The first Ravens’ depth chart has been released following roster cuts and there are many things to look over and discuss.
First, Lamar Jackson is the backup quarterback with Robert Griffin III placed at the third quarterback spot. Many, including myself, suspected the Ravens kept RGIII to be the backup in case Joe Flacco suffers an injury during the season. This depth chart looks otherwise. Hopefully, though, we won’t need to find out how true the placements are.
Second, the starting right tackle is not Orlando Brown Jr., though he looked like the best candidate throughout the preseason. The Ravens coaching staff is opting to keep James Hurst at right tackle with Marshal Yanda beside him at right guard.
Sticking with the offensive line, Alex Lewis and Matt Skura are still where many expected during training camp at left guard and center, respectively. This is a big question mark for the Ravens. Many worry Skura isn’t big enough for the center position, especially with the big defensive lineman in the AFC North.
The starting tight end is not Hayden Hurst due to injury, but it is also not Mark Andrews. Slotted at the starting position is Nick Boyle, with Maxx Williams as the second tight end. I expect Andrews to also cycle in, but the Ravens love their run game and need big blockers to fill in, which I presume is the purpose of Boyle starting.
There is a clear worry with Ronnie Stanley as the only capable left tackle on the roster. If he goes down, the Ravens place Hurst at left tackle and Zeus Jr. starts at right tackle. Behind Hurst, Jermaine Eluemunor is the backup. The Ravens cannot afford Stanley to go down this year.
The defense demonstrates less surprises than the offense, though there are still things to discuss.
Patrick Onwuasor is starting beside C.J. Mosley, but that became more clear once Kenny Young suffered a knee injury in the final preseason exhibition.
The starting corners for the Ravens aren’t surprising, only Marlon Humphrey assuming Jimmy Smith’s role during the suspension.
The biggest surprise, to me, is Tim Williams placed on the third-string as the RUSH linebacker, behind Za’Darius Smith. The sophomore linebacker from Alabama turned it up a notch this preseason, disrupting many quarterbacks with both pressures and sacks. Both linebackers looked good in the preseason, but I figured Williams overtook Smith with his production in the final games.
The all-important return jobs were both won by Janarion Grant, but we see rookie Jordan Lasley also lands in the kick-return role beside him. Will be interesting to see how this plays out, especially with Lasley’s known drops issues.
We never saw it in the preseason, but Willie Snead IV is the backup punt returner. I believe this is an exciting possibility as Snead’s skill is both in acceleration and agility. He could break off a return rather quickly with his shifty moves.