Here we go. Time to start selecting players and making cuts.
Because they provide depth at the inside linebacker position and they also excel at special teams, Albert McClellan and Zach Orr make the team.
The offensive line seems set and secure. Due to the flexibility of John Urschel being able to play guard and center, I don’t think Ryan Jensen makes the team. The Ravens are rolling the dice with only three tackles on the roster, but the overall flexibility of the offensive line is a benefit. Marshall Yanda and Kelechi Osemele can swing to tackle if need be.
If Terrence Brooks starts the season on the active roster, the Ravens could part ways with Tramain Jacobs, Cassius Vaughn, and Brynden Trawick. If Brooks is placed on PUP, then Jacobs and Trawick are in play, with Trawick having the inside track because of his prowess on special team. Undrafted free agent safety Nick Perry is an excellent candidate for the practice squad.
That means there are five spots still up for grabs, with 10 players fighting for a place on the roster. Here is how it stands:
Now there are four spots available. Quality players that provide depth, upside, and intrigue are still in the running.
As everyone has stated the wide receiver battle will be interesting. Michael Campanaro, Jeremy Butler, Darren Waller, and DeAndre Carter will have quite the battle. With roster spots at a premium, Carter will have to prove he can be a NFL quality receiver. The thinking here is he is a better fit for the practice squad. There are simply not enough roster spots to carry only a kick returner. Special teams coach Jerry Rosburg was correct; the returner must provide value to another position group.
Most people think that Campanaro is a lock, and he very well may be. That being said, health is a major issue for him. Another injury during training camp and he could be a IR (injured-reserve) canidate, which would provide an opportunity for Butler and Waller. The Ravens seem to like Campanaro’s potential as he was utilized well at the end of the year in 2014. If he can fill the returner spot, then he may have secured his position on the team. If not, Butler could build off of his incredible OTAs. Waller has measurables (6’ 6” and 225 pounds) that teams covet. The Ravens must wonder if he does not make the team, will he be scooped up by another wide receiving-needy team? Waller is in the mix.
With 50 spots now taken, here is where the team stands:
In addition, there has to be some concern about Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil staying healthy as they are getting up there in age. Steven Means has been getting rave reviews. Could he make a push? I think this team, in the long run, is going to need all the pass rushing help it can get. Means squeezes in because of that fact, and because he can play special teams.
One more wide receiver will make the team. I know Butler was a stud during OTAs, but he is a clone of Kamar Aiken. I am taking a flyer on Darren Waller as he will bring another dimension to offensive coordinator Marc Trestman’s offense. He knows how to use the big-bodied receivers. I am hoping he will be more than a development project.
Injuries will change everything, but as we sit here before training camp starts, here is my 53 man roster. My last three are in purple.