A Look at Areas of Depth, Need

Street Talk A Look at Areas of Depth, Need

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When the Ravens reconvene in Owings Mills this week, the front office and coaches will set a plan to augment a roster that still has several holes to fill.

Here’s a look at their current depth chart and what the areas the team needs to supplement.

Ravens MVP

Quarterback: Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III

Analysis: The Ravens are content to head into the season with Jackson as the starter and Griffin as the primary backup. They are confident the offense won’t suffer much of a drop off if RG3 is forced into the action. Still, the team will add another arm for training camp via an undrafted rookie free agent that has a potential big upside.

Need: Low

Gus Edwards runs against the Browns.

Baltimore Ravens/Shawn Hubbard

Running back: Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, Kenneth Dixon, De’Lance Turner, Tyler Ervin

Analysis: Ingram was signed as a free agent to provide a reliable veteran presence. Edwards had a solid rookie season and the team is hopeful some of that success can carry over this year. Dixon holds a precarious spot on the roster because of his injury history and a previous suspension. Turner could be the wild card with this group. He was active four games last season before being placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. The team likes his upside, but he will need a stellar preseason to earn more opportunities. The Ravens could also draft a running back in the later rounds to compete with this group.

Need: Low/Medium

Fullback: Patrick Ricard and Christopher Ezeala

Analysis: Ricard is a versatile player and he could continue to get opportunities with the offense. Ezeala was signed to a futures contract after spending all of 2018 on the Ravens’ practice squad. He will face a tough battle to make the final roster.

Need: Low

Ravens Chris Moore

Wide receiver: Chris Moore, Willie Snead IV, Jordan Lasley, Jaleel Scott, Quincy Adeboyejo and  Seth Roberts

Analysis: The Ravens parted ways with both Michael Crabtree and John Brown this offseason. As a result, Moore and Snead currently anchor this group. This is a glaring area of need that general manager Eric DeCosta will look to help fix in this year’s NFL Draft, perhaps has early as the first round. The team would love to see Lasley and Scott take the next step in their respective development, but neither player made much of an impact as a rookie. Lasley did work out with quarterback Lamar Jackson this offseason, so that is a positive sign. Some potential draft picks being linked to the team are Ohio State’s Parris Campbell, Mississippi’s D.K. Metcalf and Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown.

[Related: What’s the Ravens’ WR “Type?”]

Need: High

Ravens TE Nick Boyle tries to hurdle a Lions defender.

Tight end: Mark Andrews, Hayden Hurst, Nick Boyle and Nick Keizer

Analysis: This should be one of the areas of strength, especially if Hurst can stay healthy. Andrews had a breakout season as a rookie, and Boyle is widely regarded as one of the best blocking tight ends in the league. Keizer signed a futures contract with the  teams after spending all of 2018 on the practice squad. He might have to make the team as a key special teams player. Don’t be surprised if the Ravens add another tight end in the draft or free agency because they love to have added depth at this position.

Need: Low

Matt Skura prepares to snap with Marshal Yanda next to him.

Offensive line: LT Ronnie Stanley, Greg Senat; LG James Hurst, Alex Lewis, Kofi Amichia; C Matt Skura, Bradley Bozeman; RG Marshal Yanda, Randin Crecelius; RT: Orlando Brown Jr., Jermaine Eluemunor, Steven Moore

Analysis: The Ravens will certainly prioritize boosing the offensive line in the upcoming draft. It’s just too expensive of a proposition to add players via free agency because it’s such an area of need for almost every team in the league. The Ravens could use a center and possibly two guard to help boost this group. Some of the potential draft picks being linked to the team include N.C. State center Garrett Bradbury, C/G and Texas A&M Erik McCoy.  

Need: High

Matt Judon forces a Derek Carr fumble.

Baltimore Ravens/Shawn Hubbard

Linebacker: Matthew Judon, Patrick Onwuasor, Chris Board, Kenny Young, Alvin Jones, Ejuan Price, Tyus Bowser, Tim Williams and Matthew Thomas

Analysis: The Ravens lost several key players, C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith, to free agency. As a result, Judon, Onwuasor and Young will be expected to play bigger roles. Both Bowser and Williams face critical junctures of their young careers and they need to make some type of substantial impact. It’s almost certain the Ravens will look to add an edge rusher or possibly two in this year’s draft.

Need: High

Photo Credit: Ron Schwane, Associated Press

Defensive line: DE Chris Wormley, Zach Sieler; DT Michael Pierce, Willie Henry; NT Brandon Williams, Patrick Ricard

Analysis: The Ravens have some depth on the D-line and they will look to continue shutting down the running game of the opposition. Henry will be a huge boost if he is able to return to the field fully healthy. The loss of Brent Urban hindered this group so it’s possible that DeCosta will add another player in the draft or pick up a veteran released from another team.

Need: Medium/High

Secondary: CBs Jimmy Smith, Marlon Humphrey, Brandon Carr, Tavon Young, Anthony Averett, Maurice Canady, Justin Bethel, Stanley Jean-Baptiste; Cyrus Jones and Robertson Daniel. Safeties Tony Jefferson, Earl Thomas, Anthony Levine, Chuck Clark, DeShon Elliott and Bennett Jackson.

Analysis: The secondary is an area of strength for the team. The Ravens have some of the top cornerbacks in the league and they will be tested throughout the season. The team offset the loss of Eric Weddle with the addition of Thomas. Still, teams cannot never have enough depth in the secondary so DeCosta would not be adverse to drafting another cornerback or safety if value falls to them in the draft. However, it’s an overly pressing area of need.

Need: Low/Medium

Special teams: K Justin Tucker, Kaare Vedvik; P Sam Koch; LS Morgan Cox; KR Chris Moore, Tyler Ervin; PR Cyrus Jones

Analysis: The Ravens have prided themselves in having some of the best special teams in the league. However, long-time coach Jerry Rosburg, Associate Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator, decided to retire, paving the way for assistant Chris Horton to take over. Horton learned from Rosburg so don’t expect to see much of a drop off with this group, especially with the return of Tucker, Koch and Cox. Jones showed some burst as a returner and Moore is also capable returning kicks. The addition of Pro Bowler Justin Bethel should be an added bonus to this group.

Need: Low

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Todd Karpovich

About Todd Karpovich

Todd Karpovich has been a contributor for ESPN, the Associated Press, SportsXchange, the Baltimore Sun, among other media outlets nationwide. He is the co-author of “If These Walls Could Talk: Stories from the Baltimore Ravens Sideline, Locker Room, and Press Box,” “Skipper Supreme: Buck Showalter and the Baltimore Orioles,” and the author of “Manchester United (Europe's Best Soccer Clubs).” Karpovich lives in Towson with his wife, Jill, daughters, Wyeth and Marta, and a pair of dogs, Sarah and Rory. More from Todd Karpovich

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