Ravens Bubble Watch: vs. Rams, Preseason Game 1
With the Ravens benefitting from the Hall of Fame Game a week ago, they gave us a small look at a lot of the depth on the roster. We got to see at which point guys entered the game. It lends to a little bit of conclusion drawing as we see how much time, when that time gets devoted to players, and what players do with that time to see who is on the bubble of making this 53-man roster. In the Ravens 33-7 win to improve to 2-0 in the preseason, here are the guys fighting for a roster spot.
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Robert Griffin III – The man who started the HOF Game didn’t arrive until the second drive of the 3rd quarter tonight. Lamar Jackson came in after Joe Flacco led the opening drive to a touchdown. Whether the Ravens carry two or three QBs will be all speculation until cut day. If it means anything, Griffin was wearing Lamar Jackson ball cap on the sideline. #8 embroidered on the side. Either Griffin picked up the wrong hat, or the Ravens didn’t bother making him one with a #3 on it. Late in the game he made some pretty passes and dropped in a 33-yard TD pass for good measure. Thus far he looks like the better QB compared to Lamar Jackson. But Jackson isn’t going anywhere.
Gus Edwards – The UDFA has gotten plenty of run in the HOF Game and game 1 tonight. He has racked up plenty of yards. When he sees an open hole he hits it hard and without hesitation. With Kenneth Dixon still hampered with injuries, he’ll get time behind Collins and Allen to show his stuff.
Breshad Perriman – His stock dropped in the Hall of Fame Game when he dropped a pass into the hands of a defender. Against the Rams we didn’t see him until the 3rd quarter. He was with the same unit as DeVier Posey who will not be making the team, and rookie Jordan Lasley. He did make a couple nice fundamental grabs and picked up a handful of YAC in his limited action. The exclamation point was a 33-yard touchdown catch from RG3 with a defender covering him like a blanket and the end-line squeezing him. He’ll need to step up in a big way and keep the ball off the turf if he is to force his way onto the 53-man. Tonight was a step in the right direction for him, but is it too little too late?
Tim White / Janarion Grant – Both men are looking to make the team as return men, but also as the 6th and likely last WRs on the depth chart. White was the go to guy in the HOF Game, but missed tonight with an undisclosed injury opening the door for Grant. Grant did nothing of note which for a returner could be a good thing. Not coughing up the ball, not running the wrong way, sometimes that’s all you ask.
Maxx Williams – Did not dress tonight. He left practice Tuesday after getting his ankle rolled up on. Mark Andrews played a majority of the game in his spot. Andrews, fellow rookie Hayden Hurst, and Nick Boyle are locks. Maxx needs to be on the field or the former second round pick will be cut when the time comes.
Can we put the entire 2nd string O-line on the bubble? – Jermaine Eluemunor, Nico Siragusa, Greg Senat, Bradley Bozeman. It was apparent that they had blocking troubles in the HOF game. When the starting O-line played a drive to open the game (minus Marshal Yanda) the difference was night and day. If one piece of the starting line goes down, they are going to be in trouble. I would not be surprised if the Ravens poach someone cut from another team after camp wraps up. Cut from a team with too many O-lineman.
Patrick Ricard – The two way player made a catch for a TD as a fullback early in this one. He picked up a run stop later in the game on defense. I think a guy like him might have made his way off the bubble and I see him making the team.
Bronson Kafusi / Zach Sieler – The Ravens have a lot of depth in the front seven, particularly on the D-line. Kafusi and the rookie Sieler were the last of the big bodies to see the field but both made stellar plays on pass rushing with Sieler picking up a sack of the quarterback. Right now it’s Brent Urban, Carl Davis, and Chris Wormley earning the reps with the first and second teams. Brian Billick mentioned on the telecast though that Sieler is a guy that Coach John Harbaugh really likes, he was the final draft pick of Ozzie Newsome, and is one of the strongest weight lifters on the team. Which is saying something because Brandon Williams has freakish weight lifting skills. We’ll see how this transpires in the coming weeks.
Kamalei Correa – Correa knows he’s on his last chance here with a crowded stable of pass rushers and not cutting it when he made the move to ILB. He showed up big in the HOF Game with three sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble from his natrual pass rush spot. He didn’t show up the same way tonight, he didn’t do anything wrong. But his competition in Tim Williams and Matt Judon showed up with great games tonight notching and couple sacks collectively as the Ravens first and second team defenses pitched a shutout. It wasn’t until the middle of the 4th quarter that the Rams finally got on the board. Tyus Bowser did not dress tonight.
Maurice Canady – The third year corner out of Virginia needed to have a strong camp with Tavon Young returning from injury and the Ravens taking a pair of Alabama cornerbacks in the last two drafts in Marlon Humphery (2017 round 1) and Anthony Averett (2018 round 4). Reports have been high on him and he may have played his way onto the 53-man roster with a beautiful interception tonight. He stands 6’1” and he needed every bit of it in his leap to snag a ball out of the air like a wide receiver would. No other DBs are really stepping up to the plate thus far into preseason games and camp. Canady looks to be safe enough to move from bubble to lock with no sleepers making plays behind him.
BSL will be bringing you notes from inside training camp on Saturday, August 11th. Look out for that, and we’ll see how the bubble looks next week after the Ravens visit Indianapolis.