With 90 players on their roster, the Ravens need plenty of trimming to reach the 53-man limit by Week 1 against the Bills. Heading into OTA’s that start on Tuesday, and before some unfortunate injuries that are bound to occur, here are the players I see as locks to make the roster:
Quarterback (2) – Joe Flacco, Ryan Mallett
Running back (3) – Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, Kenneth Dixon
Fullback (1) – Kyle Juszczyk
Tight end (3) – Crockett Gillmore, Ben Watson, Maxx Williams
Wide receiver (5) – Steve Smith Sr., Kamar Aiken, Mike Wallace, Breshad Perriman, Chris Moore
Offensive line (7) – Marshal Yanda, Ronnie Stanley, Jeremy Zuttah, Rick Wagner, John Urschel, Ryan Jensen, Alex Lewis
It’s going to be an interesting battle at running back, with Lorenzo Taliaferro, Terrance West, and Trent Richardson vying for a spot, and Forsett being pushed to keep his starting job. I don’t see the Ravens cutting Forsett, even if he doesn’t start. If Dennis Pitta is cleared for contact, I would expect he’d make the roster at tight end. If the Ravens don’t release or trade Eugene Monroe, he’ll likely be the starting left tackle, with Stanley playing left guard. Maybe I shouldn’t make Lewis and Moore locks, but it would surprise me to see either fourth-round draft pick getting cut. The wide receiver competition will be intense. Michael Campanaro, Kaelin Clay, and rookie Keenan Reynolds are also part of a crowded wide receiver field.
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Defensive line: (7) - Brandon Williams, Timmy Jernigan, Lawrence Guy, Brent Urban, Bronson Kaufusi, Carl Davis, Willie Henry
Linebacker - (7) C. J. Mosley, Elvis Dumervil, Terrell Suggs, Za’Darius Smith, Kamalei Correa, Zach Orr, Albert McClellan
Defensive back (6) – Jimmy Smith, Eric Weddle, Shareece Wright, Lardarius Webb, Tavon Young, Jerraud Powers
I think pass rusher Matt Judon (fifth-round pick) will make it, but too early to call him a lock. The defensive backfield will be most interesting. I’m tempted to call safety Kendrick Lewis a lock, but I won’t this early. The same holds true for safety Terrence Brooks and cornerback Kyle Arrington. Matt Elam is fighting to win a spot at safety, but he has been major disappointment so far as a former first-round pick.
Special teams (3)
Justin Tucker (K), Sam Koch (P), Morgan Cox (LS)
That makes 44 roster locks by my count, leaving nine spots wide open. Get ready for an interesting spring and summer. Coming off a 5-11 season, playing time is up for grabs at many positions.
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