Ravens 53-man roster predictions 2019

Predicting the Ravens 53-Man Roster

It’s been a wild ride Ravens Flock! The end of another preseason marks the beginning of a new year, and if you’re like me, you couldn’t be more excited to watch some meaningful Ravens football again. This is the most joyous time of the year for football fans, but only because we do not experience the difficult reality that the NFL lays on a third of its participants. 37 players will be off the Ravens roster by Saturday at 4 P.M. For some, the dream will stay alive as they will find spots on practice squads and other rosters, but for others, their NFL dreams will die. I think we love football because of its competitive nature, and knowing that not all can survive adds a layer of appreciation to the game. Although we can never walk in their shoes, we can appreciate the effort of the football players who fought hard, but ultimately came up short in the pursuit of their dreams.

Here are my 2019 Baltimore Ravens 53-man roster predictions, along with injured reserve, practice squad predictions.

OFFENSE (24)

QBs (3): Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III, Trace McSorely

Trace McSorely makes the roster after an impressive preseason. Baltimore never got the opportunity to test him out on special teams and such, but his performance as a passer was more than enough to earn him a spot on the final 53-man roster.

RBs (3): Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, Justice Hill

Noticeably missing is the oft-injured Kenneth Dixon. I project Dixon to be cut because of his injury history. No one can question his talent, but his inability to stay on the field looms over his head on every play. Baltimore cannot rely on Dixon, no matter how well he plays when he’s on the field. After just a single snap, he could be lost for the season.

FB (1): Patrick Ricard

Patrick Ricard, the Ravens’ preseason MVP, is the obvious choice at fullback. He’s played well at the position and dominated at defensive tackle this preseason as well. He saves Baltimore an entire roster spot by playing both positions.

WRs (6): Willie Snead, Chris Moore, Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, Seth Roberts, Jaleel Scott

It’s been a tumultuous off-season for the Raven’s wide receiver group. They lost Jordan Lasley after he instigated a fight, they waited weeks for Marquise Brown to make his first appearance, and injuries struck multiple on the team. As Baltimore neared the end of the preseason, all eyes were on Seth Roberts and Jaleel Scott. Roberts had been held out of practice for weeks with an injury, and many were wondering whether the former Raider could make the roster after missing so much time. Baltimore held him out of the final preseason game, even though he was healthy and able to play. Unless there is some new unknown injury, Roberts was likely held back because the staff views him as a roster lock. Scott, on the other hand, played – and he played well. Scott’s athletic abilities were on display all night, as he caught six passes for 87 yards and one touchdown. When it counted most, Scott forced his way onto the roster with a big-time performance.

TEs (3): Mark Andrews, Hayden Hurst, Nick Boyle

Baltimore’s three-headed monster, the tight end group, was an easy one to pick. Obviously, the Ravens were going to keep last year’s two draft picks, one of whom broke out with an incredible year in 2018. The other, well, didn’t do so well, but Baltimore believes he will have a solid campaign in 2019. Nick Boyle was also an easy projection to make the roster. Baltimore just re-signed Boyle to a three-year, $18 million deal. Boyle earned the financial commitment by consistently being one of the best blocking tight ends in the league. For a team that wants to run more than any other, it was an easy decision to bring Boyle back. Speaking of running the football, the Ravens’ offensive strategy almost made me include Charles Scarff as a fourth tight end, but the quality of play that Brynden Trawick and Justin Bethel bring to the table as special teamers did not allow me to keep a spot open for Scarff.

OT (3): Ronnie Stanley, Orlando Brown Jr, Greg Senat

Like at tight end, the offensive tackle group is relatively easy to project. Ronnie Stanley and Orlando Brown Jr. are the unchallenged returning starters at left and right tackle respectively. Greg Senat is a recent draft pick that the Ravens want to back them up. He made a few mistakes in the final preseason game, but he is still the best available backup. Oh, and if you’re looking for James Hurst here, refer to the offensive guard section. He plays both tackle and guard, but I’m going to list him at guard since he is contending for a starting role on the left side.

OG (3): Marshal Yanda, James Hurst, Ben Powers

The interior of the offensive line, specifically the left side of it, has been the subject of much debate throughout the entire off-season. It was obvious that Marshal Yanda, the many time Pro Bowler, would start on the right side, but who would start on the left? Well, it’s not clear that the Ravens know who will start either. They eliminated both Alex Lewis and Jermaine Eluemunor via trades to AFC East teams, but the competition is still unsettled. James Hurst was held out of Thursday night’s game, while Ben Powers and Patrick Mekari each played a half at left guard. Because Hurst is not injured and is the incumbent starter at left guard, the current theory is that Baltimore held him out to preserve him from any injuries. I project him to be named the starter in week one, and Powers to be his backup. Mekari, unfortunately, will not make the roster.

C (2): Matt Skura, Bradley Bozeman

Another easy projection here, aside from Mekari, no one else was in the running at center. Both Skura and Bozeman are locks, as Skura is the incumbent starter, and Bozeman is a second-year draft pick that the Ravens believe can develop and be a good backup.

DEFENSE (27)

DL (6): Brandon Williams, Michael Pierce, Daylon Mack, Patrick Ricard, Willie Henry, Chris Wormley

Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce will headline the Ravens defensive line, but Baltimore has great depth behind them. Patrick Ricard has tremendous growth this preseason at the defensive tackle position, with dominant performances week after week. Chris Wormley and Willie Henry both have experience along this defensive line and are ready to contribute more than they ever have. Baltimore also has the rookie, Daylon Mack, who has looked impressive at times this off-season. Overall, this is one of the best defensive lines in the league. Baltimore has enough talent to always keep it fresh. I was tempted to keep Zach Sieler on the team, but I could not rationalize removing another player for him.

ILB (4): Patrick Onwuasor, Kenny Young, Chris Board, Otaro Alaka

Perhaps the only other positional group talked about as much as the interior offensive line, the inside linebackers group is still without a starter next to Patrick Onwuasor. At times, Chris Board looked to be the man. At others, Kenny Young. While the two competed, undrafted rookie, Otaro Alaka quietly pushed himself on the roster by way of special teams and solid performances when he found himself playing at inside linebacker. We may not know who starts next to Onwuasor until next Sunday, but we should at least be comfortable in believing these four will make up the group.

OLB/EDGE (5): Matthew Judon, Pernell McPhee, Jaylon Ferguson, Tyus Bowser, Tim Williams

In a strange turn of events, both Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams looked impressive throughout the preseason, and I project both to make the roster. If you were to ask me what my thoughts were on the two before training camp, I would have told you at least one would be cut. But here we are. While Bowser and Williams should make the roster, I believe that neither will start. I project Pernell McPhee, yes, Pernell McPhee, to start alongside Matthew Judon. The veteran and member of the Super Bowl XLVII team had a rough go of things after leaving the Ravens in 2015, but he has played well this preseason and has the necessary experience to do well as an edge rusher. Noticeably missing from this list is the former Broncos first-round pick, Shane Ray, who in my opinion, did not do enough to make this roster.

CB (7): Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith, Brandon Carr, Anthony Averett, Cyrus Jones, Brynden Trawick, Justin Bethel

It’s not every day that the Ravens keep seven cornerbacks on the roster. It’s not every day that the Ravens lose two to the injured reserve either. I project both Tavon Young and Iman Marshall to be placed on the IR. Young suffered a neck injury earlier in the preseason, and will probably miss the entire season. Iman Marshall hasn’t practiced in a few weeks with an injury. His timetable to return is not set, but I expect him to be placed on the IR as a way to redshirt him until next year. The Ravens did this same move to Jaleel Scott last year. Cyrus Jones will fill in for Tavon Young in the slot, and Bryden Trawick and Justin Bethel will contribute as both cornerbacks and special team players. High performing special teams units are very important to the Baltimore Ravens, and Trawick and Bethel’s play this preseason as special teamers and cornerbacks is enough to secure them a spot on the roster. Both Bethel and Trawick caught interceptions in Baltimore’s final preseason game, although Bethel’s was called back.

S (5): Earl Thomas Jr, Tony Jefferson, DeShon Elliot, Chuck Clark, Anthony Levine

No surprises here, the Baltimore Ravens are sticking to the safety group they assembled. Obviously Earl Thomas Jr. is the best free safety in the National Football League, and Tony Jefferson is among the best strong safeties. While these two headline the group, it is important to note that Anthony Levine will be back, filling in his usual role as a productive strong safety and linebacker hybrid. Baltimore will also use the rapidly developing DeShon Elliot and Chuck Clark to the fullest of their abilities.

SPECIAL TEAMS (4)

K (1): Justin Tucker

Why are you reading this? You know why he made the roster.

P (1): Sam Koch

Again? Still more reading? No way the Ravens cut Sam Koch.

LS (1): Morgan Cox

If the Ravens are keeping Justin Tucker and Sam Koch, then you know Morgan Cox will stay to keep the wolfpack in tact.

RS (1): Cyrus Jones

It was a close race for the return specialist position between Jones and Tyler Ervin all preseason, but in the end, Jones provides the most value for the Ravens, as they can use him as a starter in two positions. Ervin was not able to stand out over Jones at returner, and his roster chances suffered because of it.

IR (2)

Tavon Young – CB

Iman Marshall – CB

PRACTICE SQUAD (10)

De’Lance Turner – RB

Charles Scarff – TE

Patrick Mekari – OL

Sean Modster – WR

Antoine Wesley – WR

Jaylen Smith – WR

Silas Stewart – ILB

Alvin Jones – ILB

Zach Sieler – DL

Gerald Willis – DL

CUTS (35)

Aaron Adeoye – OLB

Marcus Applefield – OT

Terrell Bonds – CB

Joe Callahan – QB

Maurice Canady – CB

Randin Crecelius – OG

Kenneth Dixon – RB

E.J. Ejiya – ILB

Tyler Ervin – RB/RS

Christopher Ezeala – FB

Michael Floyd – WR

Elliot Fry – K

Cole Herdman – TE

Joe Horn Jr. – WR

Bennett Jackson – CB

Stanley Jean-Baptiste – CB

Alvin Jones – ILB

Patrick Mekari – OG

Sean Modster – WR

Cameron Nizialek – K/P

Matthew Ozech – LS

Donald Payne – LB

R.J. Prince – OG

Shane Ray – LB

Charles Scarff – TE

Zach Sieler – DT

Jaylen Smith – WR

Fish Smithson – DB

Silas Stewart – ILB

De’Lance Turner – RB

Patrick Vahe – OG

Antoine Wesley – WR

Darrell Williams – OT

Isaiah Williams – OT

Gerald Willis – DT

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