After spending a few days at Ravens training camp this week, I realized how glaringly different some of these position groups look thus far (in a good way) compared to this time last year. I know plenty of the starters for the Ravens remain the same, but I wanted to compare this team to the hand we were dealt in camp last year, just to see how different this Ravens roster really is.
While the starters remain fairly consistent for most groups, the talent in the depth has blown me away.
A quick aside before we get into these positions and the ch-ch-ch-changes (Bowie reference): with the 2020 “preseason” being limited to just 80 players, you’ll notice a few of these groups look substantially larger in 2019 versus the current group. Simply put, it is what it is.
2019: Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III, Trace McSorley
2020: MVP, Bobby G3, McSorley, Tyler Huntley
Last year, the Ravens ran with just three QBs until Bob went down with an injury, forcing the Ravens to add Joe Callahan. This year, the Ravens are running with four out of the gates, as they add UDFA Tyler Huntley to the mix to give McSorley some competition. Thus far, I’d say Huntley is pushing to supplant McSorley, and McSorley hasn’t done much to slow that momentum.
2019: Hollywood Brown, Miles Boykin, Willie Snead, Chris Moore, Jaleel Scott, Antoine Wesley, Seth Roberts, Sean Modster, Jaylen Smith, Jordan Lasley, Joe Horn Jr.
2020: Holly, Boykin, Willie, Moore, Scott, Wesley, Devin Duvernay, James Proche II, Jaylon Moore, Michael Dereus
Only one fewer wideout in camp this year (11 vs 10), but the overall depth is markedly better. Holly-Snead-Boykin are the consistent trio, with guys like Chris Moore, Jaleel Scott, and Antoine Wesley being the other three returning wideouts. The biggest difference? Last year Ravens fans looked to guys like Seth Roberts, Moore and Scott to fill out the WR Corps, with little faith that they’d have much value. This year? Rookies Proche II and Duvernay have already looked more promising than what we saw last year from the aforementioned group.
Should the Ravens opt to add Dez Bryant, the wideout room overall looks to be locked in (should they stick to six), which is a far cry from what we could read from the room last year in camp.
2019: Mark Ingram II, Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, Kenneth Dixon, Tyler Ervin, De’Lance Turner, Patrick Ricard, Christopher Ezeala
2020: Ingram, Gus, Hill, J.K. Dobbins, Kenjon Barner, Patrick Ricard
Mark Ingram returns to carry the unit, with key role players Edwards and Hill in the fold. The biggest difference this year? JAY. KAY. DOBBINS. The highly-touted rookie has looked nothing shy of phenomenal in camp thus far, and really shows shades of the former Raven rocking 2-7 in the backfield. This position of strength on the Ravens roster got even stronger with Dobbins.
At fullback, the Ravens know what they have in Patrick Ricard, and they’re not wasting their time with another FB in the mix.
2019: Mark Andrews, Nick Boyle, Hayden Hurst, Charles Scarff, Cole Herdman
2020: Mandrews, Boyle, Scarff, Eli Wolf, Jerrell Adams
A rare group on the Ravens roster that I feel is a bit lighter. The Ravens traded away Hayden Hurst to Atlanta, and were left with a TE3 gap on the roster. The initial feeling was that UDFA signing Jacob Breeland from Oregon was going to stake claim to it, but he’ll spend the 2020 season on the IR as he comes back from a 2019 knee injury. Thus far, Eli Wolf has been a lone bright spot at TE3 in camp, but he too has suffered an injury.
Don’t be shocked if the Ravens add to this group in the coming days if Wolf’s injury lingers.
2019: Ronnie Stanley, Bradley Bozeman, Matt Skura, Marshal Yanda, Orlando Brown Jr, Patick Mekari, Ben Powers, Greg Senat, Randin Crecelius, R.J. Prince, Marcus Applefield, Patrick Vahe, Jermaine Elumenor, Alex Lewis, James Hurst, Darrell Williams
2020: Stanley, Boze, Skura, Brown Jr, Mekari, Powers, D.J. Fluker, Tyre Phillips, Ben Bredeson, Will Holden, Parker Ehinger, Sean Pollard, Trystan Colon-Castillo
The Ravens kept six offensive lineman- four starters- from their 2019 group in camp. There are more new faces (7) than old ones (6) in camp! The key loss, obviously, is Marshal Yanda, but I think the Ravens have filled in this group with some damn fine options. In fact, despite the lack of true OT depth, I think the OL is overall stronger than the group from camp last year. Fluker looks to be in phenomenal shape and he’s handling every rep with ease in camp thus far. Second year OG Ben Powers started slow but has looked better in recent days, Mekari has proven he can start at C if Skura isn’t ready, Tyre Phillips looks like he’ll be a fine Guard for years to come… hell, even deep deep depth guys like Trystan Colon-Castillo have been solid!
If you’re worried about OT depth, think about this: last year the Ravens had a few true OT’s in camp… and cut them all. They also traded G/T flex guys in Jermaine Elmuemunor and Alex Lewis. They only kept James Hurst as a G/T flex for depth. We could see the same this year.
2019: Patrick Ricard, Brandon Williams, Willie Henry, Gerald Willis, Chris Wormley, Daylon Mack, Zach Seiler, Michael Pierce
2020: Ricard, Big Baby, Justin Ellis, Jihad Ward, Derek Wolfe, Calais Campbell, Justin Madubuike, Broderick Washington, Aaron Crawford
Only two remain from the 2019 camp crop in this group! Of course, Jelly and Ward found their way onto the roster midway through the 2019 season, but overall? WHAT AN UPGRADE. Adding the human mountain that is Calais Campbell, along with veteran Derek Wolfe and rookie Justin Madubuike is a massive upgrade to a unit that was very weak in 2019.
2019: Jaylon Ferguson, Tyus Bowser, Matt Judon, Aaron Adeoye, Pernell McPhee, Shane Ray, Markus Jones, Tim Williams
2020: Ferg, Bowser, Judon, Adeoye, McPhee, John Daka, Chauncey Rivers, Marcus Willoughby
Really not a ton of change here. The Ravens ended up shedding Ray, Williams and Jones at cut downs (rightfully so) and replaced them with three UDFAs this year. Realistically, there’s only upside, especially with John Daka who has looked fast and active in camp thus far. Mark me down as pulling for Daka to continue the UDFA train in Baltimore.
2019: Chris Board, Otaro Alaka, Kenny Young, Patrick Onwausor, Matthew Thomas, E.J. Ejiya, Alvin Jons, Silas Stewart
2020: Board, Alaka, L.J. Fort, Patrick Queen, Malik Harrison, Kristian Welch
It’s crazy to think how thin the iLB group was for the Ravens in camp last year! Suddenly, this group looks astronomically better: Board and Fort spent a year in Wink’s defense, then the Ravens go out and draft a tandem of studs in Queen and Harrison. Otaro Alaka showed some promise last year in camp (and quite honestly, looks bigger in camp this year and I’d like to see them try to swig him outside) and Kristian Welch has been solid thus far too, showing quickness that’s necessary for the position. Between strengthening the DL and now iLB, the middle of the Ravens defense is scary good.
2019: Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith, Tavon Young, Anthony Averett, Brandon Carr, Maurice Canady, Cyrus Jones, Justin Bethel, Bennett Jackson, Iman Marshall, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Terrell Bonds
2020: Hump, Jimmy, Tavon, Averett, Bonds, Marcus Peters, Jordan Richards, Khalil Dorsey, Josh Nurse
The Ravens came into camp with fewer corners than last year (again: 80 vs 90 in camp) and that number dropped again when they lost Biggie Marshall for the year with a knee injury last week. The good news? The group is STACKED with talent. Having Marcus Peters in the fold, and a healthy Tavon Young makes for a massive improvement to this group.
2019: Earl Thomas, Anthony Levine Sr, Deshon Elliott, Chuck Clark, Tony Jefferson
2020: ET, CoCap, Joker, Chucky, Geno Stone, Nigel Warrior
Consistency! A full season of Earl Thomas is great for this group, but what’s just as important: Elliott’s return to the field (and he’s looked unbelievable in camp) and the additions of Stone and Warrior to the group. The latter two may make the roster for Special Teams alone, but I genuinely love what this group brings to the table in terms of diversity on the backend of the unit.