RAVENS ROSTER: The Final Projection

Rainey v Rams

By tomorrow at 4PM the Ravens have to pair their roster down from 75 to the league mandated 53. To put that into perspective, 29.3% of the roster eligible to take the field last night will be gone in less than 48 hours.

Jobs will be lost.

Dreams will be derailed.


New opportunities may also surface.

Players on the 53-man roster tomorrow at 4PM can’t necessarily feel comfortable. Some hopefuls shed from other rosters may be attractive to the Ravens. A receiver, tight end or offensive lineman could suddenly become available and those players that bring up the rear of the initial 53 are still in jeopardy until kickoff time in Denver next Thursday.

Ringo Starr’s “It don’t come easy!” comes to mind.

It’s also not easy to get a clear read on the preseason. Last night one of the most popular preseason players ever to wear a Ravens uniform would not be denied. His relentlessness embodies the credo, “Play Like a Raven.” Unfortunately given the composition of the team’s roster, there’s a good chance that Bobby Rainey won’t be a Raven when the sun sets on Saturday.

As obvious as it is that he would be the best replacement for Ray Rice should Rice or even back-up Bernard Pierce miss playing time, he just doesn’t fill a need. The Ravens have players that are better on special teams and for someone that won’t see playing time in Jim Caldwell’s offense it’s difficult to justify a spot for the sparkplug from Western Kentucky.

Rainey’s chances to stick may be discovered during film study by the coaches. If they find that someone can match Anthony Allen’s special teams play, Rainey’s chances improve.

Clearly the coaches have their work cut out for them and they’ll be burning the midnight oil between roster configurations and preparing for Peyton Manning & Co. at Mile High, just six days away.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Prior to, and including, the first cut down date, injured players with less than four years of service cannot go onto IR until they pass through waivers. Those players are released with the “waived/injured” designation. Known as “injury waivers,” this process exposes the player to waivers, but warns other teams that the player is injured. If the player clears injury waivers, the team can then either place the player on IR or agree to an injury settlement (paying the player for the weeks that he is expected to be recovering from his injury) and then release the player…The number beside the position is the number of players the Ravens typically carry at that spot.

Without further ado, here’s my projected 53-man roster prior to any acquisitions made after 4PM on Saturday.


IN (2): Joe Flacco; Tyrod Taylor

OUT: Caleb Hanie had me temporarily missing Kyle Boller. He’ll be available at any time for the Ravens to pick up if needed. Hopefully he won’t be!


IN (5): Ray Rice; Bernard Pierce; Vonta Leach; Kyle Juszczyk; Anthony Allen

OUT: Bobby Rainey; Delone Carter

NOTE: If Juszczyk wasn’t a 4th round pick he might be a practice squad candidate but he’d never pass through waivers. The Ravens lack of depth at tight end also saves Juszczyk since he can play there in a pinch. He could become Rainey’s best friend if coaches determine that he can handle the special teams duties normally assigned to Allen.


IN (7): Torrey Smith; Jacoby Jones; Brandon Stokley; Marlon Brown; Aaron Mellette; Tandon Doss; LaQuan Williams

IR: Deonte Thompson

NOTES: It is highly unusual for the Ravens to carry 7 WR’s. Williams’ relative absence from last night’s game can be interpreted in two ways. He’s either in solely based on his special teams or his skills at WR are so suspect that there’s no point in playing him there. Go with the former…


IN (3): Ed Dickson; Dallas Clark; Matt Furstenburg

OUT: Billy Bajema

NOTES: The roster gamesmanship with this position will help to offset the overload at running back. Furstenburg may have helped the Ravens coaching staff with his inability to make plays last night. The performance improves his chances of sliding through waivers and eventually onto the team’s practice squad but for now, he’s in…Billy Bajema could be brought back after game 1. In doing so the Ravens would not have to guarantee the vested veteran’s salary for the entire season…Dennis Pitta because he didn’t start the season on PUP isn’t eligible. If reports are true that Pitta has the possibility of returning later in the season the Ravens essentially have two options: 1) Place him on the active 53; or 2) Place him on IR “designated to return” like the Ravens did with Ray Lewis last season. Keep in mind that such a designation can be used only once each season, making this roster decision particularly interesting.


IN (8): Bryant McKinnie; Kelechi Osemele; Gino Gradkowski; Marshal Yanda; Michael Oher; Jah Reid; A.Q. Shipley; Ricky Wagner.

IR: Ryan Jensen

NOTES: The 9th spot on the offensive line is probably on another team’s roster right now. Look for an interior lineman with the ability to play both guard and center to occupy the final job opening here. The Ravens could wait until Week 2 to make such a move again, to avoid guaranteeing a season’s worth of salary.

Which of these players listed as cut above is most likely to make the team?
Bobby Rainey (83%)
Caleb Hanie (1%)
Billy Bajema (16%)
This poll has completed. Thank you for voting.


IN (8): Haloti Ngata; Art Jones; Chris Canty; Pernell McPhee; Marcus Spears; Brandon Williams; DeAngelo Tyson; Terrence Cody

PUP: Kapron Lewis-Moore


IN (8): Terrell Suggs; Elvis Dumervil; Arthur Brown; Daryl Smith; Courtney Upshaw; John Simon; Albert McClellan; Josh Bynes

PRACTICE SQUAD: Brandon Copeland; Nigel Carr

PUP: Jameel McClain

IR: Adrian Hamilton

NOTE: The Ravens are still hopeful that Jameel McClain will be available after Week 6 when he’s eligible to come off PUP. They could go a little light at this position to allow for an extra safety, although that isn’t ideal for a team that operates a 3-4 base unit.


IN (4): Michael Huff; Matt Elam; James Ihedigbo; Omar Brown

PRACTICE SQUAD: Brynden Trawick, Anthony Levine

SUSPENSION: Christian Thompson

NOTE: Thompson will hang around. The only benefit to his suspension, like that of Asa Jackson, is that he doesn’t count towards the final 53.


IN (5): Lardarius Webb; Jimmy Smith; Corey Graham; Chykie Brown; Marc Anthony



IN (3): Sam Koch; Justin Tucker; Morgan Cox

Which of these players listed as "In" is most likely to be cut?
Tandon Doss (28%)
LaQuan Williams (8%)
Anthony Allen (39%)
Matt Furstenburg (13%)
DeAngelo Tyson (12%)
This poll has completed. Thank you for voting.
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About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

19 Raves on “RAVENS ROSTER: The Final Projection

  1. Rumor Ray on said:

    I am going on record to say that Doss might have made the team with his game last night, however I wonder if the difference was due to Hane not trowing the rock that Flacco throws? Bobby Rainey should be a Raven and if he is cut I would think he will be picked up by a team in need of a solid back. Tomorrow the wire will be moving……..

  2. Ravcolt on said:

    Toss Doss, keep Rainey. Why keep a guy they have to continually school (for three years), and let go of a guy who shows up every play? Which one Plays like a Raven, John?

        • Jimmy Dundalk on said:

          Have you watched Clark this year ? He is slow and soft and hands of stone,,,,he has lost his burst coming out of his breaks , he has no exceleration , he looks lost because he is,,,,,other than this , he’s ok…….

          • Rumor Ray on said:

            Yes he did look lost, however it is a new team and he was not here for camp. Again he is really a vet to fill in for the loss of Pitta. He brings knowledge and leadership to the TE group. Once Pitta returns … Clark will be history

    • John on said:

      And Rainey heads straight to Pittsburgh… And he’s going to be a star… And he’s a great “right player, right price” alternative to Ray Rice in a couple years…

  3. 535Buddy on said:

    I know he hasn’t been around for a full camp to get up to speed, but Dallas Clark doesn’t look deserving of a roster spot. Keep Furstenburg and Bajema and let go of Clark. I think his time in this league is up…

  4. GoPoe on said:

    There’s no way the Ravens go with 7 wide receivers and 8 offensive line man. Just inconceivable.
    Also, I like Furst a lot, I’m a fellow Terp, but they’re gonna do their best to get him on the practice squad and go with Bajema.
    Further, I understand they’re taking four safeties because of the 5 cornerbacks, but is it more likely they take another safety or find a cornerback that’s be waived?

    • RussellStReport on said:

      This is the breakdown from the available candidates. I do believe that once they pick and choose from other rosters they will get back to a more balanced 6 WR’s and 6 CB’s.

  5. Matt Musi on said:

    I mostly agree but a couple of adjustments I would make

    RB Rainey for Allen. We are keeping Juszczk and I think he will fill Allen’s role as Jacoby’s lead blocker. Rainey is too talented to let him go to another team. We are desperate for offensive playmakers and seeing ray rice more in the slot makes sense. Keep the talented runner

    WR Tough to tell how bad Thompson’s injury is but I see him sticking around and Laquan getting cut. We dont have enough talent at WR to bring someone on the roster just for ST at the position. If anything, maybe doss gets cut for laquan. I havent watched the 4th preseason game but Doss and Flacco arent on the same page and I font think we can afford to IR Thompson unless hes actually out 12 weeks. This is coming from an FSU alum so I am anti-bias when it comes to thompson but he can make plays with his speed.

    TE Bajema for Furstenberg Dickson can block but Clark is washed up and Dickson will have to be the main receiving threat. Clark might play some goal line or be used for short routes on third and short but Bajema and his blocking will be needed. I wouldnt be shocked if they cut the third TE (whoever it is) and carried two tight ends and an extra OL who played Bajema’s role and we used 6 OL in Jumbo packages

    DL and LB I agree with all the players but McPhee playing OLB in the 3-4 enough where I would list him at LB

    Safety Thompson will stick in the 53 but I think Omar Brown stays and we cut thompson when his suspension is over. What has he done other than be a draft pick?

  6. Deborah V on said:

    Rainey is another Pint Sized Miracle worker! KEEP HIM or we will live to regret it! Too much talent to let him go!
    “R”obert “R”ainey + “R”ay “R”ice … we got the Double R thing going and they BOTH need to be “R”avens!

  7. LB on said:

    I think we have a big need at tight end. I know that Dallas Clark knows how to play football, and is maybe just a little rusty, but i’ve seen no progression at all in Clark as of yet. I know we need to keep him on and let him develop and he probably will, not to mention that I expect Dickson to play at a higher level out of the need to, and the opportunity. But if a tight end becomes available somewhere that is proven, and we can make a trade or something, it would be nice to be a little deeper at that position.

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