A teams preseason record itself does not mean much. It is not an indicator of how the starters will fare during the season. Preseason does however give insight to a teams strengths and weaknesses. Last seasons Ravens saw their backups exposed, leading to a paltry 1-3 record. Injuries forced those backups into action and they fared exactly how they fared in preseason.
At the center of the improved depth dwell the five fourth-round rookies. Tavon Young, Matt Judon, Kenneth Dixon, Willie Henry and Chris Moore all had stand out preseasons, with Young likely being locked in as the nickel and Judon expecting to see time as a designated pass rusher. Once Dixon returns from injury he will figure to challenge the starting running back spot if his pass blocking is on par with his running and receiving abilities. He was the most impressive back out of the competing four.
To draft five fourth-round picks that contribute in their rookie seasons brings outstanding depth to the team.
Added to the success found in the fourth round was improved play from Anthony Levine Sr., where he figures to have a tremendous impact. Having a dime package is key to a good pass defense these days. The Kansas City Chiefs, the Denver Broncos and the Arizona Cardinals have all employed it to stellar results. The Ravens, because of Levine, could follow. His interceptions against the Lions and the Colts would have made Ed Reed proud.
Safety Terrence Brooks, running back Terrence West and wide receiver Jeremy Butler are all players players who have improved from the prior season. They will make the Ravens brass comfortable if one of the starters at those respective positions were to go down.
Depth is always on showcase during preseason. When it comes to the Ravens, the 4-0 record does not lie. While a few questions remain, notably in the secondary, improvements from second and third year Ravens and the arrival of the stellar fourth round has made the Ravens significantly deeper.