The Baltimore Ravens attacked the 2016 offseason with a mindset centered around re-tooling an aging team. The 11 draft picks that they made this past April were the second most of any NFL team, and sent the clear message that they were ready to begin a new youth movement in Baltimore. It appears that movement will officially begin today against the Buffalo Bills as several of the Ravens rookies will not only be suiting up, but are listed as starters.
The left side of the offensive line will be anchored by rookies Alex Lewis and Ronnie Stanley, playing at guard and tackle respectively. Stanley was expected to start day one so there isn’t really any surprise there, but Lewis getting the starting job is an interesting development. One of the five fourth round picks Ozzie Newsome made this draft, Lewis was drafted as a tackle out of Nebraska and was viewed as a potential backup to Rick Wagner. Apparently, there has been a quick turnaround in his shift to guard as the presumed starter John Urschel is listed as inactive. Keep an eye on the left side of the offensive line as Rex Ryan will likely attack it with multiple complicated blitz packages.
Another rookie to keep an eye on will be playing in the Ravens defensive backfield. Tavon Young will be the starting nickel corner with most of the other options listed as inactive or out with injury. Jerraud Powers was brought in to start at the nickel position, but is currently injured so keep an eye on the diminutive Young covering the slot this game.
A few other rookies to keep an eye on are Chris Moore and Maurice Canady. Neither are starting, but Moore figures to work into the receiving rotation at some point this season and Canady could see some snaps in a thin secondary.
This is a younger team than most Ravens fans are used to, and hopefully that ends up being a good thing for the team against Buffalo.