Baltimore Ravens: 2014 NFL Roster Projection

Examining the Baltimore Ravens' roster:

Quarterbacks (2)

This should be the fifth straight year that the Ravens only keep two quarterbacks. Keith Wenning didn't do enough in his two preseason games that would entice another team to put him on its 53-man roster. So, the Ravens can get Wenning on the practice squad. Plus, the Ravens would like to use their last roster spot on a special teams player, not a third quarterback.

Running backs (4)

Nothing has changed with this position all summer. 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. Fitzgerald Toussaint's 103 yards in the preseason finale earns him a spot on the practice squad.

Receivers (6)

This was the toughest position to project. The Ravens have to keep at least six because of the strength of the depth. The locks here are Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Brown and Jones. When you look at the No. 5 receiver, his ability on special teams outweighs his impact as a receiver because his role is going to primarily be on the coverage and return teams. That's why Aiken still gets the nod here. Campanaro has more upside as a receiver than Deonte Thompson, which is why he gets the last spot. How can the Ravens cut Thompson? Well, the Ravens cut running back Bobby Rainey last year after he led the team in rushing, punt returns and kickoff returns. Perhaps, the Ravens could trade Thompson.

Tight ends (3)

The Ravens say Daniels' leg fatigue won't affect his status for the regular season so there is no drama at this position. Pitta is the clear cut No. 1, and Gillmore should see time as a rookie third-round pick.

Offensive linemen (9)

Monroe, Osemele, Zuttah, Yanda and Wagner are the starters. Gradkowski and Shipley, two starters from last season, are safe. Reid is the top backup tackle, but he is still dealing with a concussion. Urschel should have secured a spot over Ryan Jensen, who committed two holding penalties in the preseason finale.

Defensive linemen (5)

Ngata, Canty and Williams have been the starters throughout training camp and the preseason. Jernigan and Tyson are the Ravens' top two backups. It looks like Terrence Cody will start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. The Ravens can go with five linemen because Pernell McPhee can move to defensive end in a pinch. Nose tackle Derrick Hopkins can be stored on the practice squad.

LINEBACKERS (9)

Simon likely saved his spot with a strong performance in the preseason finale. The Ravens also don't get rid of fourth round picks a year after drafting them. They give them time to develop. The need for veteran depth at cornerback, where the Ravens are banged up, pushes out Albert McClellan. It's a tough call because McClellan led the Ravens in special teams tackles last season. The Ravens could bring back McClellan later in the season.

Cornerbacks (6)

Injury issues at cornerback force the Ravens to carry a sixth cornerback. The Ravens anticipate their top three cornerbacks (Smith, Webb and Jackson) to be healthy enough to play in the regular season. But none were practicing this past week. The Ravens have to keep veterans like Franks and Cox for insurance. Cox made some plays in the preseason finale despite not practicing with the team. Undrafted rookies Tramain Jacobs and Sammy Seamster can go on the practice squad.

Safeties (6)

Elam and Stewart remain the starters. Brooks, a rookie third-round pick, has generated buzz recently from his play at nickelback. Miles struggled on defense in the preseason finale, but he gets a spot because of his special teams play. Levine is a core special teams player who increased his value by playing cornerback as well. Trawick is probably the 53rd player, although the Ravens may go with a linebacker like McClellan instead. Hill is on the suspended list until the middle of October.

Specialists (3)

There's no decision to be made on the specialists. Tucker, Koch and Cox team up for the third straight season.
Examining the Baltimore Ravens' roster:

Quarterbacks (2)

Flacco finished the preseason with a 102.6 passer rating, throwing two touchdowns and no interceptions. Taylor put together a solid but not spectacular preseason. He will be the primary backup for the fourth straight season unless the Ravens can upgrade after the final cutdown is made. Rookie sixth-round pick Keith Wenning appears headed to 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.

Receivers (6)

Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Brown and Jones have long secured spots. Aiken still gets a spot even though he hasn't made a catch in the past two preseason games. His presence on special teams (tackling on coverage teams and blocking on return teams) gives him an edge. The decision is whether to keep Campanaro or Deonte Thompson. Both are slot receivers who can back up Jones as the returner. Even though Thompson has been impressive in the preseason, Campanaro gets the final spot because he has more upside and the Ravens invested a draft pick in him.

Tight ends (3)

Pitta is the clear-cut No. 1 tight end, and Gillmore will help immediately as a blocker. The question mark is Daniels, who has missed the past two preseason games because of fatigued legs. He gets a spot right now, but it's a peculiar situation.

Offensive linemen (9)

Monroe, Osemele, Zuttah and Yanda are the guaranteed starters, and Wagner was officially named the starting right tackle last week. Gradkowski and Shipley, two starters from last season, appear safe. Reid has "earned" the backup tackle spot, according to coach John Harbaugh. Urschel remains ahead of Ryan Jensen and continues to work as the second-team right guard.

Defensive linemen (5)

Ngata, Canty and Williams have been the starters throughout training camp and the preseason. Jernigan and Tyson are the Ravens' top two backups. If Terrence Cody (hip) gets removed off the physically unable to perform list, he becomes the sixth defensive lineman. At this point, the Ravens can go with five linemen because Pernell McPhee can move to defensive end in a pinch. Nose tackle Derrick Hopkins, who was on my projected 53-man list last week, can be kept on the practice squad.

LINEBACKERS (10)

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.

Cornerbacks (6)

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 Ravens moved Levine from safety to corner in the last preseason game, which helps with the depth at this position. Levine's versatility on defense and value on special teams earns him a spot. Franks has played better than expected in the past two preseason games. The Ravens will keep Franks unless they can upgrade once final cutdowns are made Saturday. Undrafted rookie Tremain Jacobs will probably end up on the practice squad.

Safeties (5)

Elam and Stewart remain the starters. Brooks is rising up the depth chart with his playmaking ability, and Miles is a core special-teams player. Trawick moves into the projected 53-man roster this week because of his impact on special teams. He gets the nod over a defensive lineman like Hopkins. Hill is on the suspended list until the middle of October.

Specialists (3)

There is no drama on special teams. Tucker, Koch and Cox team up for the third straight season.
Examining the Baltimore Ravens' roster:

Quarterbacks (2)

The Ravens are set with Flacco as the starter and Taylor as the backup. The decision here is whether to carry three quarterbacks. If the Ravens limit Keith Wenning's playing time in preseason games (reducing the amount of tape other teams see of him), it may be an indication that the team is going to try to sneak the rookie sixth-round pick onto the practice squad.

Running backs (4)

Rice, Pierce and Juszczyk are locks to make the team. Taliaferro is a near certainty as well, especially after the rookie fourth-round pick led the team in rushing in the preseason opener. Rice has been suspended for the first two games of the season, which allows the Ravens to carry Forsett.

Receivers (5)

Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Brown and Jones are going to make the roster. Aiken continues to build a strong case for making the team. Slot receiver Michael Campanaro, a seventh-round pick, has shown flashes but can't stay healthy. Putting him on injured reserve at the end of the preseason is a possibility.

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 in training camp.

Offensive linemen (10)

Monroe, Osemele, Zuttah and Yanda are the guaranteed starters, and Wagner did well in the preseason opener as the new starting right tackle. Gradkowski and Shipley, two starters from last season, appear safe. Jensen has struggled and is moving himself on the wrong side of the bubble. Reid makes the team as the top backup at tackle. John Urschel is now sharing second-team reps at guard with Jensen. James Hurst, an undrafted rookie tackle, looks to be headed to the practice squad.

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. After Brent Urban was lost for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Kapron Lewis- Moore suffered a likely season-ending Achilles injury. This would open a spot for either undrafted rookie Derrick Hopkins or Terrence Cody. Because Cody is on the physically unable to perform list, the nod goes to Hopkins right now.

LINEBACKERS (10)

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.

Cornerbacks (5)

After the starting duo of Smith and Webb, there is a major dropoff. Asa Jackson has become the frontrunner for the No. 3 cornerback job but he sustained a minor ankle injury that could force him to miss the second preseason game. Chykie Brown makes the team even though he's struggled most of camp. Jacobs gets the final spot as a developmental corner, but his spot may be temporary. There's a good chance that the Ravens will sign a veteran who is released at the end of the preseason.

Safeties (5)

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.

Specialists (3)

There is no drama on special teams. Tucker, Koch and Cox team up for the third straight season.
Examining the Baltimore Ravens' roster:

Quarterbacks (2)

The Ravens are set with Flacco as the starter and Taylor as the backup. While rookie sixth-round pick Keith Wenning has improved, the need to get another special teams player on the roster may outweigh keeping a third quarterback again. Unless Wenning has a good preseason, the Ravens may attempt to store him on the practice squad.

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.

Receivers (5)

Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Brown and Jones are going to make the roster. For the past couple of weeks, it looked like Jeremy Butler was going to get that fifth spot. But journeyman Kamar Aiken has been extremely impressive, catching everything thrown his way. He has the edge at this point. Slot receiver Michael Campanaro, a seventh-round pick, has shown flashes but can't stay healthy. Putting him on injured reserve at the end of the preseason is a possibility.

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 in training camp.

Offensive linemen (10)

Monroe, Osemele, Zuttah and Yanda are the guaranteed starters, and Wagner has been solid as the new starting right tackle. The interior of the second-team line -- Gradkowski at center and Shipley and Jensen at both guard spots -- appears safe. Reid makes the team as the top backup at tackle. John Urschel gets one of the final roster spots because he's a fifth-round pick, but he'll essentially be redshirted. James Hurst, an undrafted rookie tackle, looks to be headed to the practice squad.

Defensive linemen (6)

Ngata, Canty and Williams have been the starters to begin training camp. Jernigan, Tyson and Lewis-Moore form a quality second line. The biggest disappointment is losing defensive end Brent Urban, a fourth-round pick, to a season-ending knee injury. This would leave out Terrence Cody, a second-round pick in 2010 who is currently on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

LINEBACKERS (10)

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.

Cornerbacks (5)

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. Chykie Brown, who has struggled, and Asa Jackson battling are 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. Jacobs, who has been catching the eye of the coaching staff, beats out Deji Olatoye.

Safeties (5)

Elam and Stewart remain the starters. Miles and Levine are core special teams players. Brooks, a rookie third-round pick, has been a mild disappointment because many expected him to compete for a starting job. 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.

Specialists (3)
  • Justin Tucker (K)
  • Sam Koch (P)
  • Morgan Cox (LS)

There is no drama on special teams. Tucker, Koch and Cox team up for the third straight season.
Examining the Baltimore Ravens' roster:

Quarterbacks (3)

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.

Receivers (5)

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.

LINEBACKERS (9)

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.

Cornerbacks (5)

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.

Safeties (5)

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.

Specialists (3)

There is no drama on special teams. Tucker, Koch and Cox team up for the third straight season.
Examining the Baltimore Ravens' roster:

Quarterbacks (3)

Flacco is the Ravens' starter for the seventh straight season, and Taylor will be the backup for the fourth year in a row. The big decision at quarterback is with Wenning, a rookie sixth-round pick. The Ravens haven't gone with three quarterbacks since 2009 (Troy Smith and John Beck were the backups), and it seems like a waste to carry two backups when Flacco hasn't missed a start in his six-year NFL career. But, if the Ravens believe Wenning is going to be their top backup in 2015, they can't afford to put him on the practice squad.

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. If Rice begins the season on the suspended list, it increases the chances of the Ravens carrying Forsett for veteran depth.

Receivers (5)

Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Brown and Jones form one of the deepest receiving groups in franchise history. 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, has the edge coming off an impressive offseason. Campanaro, a seventh-round pick who has dealt with hamstring issues, could be placed on injured reserve at the end of the preseason and essentially redshirted.

Tight ends (3)

The Ravens' top three tight ends are guaranteed to make the team, barring injury. Pitta and Daniels would be starters if the Ravens go with two tight ends as their base offense. 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 is penciled in at right tackle. During offseason workouts, Gradkowski was the top backup at center, Shipley has been the second-team guard and Jensen has worked at both guard and tackle. The versatility of Osemele and Jensen to play tackle doesn't force the Ravens to carry Jah Reid or James Hurst, an undrafted tackle who had a rough offseason. John Urschel, a fifth-round pick, should make the team but likely won't play as a rookie.

Defensive linemen (7)

Ngata and Canty are returning starters and bring the most experience to the line. Williams is the favorite to start at nose tackle. Tyson earned more playing time after showing flashes last season, and Lewis-Moore has generated buzz this offseason. Jernigan and Urban, two rookie draft picks, should play a role in the rotation. This would leave out Terrence Cody, a second-round pick in 2010.

LINEBACKERS (9)

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 tough call will come down to Bynes or Albert McClellan, who has made the team the past three seasons.

Cornerbacks (5)

Smith and Webb are a starting tandem for the second straight year. Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson have been competing for the No. 3 cornerback spot all offseason. The competition became more crowded when the Ravens signed veteran free agents Aaron Ross and Dominique Franks at the end of the offseason. Ross, the former New York Giants defender, is the early favorite, given his history with secondary coach Steve Spagnuolo.

Safeties (5)

Elam is making the move from free safety to strong safety. Many assumed Brooks, a rookie third-round pick, would start at free safety. But Stewart, a free-agent pickup from the St. Louis Rams, strengthened his hold on the starting job this offseason. Levine is a valued special teams player. Miles gets the last spot right now based on his experience. But the Ravens might opt to go with Brynden Trawick or Omar Brown if they play as well as Miles because they're younger and cheaper.

Specialists (3)

There is no drama on special teams. Tucker, Koch and Cox team up for the third straight season.

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