The Ravens have nine receivers that could make an NFL roster somewhere this season.
That can be a problem when there are only 53 spots to fill. But one of the issues at the position is that after Torrey Smith, eight of those players are unproven with their potential either untapped or simply unknown. The problem is deciding which mid-tier receivers to bring on without missing on the two or three you have to let walk.
How Baltimore picks its receivers this year will affect another position, whether it's on the defensive line, at outside linebacker or at cornerback.
It'll be something to monitor over the next two weeks.
Quarterback (2): Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor; Out: Caleb Hanie
Analysis: Hanie could be off the roster by next week's cutdown to 75 players.
Running back (2): Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce; Bubble: Anthony Allen, Bobby Rainey; Out: Damien Berry
Analysis: Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg indicated that fullback Kyle Juszczyk could do the same lead blocking duties as Allen. That's not good for Allen's roster status.
Fullback (2): Vonta Leach, Kyle Juszczyk
Analysis: These two begin the season on the 53-man roster barring injury.
Wide receiver (7): Torrey Smith, Brandon Stokley, Jacoby Jones, Tandon Doss, Deonte Thompson, LaQuan Williams, Aaron Mellette; Bubble: David Reed, Marlon Brown; Out: Tommy Streeter, Gerrard Sheppard, Rashaad Carter
Analysis: Here's where the fun is, as this group could continue to change over the next two weeks. However, Thursday's game against Carolina will give the young receivers a chance to separate themselves. Smith, Stokley and Jones are the safest of the bunch. Then there's Doss and Thompson, with both probably safe (though it wouldn't be out of the question to see Doss wind up a surprise cut.) With four spots at the most remaining, Baltimore has some questions to answer. Williams has proven to be reliable when called upon during the preseason. His skills translate to various special teams duties and he had a great game against Tampa Bay as a receiver. Mellette has caught two touchdowns from Taylor and continues to excel in practice. Brown started this past Sunday's practice with the first team, indicating the coaches want to see what he can do against Carolina this week. Reed, who signed a two-year, $2.5 million maximum deal this offseason, hasn't done much yet since he injured his groin. The position group remains murky with a lot to to still be decided.
Tight end (3): Ed Dickson, Dallas Clark, Billy Bajema; Bubble: Visanthe Shiancoe, Billy Bajema, Matt Furstenburg; IR: Dennis Pitta; Out: Alex Silvestro
Analysis: Bajmea gets the nod this week after a fairly good outing against Atlanta last week. Shiancoe started the game and had a couple more drops (though the passes weren't great) which will only hurt his case if that continues. It's beginning to look like Clark might've been brought on to replace Shiancoe since he might not be what the Ravens need with Pitta indefinitely out.
Offensive line (9): Bryant McKinnie, Kelechi Osemele, Gino Gradkowski, Marshal Yanda, Michael Oher, A.Q. Shipley, Rick Wagner, Jah Reid, Ramon Harewood; IR Candidate: Ryan Jensen; Out: David Mims, Jordan Devey, Antoine McClain, Jack Cornell, J.J. 'Unga, Reggie Stephens, Rogers Gaines.
Analysis: The line appears set with nine guys, assuming Jensen winds up on season-ending IR when the season opens. The only potential bubble candidate would be Ramon Harewood, since Jah Reid appears to be the primary backup at both left guard and right guard.
Defensive line (6): Chris Canty, Arthur Jones, Brandon Williams, Haloti Ngata, Marcus Spears, Terrence Cody. IR candidate: Kapron Lewis-Moore; Bubble: DeAngelo Tyson; Out: Will Pericak, Cody Larsen
Analysis: The Ravens prefer to hold on to their draft picks but may not have a choice in this instance. After four weeks of Tyson making the roster, he's now out in favor of a seventh receiver. Tyson hasn't rotated in with the defensive rotation that would seem to be in Dean Pees' favor for the upcoming season. Cody appears safer than originally thought a couple of weeks ago, with the coaches praising his work ethic of late.
Outside linebacker (6): Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Pernell McPhee, Courtney Upshaw, John Simon, Adrian Hamilton; Out: D.J. Bryant, Meshak Williams
Analysis: The Ravens are talented enough at outside linebacker that it would appear to be a position group they'd wanna leave as is. There's no reason to tinker with it, considering with how Simon and Hamilton have looked this preseason.
Inside linebacker (4): Arthur Brown, Daryl Smith, Josh Bynes, Albert McClellan; PUP: Jameel McClain; Bubble: Bryan Hall, Nigel Carr; Out: Brandon Copeland
Analysis: It would be a shame for Hall not to make the 53-man roster considering the work he put in to slim down this offseason. Carr still has practice squad eligibility and could wind up on the same path Bynes has been on the past three years.
Cornerback (5): Lardarius Webb, Corey Graham, Jimmy Smith, Chykie Brown, Marc Anthony; Suspended: Asa Jackson; Bubble: Moe Lee
Analysis: Anthony gets the nod for now but this could wind up being a position group that keeps only four with two or three (from the current roster and elsewhere) on the practice squad. With Webb, Graham, Smith and Brown, the corners have a solid group of four. Behind them, there's a large drop off with Anthony, Jackson and Lee.
Safety (4): Michael Huff, Matt Elam, James Ihedigbo, Omar Brown; Suspended: Christian Thompson; Out: Anthony Levine, Brynden Trawick
Analysis: Brown will probably see some added playing time this week, which could solidify his standing on this team.
Special teams (3): Sam Koch, Justin Tucker, Morgan Cox
Analysis: They're in.
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