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Ravens 53 man roster predictions: defense and special teams edition

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
    Yesterday, I made predictions for who will and who won't make the 53 man roster for Week 1 on the offesnsive side of the ball. Today, let's focus on the defense.

    Defensive Tackles
  1. Brandon Williams - Recently, Pete Prisco ranked Brandon Williams as the most underrated player in the NFL, a label that seems very accurate for Williams. Many NFL fans may not know of Williams, but all Ravens fans know that Williams is an absolute stud. He is a lock to be a Week 1 starter.
  2. Timmy Jernigan - Jernigan has improved every year, and will earn a starting role this year next to Williams.
  3. Carl Davis - The sophomore showed promise as a rookie. If Davis can build on his success, he will be one of the best back ups in the NFL.

Defensive Ends

  1. Lawrence Guy - With Chris Canty gone, Guy will look to fill the void. Guy played in spells last season, and preformed well in doing so. Guy will continue to develop into a solid end for the Ravens.
  2. Brent Urban - Who can forget Urban’s blocked kick against the Browns last year? Urban has spent most of his career on the disabled list, but came back last year and immediately made an impact. He will get many snaps when Guy is subbed out, and be a big player off the end that the Ravens like.
  3. Bronson Kaufusi - Kaufusi has a similar skill set to Urban, but Urban is more developed. Kaufusi will likely jump Urban once he puts his game together.

Outside Linebackers

  1. Terrell Suggs - T-Sizzle is a lock to be a Week 1 starter
  2. Elvis Dumervil - Dumervil is a lock to be a Week 1 starter
  3. Za’Darius Smith - Smith preformed extremely well as a rookie. He is a speedy edge rusher who can get to the quarterback and stop the run. He is the future of an aging Ravens outside linebacker core.
  4. Matt Judon - Judon was a defensive end at college, but I see his future at outside linebacker. Judon ran 4.73 40 yard dash at the combine. He has the speed needed to come off the edge. And while not against top competition, Judon put up 20 sacks in his last college season. That total would lead to a pro-bowl selection in the NFL. He has an extreme talent for getting to the quarterback. Analysts have said that this pick could be the biggest steal of the draft.
  5. Victor Ochi - The Ravens proved in the draft that they really want pass rushers, and that’s just what Ochi is. Like Judon, Ochi dominated at a small school. Ochi proved that his production was legit with a strong performance at the East-West Shrine Game. Ochi was ranked as high a third round pick by Mel Kiper Jr. It seems the Ravens got an undrafted steal.

Inside Linebackers

  1. C.J. Mosley - Mosley is a lock to be a Week 1 starter.
  2. Zachary Orr - This might be the biggest competition at training camp. Orr is my pick to win the starting job next to Mosley, but any of the next few players are interchangeable.
  3. Kamalei Correa - Correa was drafted as an outside linebacker, but the Ravens will use him as an inside linebacker. Correa had an interception in minicamp, and he also possesses a stellar ability to get to quarterback.
  4. Albert McClellan - The veteran may finally get a chance to get more snaps. He has been a back up for a few years now, and hope to win a starting job.

Cornerbacks

  1. Jimmy Smith - Smith is a lock to be a Week 1 starter.
  2. Shareece Wright - The Ravens just gave Wright a big deal, meaning that they value him and want to use him as a starter. Wright and Smith are good friends and will have good chemistry on the field.
  3. Jerraud Powers - Jimmy Smith said that Powers, "is kind of dominating". Powers had "5 or 6" interceptions according to Smith. Powers, who started on the Cardinals defense last year, will be a stud playmaking corner for the Ravens.
  4. Will Davis - Davis didn’t play much last season due to injury, but he has a lot of potential. Davis provides depth at a position that has often been and achilles heal.
  5. Kyle Arrington - Arrington was a very good corner in his days with the Patriots, but he only had an okay season this past year with the Ravens. Arrington needs to play like the guy from New England to hold his place on the depth chart with players chomping at his heels.
  6. Anthony Levine - While at time inconstant, Levine has been one of the Ravens better backup defensive backs over the past few seasons. He may fall down the depth chart due to some of the newer and younger guys.
  7. Tavon Young - Young was one of the Ravens’ fourth round draft picks. The former Temple corner is small, but a very talented athlete. He works in the nickel, and his small size has not hurt him against quick and physical slot receivers. Young has talent to burn, but he is raw, and may take more than a season to get his game to a starters level.

Safeties

  1. Eric Weddle - Weddle is a lock to be a Week 1 starter
  2. Kendrick Lewis - The Ravens signed Lewis last season with hopes of him becoming a solid starter for the Ravens. Despite the fact that Weddle and Lewis are both free safeties, they are the most talented players the Ravens have at the back end.
  3. Lardarius Webb - Webb has been moved from a cornerback to a safety this offseason. While he was a mainstay at corner for the Ravens, he might find himself being a backup at the beginning of this year due to his inexperience at the position.
  4. Terrence Brooks - Brooks looked ready to get a chance at fighting for a starting role this year. Then the Ravens went and signed Eric Weddle. That signing ended Brooks’s hopes of starting, but Brooks will continue to be a solid player off the bench.

Special Teams

Justin Tucker- Tucker is a lock to be a Week 1 starter.

Sam Koch - Koch is a lock to be a Week 1 starter.

Morgan Cox - is a lock to be a Week 1 starter.

Keenan Reynolds- Reynolds will likely be uses as a return specialist in addition to his wide receiver duties.

Notable Cuts

The hardest players for me to cut were Arthur Brown, Matt Elam, and Willie Henry, not necessarily in that order. Cutting Elam and Brown would make them both labeled as busts as they were first and second round picks in the same draft respectively. I wanted to keep Willie Henry on the 53 man roster. He would provide further depth at the DT position, and he plays with the typical Harbaugh style that Henry played with Jim at Michigan.