This year's Ravens roster feels loaded, with much of the young talent on cost controlled rookie deals. This includes key contributors at every level of the defense and offense. Is the perception reality, or just us being high on this years roster.
Some of the bigger names on offense are: Breshad Perriman, Marlon Brown, Michael Campanaro, Darren Waller, Maxx Williams, Crockett Gillmore, Nick Boyle, Kyle Juszczyk, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Javorius Allen, Rick Wagner, Kelechi Osemele, John Urschel, and James Hurst. On defense: Brandon Williams, Tim Jernigan, Carl Davis, Brent Urban, Kapron Lewis-Moore, DeAngelo Tyson, Courtney Upshaw, Za'Darius Smith, C.J. Mosley, Arthur Brown, Zach Orr, Matt Elam, Terrence Brooks, Jimmy Smith, Rashaan Melvin, Will Hill, Asa Jackson and Justin Tucker. Maybe one or two of these players won't make the roster, but with 32 players listed here, this is easily around 60% of the roster.
So I wanted to look back at previous years and see how many players on rookie deals there were, to see if this is normal or if we really do have an abundance of youth.
2014- 32 players on the opening day roster on rookie deals.
2013- 28 players
2012- 28 players
2011- 27 players
2010- 26 players
2009- 24 players
2008- 27 players
2007- 28 players
The resource I used for the old starting lineups, ourlads.com, only goes back to 2007. Obviously these are only rough numbers based on my memory, but It would seem like the numbers have been on the higher end recently. 2007 and 2008 both had multiple QB's and FB's who we drafted, which explains why the numbers are higher those years before dipping post Kyle Boller and Troy Smith. However, the number has been steadily rising since then.
The difference between then and now would seem to be the quality. Back then, many of the players on rookie deals were undrafted free agents and players considered major busts. For example 2007 had busts Yamon Figurs, Demetrius Williams, and Devard Darling, Antwan Barnes, Prescott Burgess, Kyle Boller, Adam Terry, Musa Smith, David Pittman, Derrick Martin, and several more. The star power on rookie contracts was also less; now we have
My point is, we do have several more cost controlled players on the roster, but they also feel like they are better quality players too. So that is a conclusion, sort of....