clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Who will step up in Elam's absence?

New, comments

After a season ending injury to safety Matt Elam, who will step up to fill his role? Three young, unproven guys will finally get their shot to increase their role on defense.

Will Hill (33) and Nick Perry (36) take part in a training camp drill
Will Hill (33) and Nick Perry (36) take part in a training camp drill
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

I really hated to see Elam go down with that injury. I, along with many others, thought he might turn the corner this year and be vastly improved. Although the starting spot most likely would've went to Will Hill, Elam would've provided strong depth at the safety position. Now with the injury, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said that they plan to stick with the current roster and employ a "next man up" philosophy. While trade rumors are still swirling, Harbaugh seemed pretty pleased with the idea of sticking with the current roster instead of bringing in a new player.

Will Hill will be the starting safety opposite Kendrick Lewis. From all reports, Hill has stepped up and is showing himself to be worthy of the starting job. However, the competition will be for his back-up, which will see a fair share of reps.

With that being said, there are three guys that could potentially step in and see increased reps at the safety position in place of Elam. Terrence Brooks would be an option here, but he is on the Physically Unable to Perform List, so I am not including him on this list.

1. Brynden Trawick- Trawick is a 3 year pro out of Troy University. He has reportedly played really well in training camp despite mainly being a special teams player over the past three years. At 6'2 and 225 pounds, Trawick also could be a versatile option as he could line up as a linebacker in certain packages to play coverage in multiple receiver sets. He's been a valuable asset as a special teams player, and ultimately, that could lead to him finding his way onto the field on defense.

2. Anthony Levine- Levine is another special teams guy that is looking to see more reps on the defensive side of the ball. Levine is a 4 year pro out of Tennessee State who was forced to play corner last year due to the rash of injuries at the position. Like Trawick, he can provide versatility and line up as a corner, though safety is probably his more natural position. He played in 16 games last season and started three games as a corner, with 29 tackles and 4 passes defensed.

3. Nick Perry- Perry is an undrafted rookie out of SEC powerhouse Alabama. He has good size at 6'1 and 211-pounds, and the Ravens have been known to bring on guys from Alabama due to their similarity of defensive schemes. Perry is known as more of a hard-hitting safety, but has shown his coverage skills in training camp so far.

Harbaugh has had positive things to say about each of these guys, so I think the job is a three-way race right now. Levine and Trawick are the more likely options, due to their experience, but I definitely wouldn't count Perry out just yet. This battle will definitely go into the pre-season.