The influx of new talent means several veterans will be fighting for a spot on the Ravens’ final 53-man roster.
Several of of these players are going to need to shine in the upcoming OTAs and then training camp if they want to be part of the team.
General manager Eric DeCosta has set a course for the franchise to able to win in the short-term and build enough depth for long-term success. This means several young players, including the 2019 NFL Draft class, will get a chance to make an immediate impact.
Here is a look at some of the most competitive positions:
The Ravens signed the veteran Ingram from New Orleans in the offseason to help anchor one of the league’s top running attacks. Edwards is coming off a breakout rookie season and led the team with 718 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns. The Ravens drafted Justice Hill from Oklahoma State in the fourth round and they hope he gives them a downhill runner that can break off long runs at any moment.
Notable player in jeopardy? Kenneth Dixon
Dixon played well when given opportunities last season. He ran for 333 yards on 60 carries with a pair of touchdowns. However, his history with injuries and a suspension make him vulnerable. The Ravens still like his potential, but there might not be room for him on the active roster because he isn’t a main contributor on special teams.
The Ravens will likely keep a younger player on the practice squad for depth.
Snead, Moore and Roberts provide a veteran presence to an otherwise young group. Brown, the team’s first round pick in 2019, is recovering from foot surgery but should be ready for training camp. Moore was one of the team’s best playmakers last season and can contribute on special teams. The Ravens signed Roberts to a one-year deal and he provides another sure-handed target, averaging 40 catches, 457 yards and four touchdowns per year.
Notable players in jeopardy? Jaleel Scott, Jordan Lasley and Quincy Adeboyejo
The Ravens might not be ready to give up on Scott and Lasley after just one season, especially with their investment in them. Scott was a fourth-round pick and Lasley was taken one round later in last year’s draft. However, neither player made any type of impact their rookie year. Both Lasley and Scott need to take the next step in their development or their future in Baltimore could be in jeopardy. Adeboyejo must first show that he can stay healthy after missing all of last season with a knee injury.
The Ravens have several key returnees on the offensive line. The team also drafted Powers in the fourth round of this year’s NFL Draft, and he is expected to compete for the starting job at left guard. Skura will compete with Bozeman for the top spot on the depth chart at center. Stanley and Brown could be long-term fixtures with the franchise. Hurst has the versatility to play multiple positions, which will help significantly if there are injuries.
Lewis has struggled with injuries throughout his career and the key for him is to stay healthy throughout the summer and work his way into the rotation. Eluemunor must also show that he is ready to take the next step in his development and become a dependable part of the line. The Ravens still like Eluemunor’s upside. Senat, a sixth-round pick last season, was shut down because of injuries and needs to show he can stay healthy and contribute.
Canady has played well when healthy. However, he has appeared in only 19 games over three seasons. The addition of Marshall, a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft, could make Canady expendable. Jean-Baptiste has re-signed with the Ravens on a one-year contract in March. However, that deal does not guarantee a spot on the final roster. Jean-Baptiste broke his arm in the preseason finale last season and was placed on injured reserve.
The Ravens lost Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley and Za’Darius Smith via free agency. GM Eric DeCosta is confident there is enough talent on the roster to help fill the void. The Ravens are going to need Ferguson to make an immediate impact as a pass rusher. He has the pedigree, finishing his career at Louisiana Tech as the FBS’s all-time sacks leader with 45, eclipsing the previous mark set by Suggs.
The pair of third-year players face a critical juncture of their respective careers. Bowser was taken in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft and Williams was selected one round later. Neither player has lived up to expectations or made any type of impact. As a result, this is a make-or-break year for both of them.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Quarterback: Lamar Jackson
Running back: Mark Ingram
Wide receiver: Marquise Brown
Wide receiver: Willie Snead
Tight end: Mark Andrews
Tight end: Nick Boyle
Left tackle: Ronnie Stanley
Left guard: Ben Powers
Center: Matt Skura
Right guard: Marshal Yanda
Right tackle: Orlando Brown
Defensive end: Chris Wormley
Nose tackle: Brandon Williams
Defensive tackle: Michael Pierce
Outside linebacker: Matt Judon
Middle linebacker: Patrick Onwuasor
Outside linebacker: Jaylon Ferguson
Cornerback: Marlon Humphrey
Cornerback: Brandon Carr
Cornerback: Tavon Young
Strong safety: Tony Jefferson
Free safety: Earl Thomas