The end of summer marks the beginning of a new football season — and in turn, the final cuts that will determine the Baltimore Ravens’ initial 53-man roster.
For some, this marks the conclusion of their professional career. For others, this is a temporary bump in the road, and they’ll eventually land in another NFL city to start anew.
Without live-game action to evaluate unproven talent, 2020 will end the Baltimore Ravens’ 16-year streak of carrying an undrafted free agent into Opening Weekend.
Unlike previous years, the surprises end there. Most league-wide roster battles have yielded the expected results, and “bubble” players have been cut with little drama.
As the dust clears on an unusual preseason, the Ravens embark on their 25th Anniversary season with these 53 players in tow:
Quarterbacks: Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III, Trace McSorley
Running Backs: Mark Ingram II, J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Justice Hill
Fullback: Patrick Ricard
Wide Receivers: Marquise Brown, Willie Snead IV, Miles Boykin, Chris Moore, Devin Duvernay, James Proche
Tight Ends: Mark Andrews, Nick Boyle
Offensive Line: Ronnie Stanley, Orlando Brown, Jr., Matt Skura, Bradley Bozeman, Patrick Mekari, D.J. Fluker, Tyre Phillips, Ben Bredeson, Ben Powers
Analysis: For the third straight season, the Ravens will retain three quarterbacks on their active roster, with Trace McSorley’s experience giving him the edge over former undrafted Utah QB Tyler Huntley for the third QB spot. Baltimore’s willingness to carry only two TEs also indicates a potential shift in offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s usage of his WR corps, particularly with four recent draft picks in the mix (Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay, James Proche). Though Patrick Ricard has been useful as a two-way player, his role on defense may lessen with increased usage as an H-back this season. The largest question mark remains whether the Ravens can adequately fill future Hall-of-Famer Marshal Yanda’s large shoes at right-guard.
Defensive Line: Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, Derek Wolfe, Jihad Ward, Justin Ellis, Broderick Washington, Justin Madubuike
Outside Linebackers: Matt Judon, Jaylon Ferguson, Tyus Bowser, Pernell McPhee
Inside Linebackers: Patrick Queen, Malik Harrison, L.J. Fort, Chris Board, Otaro Alaka
Cornerbacks: Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Jimmy Smith, Tavon Young, Anthony Averett
Safeties: Chuck Clark, DeShon Elliott, Anthony Levine, Sr., Geno Stone
Analysis: Baltimore’s defensive line has become even more formidable with the additions of Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe, placing less need for depth at OLB. The decision to carry five ILBs makes cornerback depth more tenuous if an injury strikes, leaving Chris Board and Otaro Alaka particularly under the gun to fight weekly for their roster spots. Aside from Anthony Levine, Sr., the lack of accrued experience at the safety position makes the defensive backfield a potential work-in-progress if the defense regresses significantly from its outstanding 2019 performance.
Kicker: Justin Tucker
Punter: Sam Koch
Long Snapper: Morgan Cox
Analysis: The Wolfpack is back. No words are needed.
The countdown to Week 1 begins, but as time has shown, making the initial roster is no guarantee of employment in Week 17. Fringe players will need to continue making the grade, as the winding road to the playoffs may turn in unexpected ways during an unpredictable season of play.
Editors Note: Featured Image is from Sean Hubbard and BaltimoreRaven.com