Baltimore Ravens 53-Man Roster

Baltimore Ravens News Roster

With the final cuts done for all NFL teams, it is time to look at the Ravens 53-man roster, which has some surprises.

1. Joe Flacco
2. Tyrod Taylor

No surprises here as this is the exact same as last season and there wasn’t expected to be any change.  When Taylor went down with a concussion in the preseason, there was a chance that the Ravens would carry three quarterbacks but, Taylor has passed all tests and is good to go as the backup.

Running Back
1. Ray Rice
2. Bernard Pierce

The first surprise of the Ravens roster comes here.  Most teams carry three running backs, and some even carry four so this is rare to see. Anthony Allen, Bobby Rainey, and Delone Carter all battled for the number three spot but all were released.  Rainey seemed to win the job with a great showing in the last preseason game but was still cut.  The only time the third running back sees the field is on special teams so the Ravens a relying on other players for special teams.

1. Vonta Leach
2. Kyle Juszczyk

One possible reason that only two running backs were kept is because two fullbacks were kept.  No other team keeps two fullbacks and a few don’t even have one on the roster.  However, these two fullbacks bring different qualities to the team.  Leach is your traditional, blocking fullback. He is the best blocking fullback in the NFL, and after a brief stint as a free agent, he is back with the Ravens after his release back in June. Juszczyk is more of an H-back who can play all over the field.  Playing collegiately at Harvard last year, Juszczyk lined up at fullback, tight end, and as a slot receiver.

Wide Receiver
1. Torrey Smith
2. Jacoby Jones
3. Brandon Stokley
4. Deonte Thompson
5. Marlon Brown
6. Aaron Mellette

First off, don’t read much into the order that the receiver are listed in as nobody knows the exact depth chart, especially for the last three spots. Smith, Jones, and Stokley were all locks for the roster, leaving the rest of the spots up for grabs.  In are Thompson, Brown, and Mellette and out are Tandon Doss and LaQuan Williams.  Thompson has been injured for most of the preseason but impressed enough in training camp, beforehand, to make the roster.  Brown had the toughest route to a roster spot as he signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent after the NFL Draft.  On top of that, he tore his ACL last November but he was able to come back and showed a good connection with Flacco in the preseason.  Mellette was drafted in the seventh round in the draft out of Elon and looked to connect with Flacco as well.  Doss was expected to step up and be either the number two or three receiver but he was clearly outplayed by the other receivers.  Originally, LaQuan Williams made the team but, he was released today to make room for linebacker Robert James.

Tight End
1. Ed Dickson
2. Dallas Clark
3. Dennis Pitta

Looking at this list, one name stands out: Dennis Pitta.  This is because he dislocated and fractured his hip early in training camp and is expected to be out for awhile.  However, the Ravens are still deciding whether to us their IR-Designated to Return spot on Pitta, and the earliest you can use this designation is on September 3rd.  So, the tight end position will look different in a a few days as when the Ravens decide what to do with Pitta.  By keeping Pitta on the 53-man roster, it looks like the Ravens will place Pitta injured reserve with the designation to return.  To replace Pitta, the Ravens will re-sign either veteran Billy Bajema or rookie Matt Furstenburg.  Since Furstenburg made it through to the practice squad, it looks like it will be Bajema who is signed.

Offensive Line
1. Bryant McKinnie
2. Kelechi Osemele
3. Gino Gradkowski
4. Marshal Yanda
5. Michael Oher
6. Ricky Wagner
7. Jah Reid
8. A.Q. Shipley
9. Ryan Jensen

Eight out of these nine players were expected to be on the roster, but that one was quite a surprise.  That surprise is Ryan Jensen since he broke his foot earlier this offseason and was expected to be placed on injured reserve.  On top of that, there already is a backup center on the roster in A.Q. Shipley.  However, Jensen has the ability to play multiple positions on the line, so him being on the roster must mean that he is closer to returning from injury than thought.  Wagner, a fifth round pick, will be a backup tackle and Reid can play both guard and tackle.  A couple of days ago, Gradkowski was named as the starting center.

Defensive Line
1. Chris Canty
2. Haloti Ngata
3. Arthur Jones
4. Marcus Spears
5. Terrence Cody
6. Brandon Williams
7. DeAngelo Tyson

Heading into training camp, Cody was considered to be on the roster bubble but he easily made the roster with a strong training camp and preseason.  Tyson was also on the bubble, but like Cody, he impressed throughout training camp and preseason.  Ngata has moved over to nose tackle, his more natural position, this season and will be joined by Canty and Jones as the starters.  Expect lots of rotation from this group in games in order to keep everyone fresh in games.

Inside Linebackers
1. Daryl Smith
2. Josh Bynes
3. Arthur Brown
4. Albert McClellan
5. Robert James

While there were surprises at some positions, this definitely wasn’t one of them.  After the draft, Brown was expected to be a starter but Bynes played his way into that spot.  Brown will still see plenty of playing time though as he will take Bynes’ spot in nickel packages.  Smith had a great preseason and will be the leader of this group.  McClellan will see lots of time on special teams and also has the versatility to play outside linebacker.  James was claimed off of waivers from the Atlanta Falcons today.  He doesn’t project to play on defense but he should be a key special team player as he had 10 special teams tackles last season which was tied for the most on the Falcons.  This move makes sense as the Ravens lost key special teams players at other positions.

Outside Linebacker
1. Terrell Suggs
2. Elvis Dumervil
3. Courtney Upshaw
4. Pernell McPhee
5. John Simon

Like inside linebacker, there are no surprises here as all five of these players were expected to be on the roster.  Suggs and Dumervil will provide one of the top pass rushing tandems in the league as both of them can easily achieve double digit sacks.  Upshaw will see lots of snaps in place of Dumervil on early downs as he excels at setting the edge and defending the run, something Dumervil struggles at.  McPhee moved from defensive end to outside linebacker this offseason and will play in pass rushing situations.  A forth round pick, Simon will mainly be a special teamer this season.

1. Lardarius Webb
2. Corey Graham
3. Jimmy Smith
4. Chykie Brown

Along with keeping two running backs, keeping only four cornerbacks on the roster is a big surprise.  Every NFL team keeps five or even six cornerbacks but the Ravens will go with four.  When undrafted free agent Moe Lee was waived, it looked like seventh round pick Marc Anthony had the fifth cornerback spot on lock but, he was cut this week, bringing the Ravens down to four corners.  Webb, coming off a torn ACL, and Graham will be the starters and Smith will be the nickel cornerback.  Brown will see time on special teams and on defense.  Don’t rule out the Ravens making a move to bring in another cornerback as it is very strange to carry only four cornerback on the roster.  One such cornerback is veteran Chris Johnson who was on the roster last season and was cut earlier this offseason.

1. Michael Huff
2. James Ihedigbo
3. Matt Elam
4. Anthony Levine
5. Brandon Trawick

The big surprise here is that Trawick made the final roster.  An undrafted free agent out of Troy, Trawick showed off some good special teams skills in the preseason, including a blocked punt.  Levine, like Trawick, will spend a majority of his time on special teams.  Huff will be the starting free safety and Ihedigbo is the starting free safety for now.  Elam, the Ravens’ first round pick, is waiting to take over as the starting strong safety, and should be the starter by seasons end.  In the meantime, he will see snaps in sub-packages.  The other surprise at this position is that Omar Brown was left off the roster as he impressed again this offseason.  Brown was kept around though as he made it onto the practice squad.

Special Teams
1. K Justin Tucker
2. P Sam Koch
3. LS Morgan Cox

How confident are the Ravens in these three?  Nobody was brought in during training camp to give even the slightest challenge.

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