The Ravens wrapped up their third preseason game of 2014 on Saturday evening against Washington with a 23-17 victory. With the first round of roster cuts set to take place on August 26th, Dev Panchwagh and I have set our roster projection 3.0.
Roster Projection 3.0
In: Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor
Practice squad: Keith Wenning
NOTES: Wenning’s lack of play thus far in preseason has been a little mind boggling. The Ball State product looked as if he would be headed to the practice squad. Is there any question now? Wenning should see a lot of action in the preseason finale which could ultimately decide his fate.
Running Backs (4)
In: Pierce, Taliaferro, Forsett (3) **Rice (roster exemption)
Out: Cierre Wood, Fitzgerald Toussaint
NOTES: With Rice, Pierce and Taliaferro getting all the carries that matter, the Ravens will hang onto Justin Forsett given his experience with Kubiak’s offense for at least the duration of Rice’s two-game suspension. Wood or Toussaint could use the final preseason game to state their case to hang around during Rice’s suspension.
In: Kyle Juszczyk
Out: Shaun Chapas
NOTES: No explanation really needed for this. Chapas didn’t play in the Ravens victory over Washington due to an injury. Perhaps the Ravens keep Chapas on speed dial as a CYA move if Juice gets injured.
Wide Receiver (6)
In: Torrey Smith, Steve Smith Sr., Jacoby Jones, Marlon Brown, Michael Campanaro, Deonte Thompson
Bubble: Kamar Aiken
Out: Mike Wille, Jace Davis, LaQuan Williams, Jeremy Butler
NOTES: Deonte Thompson’s performance as a wide receiver has been up and down this summer while his special teams play has been on point. Thompson certainly helped his cause against Washington hauling in a 21-yard touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor in the second half. Kamar Aiken didn’t fare as well. He failed at his chance to make a reception on 2nd & goal from the Washington 9 when T.Taylor’s pass fell incomplete. Aiken will need a big performance against the Saints to stake his claim for the final wide receiver spot.
Offensive Line (9)
In: Eugene Monroe, Kelechi Osemele, Jeremy Zuttah, Marshal Yanda, Rick Wagner, Jah Reid, Ryan Jensen, John Urschel, Gino Gradkowski
Out: James Hurst, Will Rackley, Reggie Stephens, Parker Graham, David Mims, Brett Van Sloten, A. Q. Shipley
NOTES: The o-line seems pretty much locked up depth wise for 2014. Truly the last real spot was a toss up between veteran A.Q. Shipley and second-year player Ryan Jensen. Given that the Ravens rarely cut draft picks, allowing them time to progress, Shipley looks like the odd man out.
Tight End (3)
In: Dennis Pitta, Owen Daniels, Crockett Gillmore
Bubble: Phillip Supernaw
Out: Nathan Overbay
NOTES: Owen Daniels missed the game against Washington (leg fatigue) to go along with missing a slew of practices over the last week. While Daniels absence is concerning, it’s doubtful the team carries four tight ends. Between Supernaw and Overbay one should certainly stick around on the PS just in case Daniels legs are worse than expected.
Defensive Line (6)
In: Haloti Ngata, Chris Canty, Brandon Williams, DeAngelo Tyson, Timmy Jernigan
Bubble: Derrick Hopkins, A.J. Pataialii
Out: Jamie Meder, Terrence Cody, Levi Brown
NOTES: The defensive line remains solid with depth and the team should feel pretty good given the losses of Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore during training camp. Cody was thought to be a bubble player in our last roster projection, he still remain on the P.U.P. list still recovering from offseason hip surgery. The last game of the preseason could spell the fates of Pataialii and Derrick Hopkins, both of whom have had a nice preseason.
In: Courtney Upshaw, John Simon, Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Pernell McPhee, C.J. Mosley, Arthur Brown, Daryl Smith, Josh Bynes, Albert McCllelan
Out: D.J. Roberts, Nicholas DiMarco, Austin Spitler, Zachary Orr
NOTES: McClellan and Josh Bynes stick around more for their special teams play than their linebacker ability but the duo could be spot fillers if injuries occurs. Second-year player John Simon has struggled mightily in pass coverage yet given his draft staus, he looks like a lock. Out of D.J. Roberts, Nicholas DiMarco, Austin Spitler, Zachary Orr, Roberts could find himself on the practice squad as a result of his decent training camp.
In: Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb, Asa Jackson, Chykie Brown, Dominique Franks
Bubble: Tramain Jacobs
NOTES: The battle for the last cornerback spot will come down to Jacobs and Franks. Franks gets the nod given his experience at the position and on special teams. If Jacobs can catch the eye of the coaching staff in the last remaining preseason games, the Ravens could opt for youth instead. Both Franks and Jacobs saw extended reps against Washington with Franks recording three tackles compared to Jacob’s two.
In : Elam, Brooks, Stewart **Hill roster exemption
Bubble: Anthony Levine, Jeromy Miles
Out: Brynden Trawick, Omar Brown
NOTES: Beyond Stewart, Brooks and Elam, special teams play will determine who makes the final cut at the safety position. While Brown has a knack for being at the right place at the right time in the preseason, his teams ability pales in comparison to that of Trawick, Miles and Levine’s. Levine played cornerback on multiple series against Washington which could help his cause depending the outcome of his performance against New Orleans.
In: Sam Koch, Justin Tucker, Morgan Cox
Out: Richie Leone
NOTE: No change here as Leone failed to see the field against Washington.