Take 1: Projecting the Baltimore Ravens Final 53


This preseason features unchartered waters for NFL coaches and scouts. As a result of the new CBA which places strict limits on the amount of contact that takes place in training camp, team talent evaluators are more challenged than ever before to pick the final 53 players – and get it right!

Perhaps more than in years past, players will fall victim to “The Turk” and into the waiting arms of a new employer. In some cases that new team might not realize the gem that comes out in the wash of the NFL bloodbath that will take place beginning next Monday, August 27 when teams have to trim their rosters from 90 to 75. Four days later, the roster scalpels will come out again to cut from 75 to 53.

And that makes the preseason games that much more vital to a player on the proverbial bubble.

Traditionally Preseason Game 3 is the game where teams will let their starters take snaps as late as the third quarter. It’s the last real test before the first regular season game and consequently the fringe players are often relegated to the sidelines. All of this sets up Preseason Game 4 as a real pressure cooker for those looking to make their last positive statement and establish a career in the NFL.

Of course the preseason games aren’t the sole determining factor in making the final 53. All of those hours in the classroom and on the field at the Under Armour Performance Center will also be considered when shaping rosters and it’s those hours that fans and to some degree the media aren’t privy to. It’s those hours that might leave you a bit confused as to why one player who didn’t perform well in a preseason game is chosen over one who did.

Below is my projected final 53 based upon my own observations and discussions with people in and around the team. In the past the Ravens final 53 man roster on opening day has been comprised of: (2) QB’s; (6) WR’s; (4) RB’s; (3) TE’s; (8) OL’s; (9) DB’s; (9) LB’s; (9) DL’s; and (3) specialists. We’ll see if this blueprint of sorts is used as a general guideline.

That said, when shaping this 53 man squad it becomes quite clear that the Ravens front seven is nowhere near as deep as in years past. And that for me is cause for concern and another sign that if the Ravens are going to reach their lofty goals, it’s really going to fall on the shoulders of No. 5. Also worth noting, there is an excellent chance that one or more players currently on another team’s roster will be members of the Baltimore Ravens in 2012. The positions to watch closely are RB, TE, DL and LB

QUARTERBACK (2): Joe Flacco; Tyrod Taylor

RUNNING BACK (4): Ray Rice; Bernard Pierce; Damien Berry; Vonta Leach

WIDE RECEIVER (6): Anquan Boldin; Torrey Smith; Jacoby Jones; LaQuan Williams; Tandon Doss; Deonte Thompson

TIGHT END (3): Dennis Pitta; Ed Dickson; Billy Bajema

OFFENSIVE LINE (9): Bryant McKinnie; Bobbie Williams; Matt Birk; Marshal Yanda; Michael Oher; Kelechi Osemele; Gino Gradkowski; Jah Reid; Tony Wragge

DEFENSIVE LINE (8): Haloti Ngata; Terrence Cody; Art Jones; Ma’ake Kemoeatu; Pernell McPhee; Bryan Hall; DeAngelo Tyson; Nicolas Jean-Baptiste

LINEBACKER (9): Ray Lewis; Jameel McClain; Brendon Ayanbadejo; Courtney Upshaw; Albert McClellan; Paul Kruger; Sergio Kindle; Dannell Ellerbe; Chavis Williams

SAFETY (3): Ed Reed; Bernard Pollard; Christian Thompson;

CORNERBACK (6): Lardarius Webb; Jimmy Smith; Cary Williams; Corey Graham; Asa Jackson; Danny Gorrer

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

PRACTICE SQUAD: RB Bobby Rainey; G/T Jack Cornell; T Ramon Harewood; LB Nigel Carr; NT Ishmaa’ily Kitchen; S Omar Brown; WR Tommy Streeter; S Chyl Quarles

BUBBLE: RB Anthony Allen; DB Chykie Brown; S Sean Considine; LB Ricky Brown; S Emmanuel Cook

PUP: Terrell Suggs

* Other players on bubble in bold


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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

6 Raves on “Take 1: Projecting the Baltimore Ravens Final 53

  1. Josh on said:

    Some intriguing projections, Tony. Berry over Rainey: I suppose this comes down to Rainey reminding people of Rice too much, as both are similarly built. D. Thompson over Streeter: I can definitely see this happening. Thompson has looked decent in preseason game action and might offer more on special teams. McKinnie makes the final roster: from an outside perspective, it seems he is slowly coming back into focus and regaining the confidence of the coaching staff. Jean-Baptiste: I love his size. He could be a run-stuffer. Kindle: I assume they may see him strictly as a situational guy. Thank you for not including Considine. I don’t see why so many other media projections consider him a lock to make the final roster. And of course, Tucker over Cundiff. I think a lot of people would be happy with that.

  2. Aaron on said:


    This is a good projection, but my only question would be at RB. If Rainey goes to the practice squad, he may not be there long with another team picking him up. If Berry goes to the PS, I can’t see him being picked up by anybody. Are they willing to lose a Rice clone in case Rice in fact goes down for any reason? My projection had 4 RBs, but you are closer to the team than any of us on this board. Is that a possiblity with 4 RBs?

  3. TNT on said:

    I like your projections, especially Tucker over Cundiff. I want to say that I have observed this kicking battle myself from the Owings Mills practice field last Wednesday and again last Friday night against Detroit. Tucker nailed one before the game for 73 yards, from the 45 yard line of the Lions side of the field.

  4. Shas on said:

    Pretty much where you are. I have Ricky Brown and Emmanuel Cook making the team over and above Chavis Williams and DeAngelo Tyson. I also think DL is a place where they may look to fill-in with a veteran when other teams’ final cuts are announced, which could also bump Jean-Baptiste.

  5. Shas on said:

    Meant to add a piece of conjecture. Wondering if they initially include four running backs, and then after week one, after everyone else in the league settles out their rosters, cut either Berry or Rainey, with the intention of getting them onto the practice squad when league-wide demand for RBs is lower. They’ve done this in the past. I recall it with Josh Harris, for instance.

  6. spy on said:

    Nice projections , especially with Tucker,,,,,,,I do not see Kindle making the 53 over Nigel Carr,,,,,,,,,,,,,I also see them keeping a fourth tight end (Drew) because of injuries to the starters……………

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