Matt Elam and Terrence Brooks were once thought to be the safety tandem of the future for the Baltimore Ravens. Both came out of their respective Florida universities with promise and accolades, boasting athleticism and playmaking ability in the 2013 NFL draft. Fast forward to three years down the road and they now face off against each other to have a mere chance at staying on the Ravens roster.
Some might think Elam has the early edge, as he was reportedly close to breaking out before tearing his bicep in last offseason's training camp. Judging by what fans have seen, however, it is safe to assume Brooks has the edge. In his short time as a starter, Brooks flashed terrific closing speed and enforcer traits as shown by his vicious hit on Tennessee's Delanie Walker. Last season, Brooks was employed as a spy against Russell Wilson's Seattle Seahawks and showed good instincts in spots, notably reading Wilson and batting down a pass attempt on third down, just like C.J Mosley would.
It should not be expected for both of the young safeties to make the roster. Kendrick Lewis' experience and smarts likely have him safe, as Dean Pees has shown a preference towards veteran, heady safeties as compared to young, athletic safeties. Anthony Levine's cornerback skills and special team prowess likely have him safe as well and is unfathomable for the Ravens to again keep six safeties on the roster.
Training camp and pre-season will prove to be massive for the two young safeties. The loser is likely to find himself on the street.