The business side of the NFL will sadly be on full display over the next 64 hours, where each team must cut down from 80 players to their respective 53-man rosters. Here’s my final projection following the Ravens vs. Commanders preseason exhibition.
Quarterback (2): Lamar Jackson, Tyler Huntley
No surprises here. The comfort of having three quarterbacks would be nice, especially after a respectable offseason of work from Anthony Brown Jr., but it’s assumed they’ll hope to keep him on their practice squad, unless another team values him enough to make theirs.
Running Back (5): J.K. Dobbins, Mike Davis, Tyler Badie, Justice Hill, Patrick Ricard
Though Dobbins has returned to practice, he has not consistently attended practice nor participated in all team drills. There are two weeks until Week 1, and it’s debatable if Dobbins will be ready for Week 1. He very well could be, but it’s hard to see them leaning heavily on Dobbins. They’d rather slowly work him in over the course of a 17-game season and hang onto Davis and Hill.
Wide Receiver: (5): Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, James Proche II, Demarcus Robinson, Tylan Wallace
After Robinson’s 135-yard preseason showing coming off only a week of practice, it’s safe to say he makes the roster as the No. 5 wide receiver. A game like that from Robinson has some believing he’s the new No. 2 wide receiver. . .
Either way, it’s Wallace as the guy who edges into the roster, and in my book, it’s only because he’s a second-year guy who the Ravens hope can still develop.
Tight End (4): Mark Andrews, Isaiah Likely, Nick Boyle, Charlie Kolar
Boyle was the only one of this group with the potential to be cut, but I don’t see them parting ways with him. The Ravens like Boyle and his blocking will be put to good use, especially with them coaching up Likely’s blocking.
Offensive Line (10): Ronnie Stanley, Ben Powers, Tyler Linderbaum, Kevin Zeitler, Morgan Moses, Patrick Mekari, Ja’Waun James, Daniel Faalele, Tyre Phillips, Ben Cleveland
Coming into this season, many suspected Powers would be traded to free up cap space while either Cleveland or Phillips won the starting left guard role. That idea has been buried, with Powers getting the night off against the Commanders with the rest of the starting offensive linemen.
Cleveland in particular had a poor camp, missing four practices due to failed conditioning tests at the beginning of the year before missing the final week of practices and Saturday’s preseason game due to injury. In a similar fashion to Wallace, the Ravens won’t part ways with a second-year player, especially Cleveland, who was drafted No. 94 overall just a year ago.
Defensive Line (5): Calais Campbell, Michael Pierce, Justin Madubuike, Travis Jones, Broderick Washington
First off, Brent Urban is a “handshake” deal kind of guy. He’ll be cut and then re-signed after Kolar, Ojabo, and/or cornerback Kevon Seymour are placed on injured reserve. Then, he’ll rejoin the team as if nothing ever happened.
This was one of the deepest groups throughout camp and the preseason but the numbers won’t allow for the Ravens to keep Isaiah Mack or Aaron Crawford. Instead, they’ll hope to land them on their practice squad, but it’s more likely they’ll land somewhere else because their tape was impressive.
Outside Linebacker (4): Odafe Oweh, Justin Houston, David Ojabo, Daelin Hayes
I see Steven Means as another handshake guy who will rejoin the Ravens after a few players are placed on injured reserve. He plays with an undying motor and his grit is something they like to see. It will benefit the team while they wait for Tyus Bowser to return and help give Houston some rest during the games.
Inside Linebacker (4): Patrick Queen, Josh Bynes, Malik Harrison, Josh Ross
Though Welch played a great game against the Commanders on Saturday, I think Ross will make the roster due to his upside as a young player and providing two outstanding games before this. It’s going to be close.
Cornerback (7): Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Kyle Fuller, Brandon Stephens, Jalyn Armour-Davis, Damarion “Pepe” Williams, Kevon Seymour
Week 1 is on the horizon and depth is already being required. Armour-Davis and Pepe both missed Saturday’s game due to injury, and Seymour suffered an injury late in the game. They’ll want to keep Seymour initially and place him on injured reserve, as Head Coach John Harbaugh said in the postgame press conference that the team is “hopeful” Seymour avoided a significant ankle injury.
Safety (4): Marcus Williams, Chuck Clark, Kyle Hamilton, Geno Stone
The final guy I see being cut and brought back is Tony Jefferson. He’s a highly respected player in this organization and the value he brings is recognized. At minimum, he’ll return as a member of the practice squad and will be brought up if necessary. But, they’ll keep Stone to not see him pass through waivers.
Kicker (1): Justin Tucker
Punter (1): Jordan Stout
Long Snapper (1): Nick Moore
C’mon, like this needs explained.