Monday, August 18, 2014
Baltimore Ravens' projected roster
By Jamison Hensley
Examining the Baltimore Ravens' roster:
The only quarterback guaranteed of a roster spot is Flacco. Taylor hasn't progressed as much as the Ravens would have liked over the past four years. It wouldn't be a surprise if the Ravens looked to upgrade at backup quarterback after the final major cutdown. Rookie sixth-round pick Keith Wenning looks like he's headed for the practice squad.
Running backs (4)
Rice, Pierce, Taliaferro and Juszczyk are locks to make the team. 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. Campanaro, a rookie seventh-round pick, gets a spot if he convinces the Ravens that he can stay healthy. Deonte Thompson was impressive as a kickoff returner in the second preseason game, but that doesn't negate a bad training camp at this point. He is moving in the right direction now. Aiken gets the nod for the last spot because the Ravens can put Jeremy Butler on the practice squad.
Tight ends (3)
Pitta is the clear-cut No. 1 tight end. Daniels didn't have a great camp and sat out the last preseason game because the Ravens wanted to rest his legs. It makes you wonder about the future of a 31-year-old tight end. Gillmore hasn't stood out in camp, but he makes the team as a third-round pick.
Offensive linemen (9)
Monroe, Osemele, Zuttah and Yanda are the guaranteed starters, and Wagner is going to be the new starting right tackle. Gradkowski and Shipley, two starters from last season, appear safe. Reid makes the team as the top backup tackle. Urschel has moved ahead of Ryan Jensen and has become the second-team right guard. That's why Jensen gets knocked off the 53-man roster projection this week.
Defensive linemen (6)
Ngata, Canty and Williams have been the starters in training camp. Jernigan and Tyson are the Ravens' top two backups. Injuries are hurting the Ravens' depth at defensive end. Brent Urban (knee) and Kapron Lewis-Moore (Achilles) are done for the season. This would open a spot for either undrafted rookie Derrick Hopkins or Terrence Cody. Because Cody is on the physically unable to perform list, Hopkins takes that spot right now.
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. By not keeping a third quarterback, the Ravens create room to keep a strong special teams player like McClellan.
Smith and Webb are the starters, if healthy. Brown and Jackson have both worked with the first-team defense this offseason and are safe. The decision is who gets the fifth spot. The Ravens went with Franks after Smith bruised his chest in Saturday's preseason game, so it looks like the fifth-year veteran is the frontrunner. Undrafted rookie Tremain Jacobs will probably end up on the practice squad if he doesn't make the team.
Elam and Stewart remain the starters. Miles and Levine are core special teams players. Brooks, a rookie third-round pick, is starting to move up the depth chart. The Ravens can keep Hill on the suspended list. He has had a good camp, but he isn't eligible to play in the regular season until the middle of October.
There is no drama on special teams. Tucker, Koch and Cox team up for the third straight season.