QB: Lamar Jackson
RB: Mark Ingram
WR: Marquise Brown
WR: Miles Boykin
TE: Mark Andrews
TE: Nick Boyle
LT: Ronnie Stanley
LG: Bradley Bozeman
C: Matt Skura
RG: D.J. Fluker
RT: Orlando Brown
DI: Derek Wolfe
DI: Brandon Williams
DI: Calais Campbell
EDGE: Matthew Judon
EDGE: Jaylon Ferguson
LB: Patrick Queen
LB: L.J. Fort
CB: Marcus Peters
CB: Marlon Humphrey
CB: Tavon Young
S: Chuck Clark
S: Deshon Elliott
Starting spot up in the air: S DeShon Elliott
The Ravens’ decision to release Earl Thomas is clearly something that leadership in the organization wanted in order to maintain the dynamics of what is widely considered one of the better-run organizations in the NFL, but from an on-field perspective, the options remaining to replace Thomas at free safety are few and far between.
In-house options will come down to young, inexperienced players such as Geno Stone or Elliott. Elliott is heading into his third NFL season out of Texas, but injuries have limited him to just 40 defensive snaps across his first two seasons. As things stand right now, though, Elliott has a real opportunity to be the team’s starting free safety in 2020.
Beyond Elliott, Stone also has an opportunity to see some free safety snaps as a seventh-round rookie out of Iowa. Stone was a favorite of PFF’s lead draft analyst Mike Renner, and as my colleague Eric Eager wrote, he had some of the best college-to-pro projections of any safety in the 2020 NFL Draft. Theoretically, the playmaking ability that he showcased in college is a terrific fit at free safety in Baltimore’s defense if he can get up to speed by Week 1.
Training Camp Buzz: Chuck Clark on Earl Thomas release: Ravens ‘putting that situation in the rear view’
“We’re just moving forward and putting that situation in the rear view,” Clark told reporters, via the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. It’s a stance multiple Ravens took in the wake of Thomas’ departure. DeShon Elliott, who’s in line to take over Thomas’ spot, bluntly stated: “I’m not worried about Earl. I’m worried about me.”
Defensive end Calais Campbell, who joined the Ravens this past March, juxtaposed the development with the team’s unity and objectives. “Obviously, things happen, and you kind of just roll with the punches, figure it out as you go along,” Campbell said. “I think this team is special. We’ve got great team chemistry, great mindset. This team, we believe that this could be a special year. That’s where it starts.”
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Clark incident was “the last of a string of events” involving the Pro Bowl safety. NFL Network’s Mike Silver reported Thomas’ issues date back to when he became a Raven. “It was bad last year too,” Silver said. “He was late, he missed meetings. They warned him after he got fined repeatedly. Look, at some point this is going to be conduct detrimental. That’s going to affect your contract. Things picked up right where they left off at this training camp, and not in a good way.” Per Silver, Thomas complained that he needed more time between practice and meetings and explained that he was late because he needed to get his car washed.”
This was just a couple days before Thomas blew a red-zone assignment in practice, which prompted Clark to throw his helmet. “Earl Thomas essentially said, It’s cool,” Silver explained. “Chuck Clark said, No, it’s not cool. You need to go to meetings and walk-through and maybe you’ll get it. That’s how the fight started. But this was a long time brewing.”
Practice Report: Marquise Brown Keeps Scoring Long Touchdowns - Clifton Brown
Brown had the most explosive play of Monday’s practice, getting behind the secondary to catch a long pass from undrafted rookie quarterback Tyler Huntley.
Cornerback Tavon Young had a couple of nice pass breakups, showing quick anticipation to get a piece of the football. This was a non-padded practice, but Young’s reputation as a physical nickel corner is unquestioned. He’s one of the surest tacklers on the team and he is fearless taking on ballcarriers and blockers who outweigh him. After missing last year with a neck injury, Young looks fresh and quick. If he’s still feeling rust from missing last year, Young isn’t showing it.
Linebacker L.J. Fort nearly had an interception in a red zone drill, getting both hands on the football before it slipped away.
OLB Jaylon Ferguson — On at least two occasions Monday, Ferguson pushed past blockers to get into the backfield and disrupt running plays.
TE Charles Scarff — Scarff pulled down that one acrobatic catch along the sideline, reeled in a few other balls and repeatedly made himself a target to quarterbacks who had nowhere else to throw. It was a strong bounce-back effort for Scarff after dropping a pass and committing a false start penalty Sunday. Tight end Jerrell Adams, perhaps Scarff’s stiffest competition for a roster spot, let one ball bounce off his hands and fall incomplete Monday.