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Ravens News 8/24: Roster Predictions and more

Baltimore Ravens v Carolina Panthers Photo by Chris Keane/Getty Images

Ravens camp observations: Not too concerned with inside LB depth, cuts made and lot of WRs sidelined - Jeff Zrebiec

The offense looked particularly sluggish. Jackson missed several open receivers with passes that were too high or too wide. A few drops were mixed in. For a practice run at half-speed at times, the ball was hitting the ground far too often. It started early, too, when Jackson overthrew Moore, who had gotten behind Marcus Peters and the rest of the secondary and should have had a long touchdown. Jackson later overthrew a wide-open Gus Edwards out of the backfield and threw it behind an open Devin Duvernay in the middle of the field.

Rookie receiver Tylan Wallace went up high to haul in a Jackson pass, but the catch of the day belonged to running back J.K. Dobbins, who made a one-handed snag with his left hand on a pass that was behind him as he cut across the middle of the field.

Veteran cornerback Tavon Young didn’t play Saturday, and one explanation is Harbaugh wanted to keep him off of the turf at Bank of America Stadium. Young practiced in full Monday and made a pass breakup on consecutive plays. Safety Geno Stone followed that up by breaking up a pass on the far sideline.

Practice Report: Wide Receiver Unit Gets Thinner, But Help Is on the Way - Ryan Mink

The best news of the day was that left tackle Ronnie Stanley went through a full practice for the first time, including 11-on-11 work. During one-on-one pass blocking drills, he handled a speed rush by Justin Houston around the edge, then stood up Tyus Bowser when he faked outside and tried to rip past Stanley’s inside shoulder. It sure looks like the Ravens’ All-Pro left tackle will be good to go for the season-opener in Las Vegas.

Proche was having a bit of a tougher day before his injury, which happened when he twisted awkwardly to snag an off-target pass. When Proche didn’t break free from safety Chuck Clark in a red-zone drill, Pass Game Specialist Keith Williams had a long chat with him. Proche has stacked many strong practices, but he’s still looking to break out in a game.

Second-year defensive tackle Broderick Washington continues to flash and undrafted rookie defensive tackle Jovan Swann showed some major power in one-on-one drills.

Baltimore Ravens’ Mock 53-Man Roster - Bo Smolka

OFFENSIVE LINE (9): Ronnie Stanley, Alejandro Villanueva, Kevin Zeitler, Bradley Bozeman, Ben Cleveland, Tyre Phillips, Ben Powers, Patrick Mekari, Trystan Colon

The widely anticipated left guard competition among Phillips, Powers and the rookie third-round pick Cleveland has been interrupted by injuries. Cleveland has missed about a week with a concussion, while Phillips missed the Carolina game with an ankle injury. Powers has struggled at times, but at least he’s been available, and with health issues along the line, that might be enough to win a roster spot.

Mekari is the Ravens’ plug-anywhere utility man, and Colon is the natural backup at center to Bozeman. But this group is perilously thin at tackle, a concern given that Stanley is coming off a season-ending injury and has yet to practice fully and Villanueva turns 33 in September. If there’s a late addition to the roster, it could come at tackle, and then one of the interior linemen would have to go.

SAFETY (3): Chuck Clark, DeShon Elliott, Brandon Stephens

The Ravens have to do a little roster gymnastics with Rashod Bateman, putting him on the initial 53-man roster before moving him to injured reserve. That means they will have to cut a player that they intend to bring back a day later, and they want that to be a vested veteran who doesn’t have to pass through waivers.

Anthony Levine is the longtime de facto captain of the special teams unit who would probably be agreeable to this plan, so even though he isn’t on the initial 53-man roster, he’s back on the team not long after. The Ravens also like Jordan Richards as a special teams ace, but it’s hard to find a spot for him.

Ditto for second-year safety Geno Stone, who had a pair of interceptions against the New Orleans Saints in the preseason opener, and undrafted rookie Ar’Darius Washington, who has shown a nose for the ball. The Ravens will hope he clears waivers and can return via the practice squad.

Baltimore Ravens 2021 NFL Betting Preview: It’s Time For the Ravens to Take to the Air - Jason Logan

Baltimore opens the season with back-to-back games under the primetime lights: Monday night at Las Vegas and Sunday night versus Kansas City. That intensity falls off a cliff with a road trip to Detroit to play the downtrodden Lions in Week 3.

Sin City will be in full swing when Baltimore battles the Raiders in what will be the fan-official opener for Allegiant Stadium after COVID-19 mucked up the works in 2020. The Ravens opened as big as 5.5-point road chalk and were bet down to -4 before recent buyback bumped the spread to -4.5. Harbaugh has been a solid bet in Week 1 openers, going 10-3 SU and ATS in the first game of the season since 2008 but just 3-2 SU/ATS on the road in those kickoff games.

The Chiefs are +250 favorites to win the AFC and the Ravens are priced at +700 (No. 3 overall), making this Week 2 war a huge trendsetter in the conference. The current lookahead is a pick’em, which will move after the knee-jerk reactions to Week 1. In Harbaugh’s tenure with the team, Baltimore is 9-4 SU and 8-5 ATS (61.5%) in games with lines of -2.5 to a PK.

In what could be the mother of all letdown spots, the Ravens ride into Motown to give 7.5 points to the Lions in Week 3. Baltimore is 9-1 SU and 6-4 ATS as road chalk of more than a touchdown over the past 13 seasons, including a 6-0 SU record and 4-2 ATS mark as big road chalk the past two years.