The preseason is winding down for the 2019-2020 Baltimore Ravens, and you know what that means? Useless roster projection time! Below we will dive into the roster projection position-by-position, so let’s start this journey.
Starter: Lamar Jackson
Backups: Robert Griffin III, Trace McSorley
Analysis: It is clear as day that Lamar Jackson will be under center come September 8th against the Miami Dolphins and Robert Griffin III would be backing him up, but the question persists as to whether or not the Ravens will decide to keep three quarterbacks. As many of you will note, I just published a piece detailing why I personally would not keep Trace McSorley, but this is a projection based on what I think the Ravens will do. I project they will indeed keep McSorley, though I wonder how much of a plan they have for him. To be clear, I am not backtracking on my line of thinking; I still would not keep him. However, the Ravens seem to like him long-term as the backup, so I think he makes it.
Starter: Mark Ingram II
Backups: Gus Edwards, Justice Hill
Analysis: This is pretty straight-forward to me. I expect the Ravens to explore trade partners for Kenneth Dixon and if they cannot find one, I expect him to be released outright. Ingram is clearly the starter after being brought on board from the Saints via free agency, but all three backs will get snaps and touches. DeLance Turner is a guy the team clearly likes, but he is once again destined for the practice squad, barring a team claiming him on waivers.
Backups: Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Seth Roberts, Jaleel Scott
Analysis: The 6th Wide Receiver spot is incredibly difficult to me, but ultimately I believe Scott has played his way onto the roster. Michael Floyd is intriguing as he seems to be stepping up with this opportunity, and if the Ravens opt to release Roberts, I could see Floyd being the final selection. Given how I see this stacking up, the edge goes to Scott. The fans are probably interested in Antoine Wesley, as I am, but the Ravens will likely try to sneak him onto the practice squad at this juncture. He clearly possesses the traits you want in a receiver, but he may be a year away from taking a roster spot. However, Wesley is definitely a prime candidate for another team to pluck off of waivers, so they will be risking losing him.
Starter: Nick Boyle
Analysis: Don’t get too hung up on starters’ vs. backups here (or really anywhere on this list). All three here are going to play, and there isn’t anyone behind them challenging for a spot. Boyle will likely start games due to his blocking presence, will rarely command most of the snaps.
Backups: Patrick Mekari, Ben Powers, Bradley Bozeman
Analysis: The only question on the starters is who ultimately starts at left guard and my thought is Hurst will get the first crack here, with Powers potentially coming in mid-way through the year to take the spot. With the trade of Jermaine Eluemunor, this opens a spot for either Greg Senat or Patrick Mekari, with the edge going to Mekari due to his flexibility.
Analysis: The starters here are very straight-forward, as are three of the backups. Patrick Ricard will play a big role on offense but for this purpose I am throwing him under the defensive line. The big question here is between Zach Seiler and Gerald Willis. Willis has seemed to get more run lately in the preseason, while Seiler has seen his snaps drop. This is purely reading the tea leaves, but that signals to me the Ravens hope to sneak Seiler through waivers and get him on the practice squad, so I am tabbing Willis for the roster.
Starters: Matthew Judon, Pernell McPhee
Analysis: Earlier in the offseason, I would have thought Shane Ray had a shot to make the final roster. After watching the preseason, I simply don’t see a spot for the former first-round pick of the Denver Broncos. There will be plenty of rotation here, but I expect just five to make the final cut, barring a move for another pass rusher.
Backups: Kenny Young
Analysis: As tempting as it is to keep Otaro Alaka here, he will be a prime candidate for the practice squad upon final cut down. This is a pretty easy group to peg. No real surprises here.
(Note: Young Is kept for cut down then placed on IR with the hope he will return at midseason.)
Analysis: Starters again are already well-known, but backup is where things get sticky. I believe the Ravens will have a handshake agreement with Justin Bethel to release him and bring him right back following placing Tavon Young on IR for now.
Analysis: Earl Thomas III and Tony Jefferson are the clear starters here, and there aren’t any surprises on the backups either. Levine will get a lot of time in sub packages as a linebacker while Elliott could see some time in the nickel and other packages.
Analysis: What analysis is needed here? This group is the easiest to project on the roster.
Alright, now tell me what I got wrong.