minicamp, I’ll offer my early thoughts on which players appear to be safely on the roster, those who are on the bubble, and the individuals who remain long shots to crack the 53-man roster by early September.

Below is a look at where the roster stands as of June 13 with my current concern level and some thoughts on each group (and the number in parentheses indicating how many players are at each position):

QUARTERBACKS (4) — Lamar Jackson, Tyler Huntley, Brett Hundley, Anthony Brown
Concern level: LOW
Skinny: Speculation and long-term concern will persist until the 2019 NFL MVP signs a long-term contract, but Jackson reporting Monday after skipping the entire voluntary portion of the offseason program should calm some of the chatter and put more focus back on the field. The silver lining of Jackson’s absence was Huntley receiving more extensive reps to fortify his standing as a rock-solid backup for Baltimore’s system.

RUNNING BACKS (7) — J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Mike Davis, Justice Hill, Tyler Badie, Nate McCrary, Ricky Person
Concern level: MODERATE
Skinny: This looks like a deep group on paper with the veteran addition of Davis and the sixth-round selection of Badie, but it will be impossible to tamp down concerns until we see what Dobbins and Edwards look like in training camp coming off their respective ACL tears. Though the timing of their 2021 preseason knee injuries should work in their favor for the upcoming season, many running backs don’t return from such injuries in swift and dynamic fashion like Adrian Peterson in 2012 or even Jamal Lewis in 2002 with one former NFL team doctor recently tempering 2022 expectations for the duo. In the meantime, the rest of the group will be jockeying for roster spots and potential early-season touches.

TIGHT ENDS & FULLBACKS (8) — Mark Andrews, Patrick Ricard, Nick Boyle, Charlie Kolar, Isaiah Likely, Josh Oliver, Tony Poljan, Ben Mason
Concern level: LOW
Skinny: Not only did general manager Eric DeCosta re-sign his three-time Pro Bowl fullback in Ricard, but he drafted a pair of pass-catching tight ends in the fourth round in Kolar and Likely, leaving this group with much better depth than the last two seasons. Though Andrews staying healthy remains the most critical element to the group’s success by a wide margin, there’s certainly more upside here if the Ravens want to get back to more formations deploying two or three tight ends.

WIDE RECEIVERS (12) — Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, James Proche, Tylan Wallace, Jaylon Moore, Binjimen Victor, Devon Williams, Slade Bolden, Shemar Bridges, Trevon Clark, Makai Polk, Raleigh Webb
Concern level: HIGH
Skinny: While I’m expecting Bateman to take a substantial step forward, I’m not buying the rest of this group being enough when the inevitable time comes for the Ravens to go toe to toe with the NFL’s most explosive offenses. Whether the right veteran acquisition can be made via trade or free agency at this point of the offseason is anyone’s guess.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (14) — Ronnie Stanley, Kevin Zeitler, Tyler Linderbaum, Patrick Mekari, Morgan Moses, Tyre Phillips, Ben Cleveland, Daniel Faalele, Ben Powers, Ja’Wuan James, Trystan Colon, Jaryd Jones-Smith, Kahlil McKenzie, Jimmy Murray
Concern level: MODERATE
Skinny: I like what the Ravens have done with the rest of their offensive line through free agency and the draft, but the overall fate of this group still boils down to the health of Stanley’s left ankle and whether he can return to his All-Pro level of play after appearing in just one game since Nov. 1, 2020. Another anticipated left guard competition won’t seem nearly as consequential if Stanley is back to anchoring Jackson’s blindside by Week 1 and Linderbaum lives up to his first-round billing at center.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (10) — Michael Pierce, Calais Campbell, Justin Madubuike, Travis Jones, Derek Wolfe, Broderick Washington, Brent Urban, Isaiah Mack, Aaron Crawford, Rayshad Nichols
Concern level: LOW
Skinny: This group still trends older than you’d like to see in a big-picture sense, but the third-round selection of Jones provided some much-needed upside for a rotation that also includes Madubuike and Washington trying to take the next step in their development. The biggest question is the status of the 32-year-old Wolfe, who is coming off January hip surgery and sat out the 2021 season with back and hip injuries. With Pierce and Campbell in the trenches, this unit shouldn’t have a problem stopping the run even if the interior pass rush remains a concern.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS (7) — Patrick Queen, Josh Bynes, Malik Harrison, Kristian Welch, Zakoby McClain, Diego Fagot, Josh Ross
Concern level: MODERATE
Skinny: Re-signing the 32-year-old Bynes raised this group’s floor for 2022, but there is still more uncertainty than you’d prefer considering Baltimore used a first-round pick on Queen and a third-round pick on Harrison just two years ago. Pass coverage is a real question mark, which could lead to new defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald using extra safeties in dime and quarter packages more frequently.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (8) — Tyus Bowser, Odafe Oweh, David Ojabo, Jaylon Ferguson, Daelin Hayes, Vince Biegel, Jeremiah Moon, Chuck Wiley
Concern level: HIGH
Skinny: Unlike the wide receiver position resting most of its hopes on Bateman, there is plenty of intriguing upside here after the talented Ojabo was drafted in the second round, but how soon can the Ravens expect to see him and Bowser back on the field after their respective Achilles injuries? Even if Oweh is fully recovered from offseason shoulder surgery and ready to take the next step immediately, there’s a reason why the Ravens recently visited with veteran free agent Jason Pierre-Paul and continue to leave the door open for Justin Houston to return.

CORNERBACKS (10) — Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Kyle Fuller, Jalyn Armour-Davis, Damarion Williams, Kevon Seymour, Robert Jackson, David Vereen, Denzel Williams, Iman Marshall
Concern level: MODERATE
Skinny: The signing of the veteran Fuller and the fourth-round selections of Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams put this group in better shape, but Peters’ successful return from a torn ACL remains critical to the 2022 ceiling here. Considering cornerback was regarded by many as Baltimore’s deepest position last summer, the injuries that hammered the group in 2021 were a good lesson reinforcing why you can never be satisfied with your reinforcements at this spot.

SAFETIES (7) — Marcus Williams, Chuck Clark, Kyle Hamilton, Brandon Stephens, Tony Jefferson, Geno Stone, Ar’Darius Washington
Concern level: LOW
Skinny: As if signing Williams to a five-year, $70 million deal weren’t enough, the first-round selection of Hamilton further transformed this group to the point that the versatile Stephens has worked more extensively at cornerback this spring. Clark’s status is still worth monitoring after some post-draft reports of him wanting out of Baltimore, but he attended voluntary workouts and has remained a total professional despite how he might feel personally. There are some strong safety duos around the NFL, but no team enjoys this kind of depth at the position.

SPECIALISTS (3) — Justin Tucker, Jordan Stout, Nick Moore
Concern level: LOW
Skinny: Perhaps a “moderate” concern level would be more appropriate when acknowledging how important Sam Koch was as both a punter and holder, but he remains on the coaching staff and the Ravens deserve the benefit of the doubt when it comes to special teams more than any other position.