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Lock or Not: Evaluating the Baltimore Ravens’ roster entering training camp

Who among the Baltimore Ravens’ roster is a lock? How many of the 53 spots are secured already?

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Long before training camp begins, the roster takes shape. Of course, the details are to be worked out, injuries may occur and some will earn a spot as a preseason performance wins or loses a spot. But, there are numerous players who are not in fear of being cut come August 29.

A breakdown of who will be making the roster helps to define how many spots remain, and where might they be earned.


Lock: Lamar Jackson
Not: Tyler Huntley, Anthony Brown, Josh Johnson

The only secured spot for the NFL’s most prized position is Jackson. Beyond him, it’s a toss up and the Ravens could go any which way. They’ve developed Huntley and Brown over the course of a few years but either of them could be the victim of cuts and gaining cap space. The Ravens save $2.63 million by cutting Huntley and $870k by cutting Brown.

All three are competing for an open backup role and arguably the third-string quarterback spot after the NFL reinstated the emergency quarterback role.

Number of roster locks: 1

Running back

Locks: J.K. Dobbins , Gus Edwards, Justice Hill
Not: Patrick Ricard (FB), Ben Mason (FB), Owen Wright, Keaton Mitchell

Dobbins is the best running back on the Ravens’ roster, but of the three “locks,” he’s the player I struggled most to determine if he is actually a lock. Edwards’ contract makes it tough to cut and he’s a damn good back with a unique role no other on the roster can provide. Hill was just re-signed and his abilities as a special teamer feel secure for him to remain on the roster. It helps he has arguably the best hands in the group. Cutting Dobbins would be unprecedented but maybe trading him wouldn’t be so outlandish? I wouldn’t agree with it but there’s been debate if Dobbins is holding in or there’s frustration in this area one way or the other.

That all said, I still believe he’s a lock. He deserves to be a lock I have him there intentionally.

Who isn’t there is another beloved back, Ricard. The change in offensive coordinators has me curious just how much we can expect to see Ricard on the football field. With what feels like a surplus of tight ends combined with the pass-happy nature of Todd Monken, fullback feels like a luxury. Ultimately, this is a John Harbaugh-led team who won’t abandon running concepts and Ricard is the best fullback in the NFL, but would the Ravens rather have the luxury of Ricard or $1.75 million?

Number of roster locks: 3

Wide receiver

Locks: Rashod Bateman, Odell Beckham Jr., Zay Flowers (R), Nelson Agholor
Not: Devin Duvernay, James Proche, Tylan Wallace, Laquon Treadwell, Mike Thomas, Andy Isabella, Shemar Bridges, Tarik Black, Dontay Demus Jr. (R), Sean Ryan (R)

The four locks are certainties in my mind, with the one many might question being Agholor. However, he’s looked good in camp, and, more importantly, cutting him wastes $1.68 million due to his contract structure.

Some may state Duvernay is a lock but I’d argue differently. Yes, he’s an All-Pro returner but he’s also boasting a contract that could save the Ravens $4.3 million if cut. The Ravens might like Duvernay a lot, but if they can find a return specialist for cheaper on the roster, the luxury of a returner like Duvernay may not be worth the $4.3 million they need to spend on other areas of this roster.

As for the others, this is their final year to make an impression on the coaching staff. We have yet to see consistent positives out of Proche and Wallace. They have three weeks to demonstrate why they are worthy receivers or special teamers for the 2023 season in the purple and black.

Number of roster locks: 4

Tight end

Lock: Mark Andrews, Isaiah Likely, Charlie Kolar
Not: Travis Vokolek

Not a surprising name on or off here. The Ravens have their trio and it’s hard to envision a fourth tight end making the 53-man roster.

Number of roster locks: 3

Offensive line

Lock: Ronnie Stanley, Morgan Moses, Daniel Faalele, Patrick Mekari, Kevin Zeitler, Tyler Linderbaum, Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu (R),
Not: John Simpson, Ben Cleveland, David Sharpe, Brandon Kipper, Sam Mustipher, Jaylon Thomas (R), Tashawn Manning (R), Jake Guidone (R), Tykeem Doss (R)
Other: Andrew Vorhees (R)

There are those locked for the 2023 season, entrenched in their roles, and there are those hoping to either battle for the open left guard role, fight for a backup spot or, earn a practice squad position on a team that churns out offensive line talent consistently.

While all expectations are to see Cleveland and Simpson make the roster, contending for starting left guard, either could be among the cut downs to 53. It would be surprising, yes, but I don’t believe either are locks. As for Vorhees, expect him to be placed on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list and not count toward the 53-man roster limit.

Number of roster locks: 7 (+1 that won’t count toward 53)

Offensive Locks: 18 (+1)


Lock: Marcus Williams, Kyle Hamilton, Marlon Humphrey, Rock Ya-Sin,
Not: Geno Stone, Ar’Darius Washington, Daryl Worley, Jalyn Armour-Davis, Damarion “Pepe” Williams, Brandon Stephens, Kyu Blu Kelly (R), Trayvon Mullen, Kevon Seymour, Jaquan Amos, Jeremy Lucien (R), Corey Mayfield Jr. (R), Jordan Swann (R)

Think this is the area many will argue with me on.

Yes, I fully expect guys like Stone, Worley, Armour-Davis, Pepe, Stephens and possibly Mullen to make the roster. But I’m talking locks here. And if the Ravens were to cut/trade any of them, it would once again be a surprise—to varying levels depending upon the player—but not bewildering. But you can’t tell me Stone or the two sophomore cornerbacks are in the same “lock” tier as the four listed. I nearly kept Blu Kelly as a lock until determining it’s not out of the realm of possibility they’d trade a rookie fifth-round cornerback; they did so two years ago, sending Shaun Wade to the New England Patriots.

There are a lot of spots to win in this secondary. I asked Harbaugh about it during minicamp and he said as much, too.

“But we’ll be looking in the secondary; we’ll be looking to kind of firm up our different roles back there – corner, inside and outside,” Harbaugh said. “That will be something that will be important.”

Number of roster locks: 4


Lock: Roquan Smith, Patrick Queen, Trenton Simpson (R)
Not: Josh Ross, Malik Harrison, Del’Shawn Phillips, Kristian Welch

The Ravens won’t be parting ways with a top 100 pick, so Simpson makes the locks here. Smith is among the greatest locks on the roster and Queen is a lock. I don’t see a trade scenario unless it was (another) larceny on General Manager Eric DeCosta’s resume to send Queen elsewhere. They’d much rather have him here for the 2023 season and pursue a championship than send him elsewhere.

Number of roster locks: 3


Lock: Tyus Bowser, Odafe Oweh, David Ojabo, Tavius Robinson (R)
Not: Jeremiah Moon, Kelle Sanders (R)

A rather cut-and-dry unit. If anything, there’s the possibility of adding another here, with the name still floating around being Justin Houston. It would be exciting to see a guy like Moon or Sanders show some development and land on the 53-man roster but that’s an uphill battle.

Number of roster locks: 4

Defensive line

Lock: Justin Madubuike, Broderick Washington, Michael Pierce, Travis Jones
Not: Brent Urban, Angelo Blackson, Rayshad Nichols, Trey Botts (R), Kaieem Caesar (R)

Though I expect to see Urban in a Ravens uniform for 2023, he’s the guy I won’t be guaranteeing for the season. I would’ve placed Pierce here had he not restructured his contract. Now, he’s taking less money in 2023 and it would cost the team $1.4 million for them to not have him on the roster. The Ravens will need a solid rotation of guys for 17 games worth of snaps. Five may not be enough so there’s a great opportunity for competition here, especially if they can pass rush as Calais Campbell’s vacancy opens up over 400 pass rush snaps alone.

Number of roster locks: 4

Defensive locks: 15

Special Teams

Lock: Justin Tucker, Nick Moore, Jordan Stout

Tucker isn’t going anywhere, and neither is second team All-Pro Moore. Stout isn’t in danger yet, but he needs to prove his draft worth this season after being up-and-down his rookie year.

Number of roster locks: 3

Total Roster Locks: 36

Though 36 seems rather low, I think the strictness I came through with is a bit more why it doesn’t sound like more. If you add back in guys like Stone, Stephens, Armour-Davis and Pepe, it quickly becomes 40. It grows further when you get more depth at offensive line in the mix, too. But 36 locked-in players is where I have them at.

This leaves the team with 17 roster spots up for grabs. Many are slotted into those roles but they can be removed. This will be an intriguing roster competition and it will all kick off July 26.