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Ravens News 9/2: P-Squad Composition and more

NFL: Baltimore Ravens Minicamp Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens sign 13 players to practice squad, including QB Trace McSorley, DB Anthony Levine Sr. - Jonas Shaffer

Quarterback Trace McSorley, defensive back-linebacker Anthony Levine Sr. and defensive tackle Justin Ellis highlighted the group of players, all of whom cleared waivers Wednesday.

Also signed were offensive tackles Adrian Ealy and Andre Smith, wide receivers Jaylon Moore and Binjimen Victor, tight end Tony Poljan, defensive end Chris Smith, inside linebacker Blake Gallagher, safety Jordan Richards, kicker Jake Verity and punter Johnny Townsend. All participated in the Ravens’ offseason workouts or training camp this year.

The Ravens have spots for three more players on their 16-man squad, which can include up to six players with more than two accrued seasons.

Under rules implemented last year amid the coronavirus pandemic, teams can call up two players from the practice squad to the active roster the day before a game. Teams can also protect up to four players from being signed to another team’s 53-man roster each week.

Ravens Lose Two Players to Waiver Claims - Ryan Mink

Nigel Warrior and Nate McCrary Picked Up Off Waivers

The Ravens lost two of their top players released during Tuesday’s cutdown to 53, as defensive back Nigel Warrior and running back Nate McCrary were claimed off waivers.

Warrior is headed to the Seattle Seahawks and McCrary is going to the Denver Broncos.

Warrior was part of a very tight competition in the secondary, but Baltimore couldn’t make space for all of them and opted to keep Geno Stone, Chris Westry and undrafted rookie Ar’Darius Washington instead.

McCrary, who ran 42 times for 163 yards in three preseason games, was one of just three running backs claimed off waivers.

The Ravens did not claim anyone off waivers.

Ravens Defense Sets Tone for Season - Todd Karpovich

Baltimore allowed a league-best 6.7 points per game over three exhibition games. Baltimore gave up just two touchdowns to the Saints over that span.

The Ravens also led the NFL in allowing just 57.3 yards rushing per game. The front seven was stout and opposing running backs had little room to work.

The Ravens defense has been dominant throughout training camp and kept the pressure on opposing quarterbacks during the three preseason game.

Defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Justin Madubuike have been getting pressure inside the interior line and that should carry over to the season.

Inside linebacker Patrick Queen has gotten more adept at finding seams and getting the quarterback.

Rookie outside linebacker Odafe Oweh has dazzled coaches with his size and speed and he’s managed to get into the backfield several times during the past two weeks, Veteran Tyus Bowser has shown more polish and he’s poised to raise his sacks total this season.

Finally, the secondary led by Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters has locked down wide receivers and created more time to pressure the quarterback.

3 Teams that should sign Royce Freeman - Justin Melo

BALTIMORE RAVENS

There is plenty of room for Freeman in Baltimore after superstar running back J.K. Dobbins suffered a season-ending injury in August. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh will now turn to Gus Edwards as his lead back, but offensive coordinator Greg Roman prefers to have two capable ball-carriers in the fold.

The roster currently lacks a proven runner behind Edwards. In fact, the depth is virtually non-existent here. Second-year undrafted free agent Ty’Son Williams and former fourth-round pick Justice Hill currently round out Baltimore’s running back room, and neither player has proven themselves capable of taking up a more prominent role up to this point. Adding Freeman to the mix would immediately upgrade this unit, and he would almost certainly win the ever-important RB2 job.

32 bold and not-so-bold NFL predictions for 2021: Patriots and the playoffs, Eagles and that pass rush and more - Shiel Kapadia

Baltimore Ravens: Gus Edwards will rush for more than 1,000 yards and average more than 5.0 YPC.

Four players — Derrick Henry, Jonathan Taylor, Aaron Jones and Nick Chubb — did this last year. The Ravens were dealt a blow when J.K. Dobbins suffered a season-ending injury in the final preseason game. But the numbers suggest that Edwards can be really effective in the Ravens’ offense. Over the past three seasons, 57 running backs have had at least 200 carries. Among that group, Edwards ranks third in YPC (5.2). TruMedia uses a metric called success rate to measure the percentage of a player’s rushing attempts that produce a positive result. Edwards ranks first over the past three seasons at 47.3 percent.

Ravens running backs are helped by the creative scheme and by playing alongside Lamar Jackson. If Edwards can stay healthy, he can perform at a high level.

Early NFL picks, predictions for Week 1: Buccaneers burn Cowboys; Chiefs beat Browns in close rematch - Vinnie Iyer

Ravens (-4.5, 51 o/u) at Raiders

Monday 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

The Ravens aren’t the best visitors to have when Las Vegas is trying to treat its first home fans in attendance to prime-time victory. Lamar Jackson will do whatever he wants running and passing against the Raiders’ defense, with boosts from J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and a revamped receiving corps. Derek Carr will feel the heat with the Ravens stopping the run and containing their former feel-good story, Darren Waller.

Pick: Ravens win 33-20 and cover the spread.