Training camp is just around the corner. The rookies reported to the Castle on Friday, and the whole team will report for the first day of camp on July 28. This year's training camp will be riddled with competition. So who will and who won’t make the team? I’ve compiled my list of who will make the 53 man roster and ordered them in my prediction of the depth chart.
- Joe Flacco - There is a 100 percent chance Flacco will be the Week 1 starter barring a setback with his recovery.
- Ryan Mallett - Mallett proved to be a reliable backup for Flacco last season. His performance in the win over Pittsburgh earned him the second spot on the depth chart behind Joe.
- Justin Forsett
- Javorius Allen
- Kenneth Dixon
These three running backs are all virtual locks to make the roster. I don’t see the Ravens keeping more than three backs. The order of these three on the depth chart is basically interchangeable. While this is how I see the depth chart playing out at the end of camp, it could change often during the season.
- Kyle Juszczyk- "Juice" is the only fullback on the Ravens roster, and is an obvious starter. The Ravens love this guy.
- Steve Smith Sr. - Smith is a lock to be the number one receiver.
- Mike Wallace - Wallace provides the deep threat the Ravens desperately need. He will be higher on the depth chart due to his experience in comparison to similar players like Breshad Perriman and Chris Moore.
- Kamar Aiken - Aiken became the number one receiver for a good portion of last season due to injuries. In that role, he thrived and became a bright spot during the Ravens disappointing season. He may fall out of the starting lineup, however, as he just doesn’t provide the deep threat ability that Mike Wallace can.
- Breshad Perriman - Perriman could end up working his way up the depth chart this season. He falls to the fourth spot on the depth chart due to his inexperience compared to Mike Wallace. No one can deny that Perriman is an extremely talented player who could be starting as early as late this year.
- Chris Moore - Moore is similar to Perriman in terms of lack of experience. Perriman is a more talented player than Moore, but that doesn’t mean Moore won’t get a lot of snaps.
- Keenan Reynolds - Reynolds will take time to develop into a true slot receiver, but he will make the roster due to his kick/punt returning potential. The Ravens undoubtedly could use a player who is hard to bring down in the open field returning kicks.
- Benjamin Watson - Watson will likely be the starter in week 1. The Ravens paid him way too much money for him to be anything but. However, that doesn’t mean his spot atop the depth chart is secure.
- Crockett Gillmore - Gillmore could end up also being a starter if the Ravens use two tight end sets, which in a Marc Trestman offense is very likely. Gilmore played very well last year in a starting role, and figures to continue to improve.
- Dennis Pitta - If he can stay on the field, he could move back up to the top spot. Pitta has incredible chemistry with Flacco, which the other pass catchers frankly just don’t have. He just needs to stay healthy (knock on wood).
- Maxx Williams - So, the Ravens have the best group of tight ends in the NFL. Maxx Williams is fourth on this depth chart, but he could start on many other teams in the NFL.
- Jeremy Zuttah - Zuttah is a lock to start at center.
- Ryan Jensen - Jensen can back up multiple positions on the o-line, and center is one of them.
- Marshal Yanda - Yanda is the best guard in the NFL. He will be the starting right guard for the Ravens.
- John Urschel - Urschel will finally get a chance to be a starter and take over for Kelechi Osemele at left guard.
- Ryan Jensen - The Ravens might want to keep him more as a backup center, but he is just a little more talented and has a little more experience than...
- Alex Lewis - Lewis is a tackle that the Ravens are converting into a guard. He will compete for a starting job, and if he fails to win the job, he will be a solid backup.
- Ricky Wagner - The right tackle position will continue to belong to Wagner. Wagner has been one of the Ravens best players on the offensive side of the ball over the last two seasons. He has consistently been able to protect Joe Flacco from quick edge rushers.
- Ronnie Stanley - With Eugene Monroe gone, the Ronnie Stanley era can begin. The Ravens hope that Stanley can be a star tackle for them, just like Jonathan Ogden in years past. Stanley will be the starting left tackle against the Bills in week 1 of this upcoming season.
- James Hurst - Hurst will continue to be a solid backup for the Ravens behind Stanley and Wagner.
- Alex Lewis - The Ravens want to use Lewis as a guard, but an injury or two could force the Ravens to move him back to tackle.
Some of the notable players cut include Terrance West, Lorenzo Taliaferro, and Michael Campanaro. As I discussed in a previous article, Reynolds and Campanaro have a very similar skill set. However, Campanaro has major injury concerns to worry about, and Reynolds oozes with potential as both a receiver and a returner. West and Taliaferro are both power backs, while the three backs that did make the team are not.
However, Allen possesses enough power to be relied on in short yardage scenarios. The Ravens could also turn to “Juice” (I’m not about to spell out his name again), or just have Flacco push the pile on a QB sneak. Lastly, Nick Boyle is not mentioned as he cannot be placed on the 53 man roster until he finishes serving his suspension.
When Boyle’s suspension is over, the Ravens will want to add Boyle to the roster. To do so, the organization will have to cut a player, it’s just a matter of who. But let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.