Ravens: Projecting the 53-man Roster
After the Ravens 27-10 win down in South Florida over the Dolphins, the picture of what the 53-man roster could look like, is less clear than it was before heading down there. It wasn’t your traditional third preseason game where the first teamers get most of the run. Many veterans didn’t dress in the slippery conditions with Coach John Harbaugh having cited their reps in the practices with other teams (Rams, Colts) as being enough to get a good look at those guys.
We learned of a couple new injuries that could impact the fate of some other players. DeShon Elliott has a fractured forearm and it could land him on injured reserve. Willie Henry needed hernia surgery which will sideline him for multiple weeks. Backup tackle Greg Senat suffered a toe injury which will be tricky and hard to put a time table on for an O-lineman. Just about an hour ago the Ravens put rookie WR Jaleel Scott on IR.
With that, let’s take a look at the positions and who is on the bubble with one preseason game to go.
Discuss your thoughts on this early roster breakdown on our message board.
Lock: Joe Flacco, Lamar Jackson
Bubble: Robert Griffin III
Longshot: Josh Woodrum
It’s the elephant in the room. Will the Ravens carry three QBs or not? I think they need to after what we have seen so far from Lamar Jackson, who did make some nice plays against Miami. John Eisenberg made a great point that for a team with playoff aspirations, you want to have someone capable to turn too if Flacco gets hurt. Griffin has looked capable. I think Eisenberg is right. But with the need to keep injured Hayden Hurst and Willie Henry on the 53-man, and thus carrying an extra tight end and defensive lineman that you normally wouldn’t, is Griffin going to be the last player cut?
Lock: Michael Crabtree, John Brown, Willie Snead IV, Chris Moore
Bubble: Breshad Perriman, Jordan Lasley, Janarion Grant, Tim White
Longshot: DeVier Posey, Andre Levrone
PUP: Quincy Adeboyejo
IR: Jaleel Scott
Coach John Harbaugh recently called out his young receivers, pleading for someone to go out and make this team. Breshad Perriman is the leader in the clubhouse to grab the fifth spot behind the locks. Part of that is the rookies Jordan Lasley and Jaleel Scott not stepping up their game. Scott is out of the picture now. Lasley dropped a TD pass in the Colts game, but made a couple plays in Miami. The other part of that is the money they committed to Perriman on the third day of camp which will count against the cap. White and Grant have a chance to win the returner job. However they might have to clear waivers to the practice squad and be brought up at a later time. It will be very disappointing if Lasley or Scott cannot make the team after they were just drafted. If this past preseason game is any indication, Grant is the favorite over White for the return job. They kept seven receivers last year. Maybe they do the same this time around and cut it to six when Jimmy Smith returns to the 53-man after his suspension.
Lock: Alex Collins, Buck Allen, Kenneth Dixon
Longshot: Gus Edwards, Mark Thompson, De’Lance Turner
Gus Edwards has had a nice showing for a UDFA and he’ll continue to get that chance in the final preseason game. De’Lance Turner took a long run to the house for the Ravens first score of the game in Miami. But the three backs locked in here come cheap enough and have the experience. Even if Dixon isn’t so reliable.
Lock: Patrick Ricard (FB/DE)
Longshot: Christopher Ezalea (IPP)
The coaching staff has raved about Ricard all camp long. They like him as a fullback, a pass catcher in the red zone, and a defensive end. He’s not a gimmick. He’s going to make the team.
Lock: Nick Boyle, Mark Andrews, Hayden Hurst (injured, foot, 3-4 weeks)
Bubble: Maxx Williams, Vince Mayle, Darren Waller
Longshot: Nick Keizer
Tough break having Hurst go do with what looks like an injury that will sideline him until week 3 or 4. Hurst will have to be put on the 53-man roster though. So adding another TE be it Williams, or if Waller or Mayle shine on special teams, will be necessary which will take a spot from someone else. It looks like from the Dolphins game, Maxx Williams will be the 4th tight end and make the squad.
Lock: Ronnie Stanley (LT), Alex Lewis (LG/T/C), Matt Skura (C), Marshal Yanda (RG/RT), Orlando Brown (RT), James Hurst (G/RT)
Bubble: Jermaine Elumanor (G), Nico Siragusa (G), Bradley Bozeman (C)
Longshot: Greg Senat (T), Maurquice Shakir (C), Randin Crecelius (G), Cameron Lee (G), Justin Evans (G), Andrew Donnal (T)
We have seen all preseason long that after the first team, O-line is very thin. Greg Senat hasn’t had a great showing until they faced to Dolphins, and then he got hurt. That might seal his fate of making the team. A couple second year guys in Elumanor and Siragusa could be the backups. Perhaps the rookie Bozeman since he’s the only true center of the bubble guys. I believe Elumanor got some run as the center last year as a rookie and it didn’t go so well. Lewis might be too big for the position if they look to plug in James Hurst at guard where he held his own last year. Moving Hurst to right tackle and halting Orlando Browns development seems like a bad idea. I think the contract Hurst got was a bad idea, but that’s neither here nor there.
Offense: Locks – 19, Bubble players – 6 TBD, 25 total
Offense prediction, bubble in bold
QB: Flacco, Jackson
WR: Crabtree, Brown, Snead, Moore, Perriman, Lasley, Grant (KR)
RB: Collins, Allen, Dixon
TE: Boyle, Andrews, Williams, Hurst (Injued)
OL: Stanley, Lewis, Skura, Yanda, Hurst, Brown, Elumanor, Bozeman
On to the defense…
Lock: Marlon Humphrey, Brandon Carr, Tavon Young, Anthony Averett, Maurice Canady
Bubble: Stanley Jean-Baptiste
Longshot: Jackson Porter, Darious Williams.
Suspended: Jimmy Smith (four games)
PUP: Jaylen Hill
Another disappointing turn of events with Jimmy Smith. The Ravens shutdown corner just can’t play 16 games in a season. He’ll miss the first four here, but since he’ll be suspended, he doesn’t immediately go on the 53-man roster. So a spot will be open. Cornerback is one of the deeper positions on the team. Humprhey really came on as a rookie, Tavon Young looks 100% after missing all of 2017, and Brandon Carr is a consummate veteran. Stanley Jean-Baptiste is the only one really making the plays to keep himself in the conversation at a crowded position. Perhaps he gets a four game run while Jimmy Smith’s suspension is in play.
Lock: Tony Jefferson, Eric Weddle, Anthony Levine, Chuck Clark
Bubble: DeShon Elliott (IR candidate)
Longshot: Kai Nacua, Bennett Jackson, Robertson Daniel
Safety doesn’t appear as deep but is veteran laden. DeShon Elliott was looking really good here, but now the forearm fracture has the potential to land him on IR. Under the NFL rules, teams can return any two players from IR after eight weeks. There is no more designation ahead of time they have to make. If Elliott lands on IR and doesn’t have to be put on the 53-man, it might open the door for RG3 to make the roster, carry one of the wide receivers from the bubble, maybe Stanley Jean-Baptiste makes the team to replace one DB with another.
Lock: C.J. Mosley, Kenny Young
Bubble: Albert McClellan, Patrick Onwuasor, Chris Board
Longshot: Alvin Jones
PUP: Bam Bradley
C.J. Mosley and the rookie Kenny Young look like they should be the starting duo inside. I haven’t been impressed with McClellan, although he is a long time special teams asset. Onwuasor was a nice fill in from the UDFA crop last year. But Young looks to be better. Chris Board has gotten some run this preseason as well. I think one of McClellan or Onwuasor should make it. Not both. But I think only having three ILBs is not a wise move and that both will ultimately make it. Perhaps Board can clear waivers to the practice squad.
Lock: Terrell Suggs, Matt Judon, Tyus Bowser, Tim Williams, Za’Darius Smith
Bubble: Kamalei Correa
There is just so much depth at the position of edge rushers, and Don Martindale it appears doesn’t have a limit to how many he’ll use on a given down. This preseason we have seen a lot more sub packages with seven on the line, confusing the offense into wondering who is going to rush. Kamalei Correa, after a strong opener in the Hall of Fame Game, just might be the odd man out.
Lock: Brandon Williams (NT) Michael Pierce (DT), Brent Urban (DE), Chris Wormley (DE), Patrick Ricard (FB/DE), Willie Henry (DT, Injured, hernia, multiple weeks).
Bubble: Zach Sieler (DT), Carl Davis (DE), Bronson Kaufusi (DE)
Longshot: Myles Humphrey (DE), Christian LaCouture (DT)
The Ravens really have a nose for finding some really strong defensive lineman from some obscure places. Brandon Williams, now Zach Sieler has a shot coming out of Ferris State. Michel Pierce is a dominant force up front. I think at this point with 21 “locks” on defense, Sieler can make it, even if Carl Davis does as well. I don’t thnk Kaufusi has given us enough in his couple years here.
Defense: Locks: 21, Bubble: 4 TBD, 25 total players
Defense prediction, bubble in bold
CB: Humphrey, Carr, Young, Canady, Averett, Jean-Baptiste
S: Jefferson, Weddle, Levine, Clark, (Eilliott, IR likely)
ILB: Mosley, Young, McClellan, Onwuasor
OLB: Suggs, Judon, Bowser, Williams, Smith
DL: Williams, Pierce, Urban, Wormley, Ricard*, Henry (Injured), Sieler
*Ricard accounted for as fullback
Lock: Justin Tucker (K), Sam Koch (P), Morgan Cox (LS)
Longshot: Kaare Vedvik (K/P), Trent Sieg (LS)
Nothing new here. Barring a freak accident, the best, and most expensive special team battery will remain intact. “The Worlfpack”. Just too sweet.
25 Offense + 25 defense + 3 specialists = 53
Starting the season, given your seven game day inactives to get down to a 46-man roster, I expect the inactives to be: Hurst (Injury), Henry (Injury), Lasley, Bozeman, Jean-Baptiste, Onwuasor, Sieler. Assuming no other injuries of course.