Early Look at the Ravens Depth Chart
There is long way to go until the Ravens need to set a 53-roster. But it’s not too early to get a glimpse of what the Ravens face heading into camp. What positions will have intense battles? What players need to be put on notice? What needs do the Ravens still have to address, if any?
The depth chart is a fluid situation, ever changing. But here is look at a baseline to start with, and some elaboration on positional groups to follow.
Discuss your thoughts on the my depth chart on our message board.
Players in bold I project to make the team. Players in italics are on my bubble (some are also bold). Players who are neither need to work their way into the conversation. Undrafted free agents were not added yet.
QB – Joe Flacco, Ryan Mallett, Jerrod Johnson
RB – Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, Kenneth Dixon (R), Trent Richardson, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Terrence West, Terrence Magee
FB – Kyle Juszczyk
WR – Steve Smith Sr., Mike Wallace, Kamar Aiken, Breshad Perriman, Michael Campanaro (kick return), Chris Moore (R), Darren Waller, Marlon Brown, Jeremy Butler, Daniel Brown, (Keenan Reynolds possible military obligation).
TE – Ben Watson, Crockett Gillmore, Maxx Williams, Dennis Pitta, Nick Boyle (Suspended)
T – Ronnie Stanley (R), Eugene Monroe, Alex Lewis (R), James Hurst, Blaine Clausell
G – Marshal Yanda, Rick Wagner, Ryan Jensen, De’Ondre Wesley
C – Jeremy Zuttah, John Urschel
DT – Brandon Williams, Carl Davis
DE – Timmy Jernigan, Lawrence Guy, Bronson Kafusi (R), Willie Henry (R), Brent Urban, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Nordly Capi
ILB – C.J. Mosley, Zachary Orr, Albert McClellan, Arthur Brown
OLB – Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Kamalei Correa (R), Za’Darius Smith, Matt Judon (R), Chris Carter, Brennen Beyer
CB – Jimmy Smith, Shareece Wright, Tavon Young (R), Kyle Arrington, Will Davis, Maurice Canady (R), Julian Wilson
S – Lardarius Webb, Eric Weddle, Terrence Brooks, Kendrick Lewis, Matt Elam, Anthony Levine, Nick Perry, Jumal Rolle, Jermaine Whitehead
Special Teams, a.k.a. The Wolfpack
K – Justin Tucker
P – Sam Koch
LS – Morgan Cox
24 on offense, 26 on defense, three on special teams = 53
Quarterback – Joe Flacco is ahead of schedule on his rehab. Should be a full go when the season starts. No reason to carry but one backup in Ryan Mallett.
Running Back – Justin Forsett is coming off a freak forearm break which should not affect him at all. However, It’s time for the carries to be split a little more even as the workload he encountered was well above his norm, and pass catching wasn’t his strong suit in Marc Trestman’s offense. Kenneth Dixon fits Trestman’s scheme perfectly, and might even beat out Buck Allen for playing time. Trent Richardson is a wild card, but I can’t see the Ravens carrying four RBs on the 53-man roster. If he shows well in camp, it’s possible Richardson could be traded for a pick. Taliaferro, West, Magee, need the injury bug to show up to make the team, IMO.
Fullback – Hi. Kyle Juszczyk. How ya doin?
Wide Receiver – Does Breshad Perriman make a full recovery? That’s the big question. Steve Smith Sr. is coming off major injury and will be 38-years old. It’ll be interesting to see if Mike Wallace can rejuvenate his career here in Baltimore. After drafting Chris Moore, the Ravens potentially have three guys capable of stretching the field. The theory that in doing so will open up the short passing and running game will be put to the test. Campanaro might be relegated to kick return and some slot opportunities, but needs to stay on the field to make an impact. Darren Waller, Marlon Brown, and Jeremy Butler likely start on the bubble, fighting for the last WR spot.
Tight End – Dennis Pitta is the wild card here. He’s said he wants to play in 2016, doctors need to feel comfortable with him doing so. He has agreed to a pay cut which gives the Ravens some cap relief. New addition Ben Watson, Crockett Gillmore, and Maxx Williams are seemingly locks to be the three TEs to make the roster. If Pitta can play, you wouldn’t want to lose any of these guys, so you probably roll with six WRs instead of seven, and that Waller/Brown/Butler bubble crew is probably burst.
O-Line – So I moved Rick Wagner inside to guard to replace Kelechi Osemele on the left side. He’s probably a better option than Ryan Jensen and John Urschel there. This allows Ronnie Stanley and Eugene Monroe to man the tackle spots, with rookie Alex Lewis to rotate in. Also with Urschel and Jensen rotating in at guard when/if Marshal Yanda ever needs a breather. Jeremy Zuttah is the center, and hopefully given the time on IR last year, nagging injuries aren’t an issue moving forward. Zuttah at 100% is a good center. Side note, there is no reason James Hurst should see the field in 2016.
D-Line – The front line has to potential to be great, with Brandon Williams taking his game to a premier level, and Timmy Jernigan gaining another year of playing time. But the depth is full of question marks. Carl Davis slowed toward the end of 2015, two rookies could make the back end of the lineup in Bronson Kaufusi and Willie Henry. Brent Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore are bubble players more than capable of making the team. Maybe the Ravens keep one of them on the 53-man as well, and take one of the DB’s off that I project.
Inside Linebacker – C.J. Mosley, and man would I like to have Myles Jack in there. This is Arthur Brown’s last, best chance to show himself with specialist Albert McClellan, and Zach Orr ahead of him on the chart.
Outside Linebacker – Terrell Suggs is coming off another Achilles tear and not getting younger. Elvis Dumervil will likely continue his role as situational pass rusher. That tells me that the rookie in Kamalei Correa will get a lot of playing time if he earns it. He could be in the Courtney Upshaw role, with Za’Darius Smith playing the old freelancing Pernell McPhee role. Matt Judon was the most explosive edge rusher at the combine as far as measurables go. Will be interesting to see if he can transition from Division II Grand Valley State to the NFL.
Secondary – There is a lot to like with a healthy Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb being moved to safety, the signing of Eric Weddle, but there are also a lot of bubble players in depth. Rookie Tavon Young would most likely make the team, but a lot of guys are in a wide open competition that will likely be won on special teams. Matt Elam, Terrance Brooks, Kyle Arrington; time for this crew to show up.
Special Teams – Justin Tucker is kicking for his long term contract in 2016. Sam Koch, Morgan Cox, as solid a special team unit as you’ll find.
Mike was born on the Eastern Shore, raised in Finksburg, and currently resides in Parkville. In 2009, Mike graduated from the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland. Mike became a Baltimore City Fire Fighter in late 2010. Mike has appeared as a guest on Q1370, and FOX45. Now a Sr. Ravens Analyst for BSL, he can be reached at [email protected]