Thursday, August 1, 2013
Ravens' projected starting lineup
By Jamison Hensley
The AFC North blog will project the starting lineups for every team in the division this week as training camps kick into full gear.
QB Joe Flacco: Remember the days when Ravens fans were actually clamoring for Troy Smith?
RB Ray Rice: One of three players last season with more than 1,000 yards rushing and 400 yards receiving (Doug Martin and C.J. Spiller were the others).
FB Vonta Leach: In two seasons with Leach, the Ravens ranked 10th and 11th in rushing.
WR Torrey Smith: His 17.4-yard per catch average ranked fourth in the NFL last season.
WR Jacoby Jones: He is listed as the No. 2 wide receiver right now. I wWouldn't be surprised if Tandon Doss or Deonte Thompson wins the job in preseason.
TE Ed Dickson: With Dennis Pitta out for the season, the Ravens need Dickson to revert back to his 2011 form (54 catches, five touchdowns).
LT Bryant McKinnie: He has not missed a game because of injury in his NFL career (span of 164 games).
LG Kelechi Osemele: He is the first rookie offensive lineman to start a full season for Ravens since Michael Oher (2009).
C Gino Gradkowski: If Gradkowski doesn't win the job, the Ravens will turn to A.Q. Shipley, a seventh-round pick by the Steelers in 2009.
RG Marshal Yanda: One of the best guards in the game is currently sidelined after having offseason shoulder surgery.
RT Michael Oher: Allowed one sack in four playoff games at right tackle last season.
LDT Arthur Jones: Restricted free agent will split playing time with veteran Marcus Spears.
NT Haloti Ngata: Healthy and in shape, Ngata looks primed for a bounce-back year.
RDE Chris Canty: The key piece in upgrading the Ravens' defensive line.
LOLB Terrell Suggs: Fully recovered from injuries (Achilles and biceps), Suggs wants to get back to Defensive Player of the Year status.
LILB Daryl Smith: The Ravens are fortunate to get a player like Smith after Jameel McClain's slower-than-expected recovery and Rolando McClain's retirement.
RILB Arthur Brown: The rookie second-round pick can run sideline to sideline like another former Baltimore linebacker.
ROLB Courtney Upshaw: The Ravens like Upshaw's impact on their run defense. It wouldn't surprise me if Upshaw played early downs, which would allow Elvis Dumervil to be rested for passing situations.
CB Lardarius Webb: Webb could be limited early in the season after having ACL surgery in October. But, by the end of the season, Webb will be a full-time starter.
SS Matt Elam: The rookie first-round pick has impressed the coaching staff early in training camp.
FS Michael Huff: He's five years younger than Ed Reed and averages $3 million less per season.
CB Jimmy Smith: He's competing against last year's starter in Corey Graham, but you get the sense that the organization wants Smith to step up and win the job.