Monday, July 28, 2014
Baltimore Ravens' projected roster
By Jamison Hensley
Examining the Baltimore Ravens' roster:
Flacco is the Ravens' starter for the seventh straight season, and Taylor will be the backup for the fourth year in a row. They've taken a majority of the reps in the first week of training camp. Wenning, a rookie sixth-round pick, is making a slow transition into the Ravens' offense. Let's keep him on the roster for now. But he's definitely on the bubble at this point.
Running backs (4)
Rice, Pierce and Juszczyk are locks to make the team. Taliaferro is a near certainty as well, based on the fact that he's a fourth-round pick. Rice has been suspended for the first two games of the season, which allows the Ravens to carry Forsett.
Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Brown and Jones are going to make the roster, although Brown has struggled all offseason and for the first week of camp. The tough question is whether the Ravens will carry five or six receivers, because Butler, Michael Campanaro, Deonte Thompson and LaQuan Williams could all be competing for one spot. Butler, an undrafted rookie out of Tennessee-Martin, was the most impressive player from this group in the offseason workouts. Campanaro, a seventh-round pick, has shown off his quickness in training camp. If there is no room for him on the roster, Campanaro could be placed on injured reserve at the end of the preseason and get essentially redshirted.
Tight ends (3)
No major decisions at this position. The Ravens' top three tight ends are guaranteed to make the team, barring injury. Pitta, though, is clearly the No. 1 tight end. Daniels hasn't been sharp early in training camp. Phillip Supernaw, who was added after an offseason tryout, has a history with offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak in Houston and has an outside shot to earn a spot because this is an offense that uses a lot of tight ends.
Offensive linemen (9)
Monroe, Osemele, Zuttah and Yanda are the guaranteed starters, and Wagner has been solid as the new starting right tackle. During offseason workouts, Gradkowski was the top backup at center while Shipley and Jensen have been the second-team guards. Jah Reid makes his way on the 53-man projected roster after coming to camp in the best shape of his career. He's the top backup at tackle now. John Urschel, a rookie fifth-round pick, would go on the practice squad if he doesn't make the team.
Defensive linemen (7)
Ngata, Canty and Williams have been the starters to begin training camp. Jernigan and Urban, two rookie draft picks, have impressed coaches early in camp. Tyson earned more playing time after showing flashes last season, and Lewis-Moore has generated buzz this offseason. This would leave out Terrence Cody, a second-round pick in 2010 who is currently on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
There won't be much change here because the Ravens return every linebacker from last season's team. The only addition is Mosley, the No. 17 overall pick in this year's draft. Because the Ravens aren't expected to keep 10 linebackers, the biggest decision is whether to keep Bynes or Albert McClellan, who has made the team the past three seasons.
After the starting duo of Smith and Webb, there is a major dropoff. The Ravens took a hit when veteran Aaron Ross tore his Achilles while taking the conditioning test for camp. The other veteran backup, Dominique Franks, has yet to pass the conditioning test. That leaves Chykie Brown, who has struggled, and Asa Jackson battling for the No. 3 spot. There's a good chance that the Ravens will sign a veteran who is released at the end of the preseason. For now, the last spot will go to an undrafted rookie. Olatoye edges out Tremain Jacobs.
Elam and Stewart have been the starters to open training camp. Miles and Levine have been getting the most reps with the second team. Brooks, a rookie third-round pick, has been a mild disappointment because many expected him to compete for a starting job. He still makes the team because of his upside. The Ravens can keep Hill on the suspended list. He isn't eligible to play in the regular season until the middle of October, when the Ravens would have to make a decision on him.
There is no drama on special teams. Tucker, Koch and Cox team up for the third straight season.