This is what the Ravens 53-man roster will look like....
Quarterbacks (3): Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor, Keith Wenning. Analysis: Flacco hasn’t missed a beat since he’s entered the League six years ago. Not to over-sugarcoat the obvious but Tyrod Taylor is a decent backup and rookie Keith Wenning should climb up the ranks by 2015. The Ravens might look to bring in a veteran quarterback after the preseason.
Running backs (5): Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, Kyle Juszczyk, Justin Forsett, Lorenzo Taliaferro. Analysis: Bernard Pierce is coming off rotator cuff surgery in January and will be ready for training camp. So much for second chances, rookie Taliaferro was arrested over Memorial Day weekend and charged for destruction of property and public intoxication; the fourth Raven to be arrested this offseason, I wouldn’t be surprised if he tumbles beneath Forsett. Rice, Pierce and Juszczyk will make the cut.
Wide receivers (5): Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Marlon Brown, Jacoby Jones, Michael Campanaro. Analysis: Life as a wide receiver in Baltimore is fun, said nobody. Since the days of Travis Taylor and his paltry 39 catches behind tight end Todd Heap’s 57 in 2003, to the imbalance of Derrick Mason’s 103 receptions vs. Mark Clayton’s 48 in 2006, and to Ray Rice’s team-leading 76 grabs ahead of Anquan Boldin’s 57 in 2011, a wide receiver in Baltimore normally sees less action than I did at a high school dance. Campanaro, good luck.
Tight ends (3): Dennis Pitta, Owen Daniels, Crockett Gillmore. Analysis: The real race is between the rookie Crockett Gillmore and sophomore Phillip Supernaw. The latter appeared in one game for the Texans in 2013, maybe his history with offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak could play in his favor. The upper-hand right now belongs to the third-round pick Gillmore. (Not because he’s one inch taller than 6-foot-5 Supernaw.)
Offensive line (9): Eugene Monroe, Kelechi Osemele, Jeremy Zuttah, Marshal Yanda, Rick Wagner, Ryan Jensen, Gino Gradkowski, John Urschel, James Hurst. Analysis: Monroe, Osemele, Zuttah, and Yanda will start this season. Osmele underwent back surgery in November but is 100 percent. Wagner and Jensen will compete for a starting job at right tackle. Gradkowski’s upside is blatant. Although Rackley brings three years of experience to the line, I don’t see where he’ll fit with the two vacant spots left for Urschel, Hurst, Jah Reid, and/or A.Q. Shipley.
Defensive line (7): Haloti Ngata, Brandon Williams, Chris Canty, Timmy Jernigan, Brent Urban, DeAngelo Tyson, Kapron Lewis-Moore. Analysis: Seasoned veterans Ngata and Canty are vaulted gold. Of the six rookies on the defensive line, Jernigan and Urban are favorites due to their draft status. Williams could make this leap, Tyson sparkled near the end of 2013, and Lewis-Moore is considered as the Ravens’ diamond in the rough.
Linebackers (9): Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley, Daryl Smith, Courtney Upshaw, Elvis Dumervil, Arthur Brown, John Simon, Pernell McPhee, Josh Bynes. Analysis: The linebacking galore is set: last year’s eight return, plus rookie Mosley. Bynes will catch a tough [heart] break against Albert McClellan, as both have played alongside each other for three seasons.
Cornerbacks (5): Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb, Chykie Brown, Asa Jackson, a rookie. Analysis: Starting are Smith and Webb, while the battle for the nickelback opening between Brown and Jackson needs more time. Albany State All-American Dexter Moody joins the batch of four undrafted rookies for a shot at the fifth corner slot--the sweepstakes I feel Moody has a good chance of winning.
Safeties (5): Matt Elam, Terrence Brooks, Darian Stewart, Anthony Levine, Jeromy Miles. Analysis: According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, Elam, Brooks and Stewart make the team. I agree. Losing James Ihedigbo’s stings--youngster Levine and five-year veteran, Miles, will make a name for themselves.
...If the season starts tomorrow.