The 53 Comes Into Focus Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens

Street Talk The 53 Comes Into Focus

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The Ravens won’t have many surprises when it comes to who makes the final 53-man roster.

Much of the intrigue comes with the players who might be on the outside looking in. 

Here’s an early look at how this year’s team will likely shape up.



Starter: Lamar Jackson

Backups: Tyler Huntley and Trace McSorley

Bubble: Kenji Bahar

Skinny: While Jackson is the starter, it will be a fun battle for the No. 2 job between McSorley and Huntley. Both backups played well in their limited time and allowed the Ravens to part ways with RG3. 

Running Backs

Starter: J.K. Dobbins

Backups: Gus Edwards and Justice Hill

Bubble: Ty’Son Williams and Nate McCrary

Skinny: Dobbins emerged as one of the team’s top playmakers and allowed the team to part ways with Mark Ingram, who signed with Houston. While Dobbins is lightning, Edwards provides the thunder, and they’ll be one of the most effective 1-2 punches in the NFL. Hill will continue to make an impact on special teams but could be in the mix for more carries.


Starter: Patrick Ricard

Backup: Ben Mason

Bubble: None

Skinny: Both Ricard and Mason an also play tight end. Ricard is a two-time Pro Bowler and a free agent in 2022. Mason could step into that role down the line. For now, he might start the season on the practice squad.  

Marquise Hollywood Brown runs against the Jacksonville Jaguars

Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens

Wide Receiver

Starters: Marquise Brown and Sammy Watkins 

Backups: Rashod Bateman, Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay, and Tylan Wallace

Bubble: James Proche, Deon Cain, Jaylon Moore, Donte Sylencieux and Binjimen Victor

Skinny: This is the most intriguing position heading into training camp. If the Ravens only carry six players at wide receiver, then a talented player could be left off the roster.   

Tight Ends

Starters: Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle

Backups: Eric Tomlinson, Josh Oliver

Bubble: Jake Breeland, Eli Wolf and Tony Poljan

Skinny: Andrews is due for a new contract. Boyle is still recovering from a season-ending knee injury, which could impact this unit. Tomlinson, Oliver, Breeland and Wolf will battle for perhaps the final two spots.  Breeland and Wolf are also practice squad candidates. 

Ronnie Stanley prepares to block the Bills rusher.

Offensive Tackles

Starters: Ronnie Stanley and Alejandro Villanueva 

Backup: Tyre Phillips

Bubble: Andre Smith, Adrian Ealy and Foster Sarell

Skinny: The addition of Villanueva allows Phillips to get more seasoning after being thrust into the lineup last season. Stanley should be available after suffering a season-ending ankle injury. Smith could make the team with a solid training camp.


Starters: Ben Cleveland, Bradley Bozeman and Kevin Zeitler

Backups: Ben Powers, Ben Bredeson, Patrick Mekari

Bubble: Trystan Colon-Castillo and Greg Mancz

Skinny: Bozeman will likely make the transition from left guard to center, but the team has not made a formal announcement. Zeitler will provide stability at right guard and the Ravens have depth across the line. Colon-Castillo will challenge Mekari for the backup job at center. 


Calais Campbell takes on two Cleveland Browns.

Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens

Defensive Line

Starters: Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, Derek Wolf

Backups: Justin Madubuike, Justin Ellis, and Broderick Washington

Bubble: Chauncey Rivers, Xavier Kelly, Aaron Crawford, and Braxton Hoyett

Skinny: Campbell missed some time last season with a calf injury. Madubuike and Washington will play bigger roles after solid rookie seasons. The biggest question is which bubble players might make the practice squad. 

Inside Linebackers

Starters; Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison

Backups: L.J. Fort and Chris Board

On the bubble: Kristian Welch, Blake Gallagher and Otaro Alaka

Skinny: Queen is primed to have another solid season after leading the team in tackles. Harrison should hold down the other starting job with a full offseason under his belt. Fort and Board provide a veteran presence and will get plenty of snaps. Gallagher is a wild card to make the team as an undrafted rookie. 

(AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

Outside Linebackers

Starters: Tyus Bowser and Odafe Oweh

Backups: Pernell McPhee, Jaylon Ferguson, and Daelin Hayes

Bubble: Aaron Adeoye and Barrington Wade

Skinny: The Ravens are bullish on Oweh and he’ll play a key role as a rookie. Bowser re-signed this offseason and could take another step in his development. McPhee, Ferguson and Hayes provide valuable depth. 


Starters: Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters

Backups: Tavon Young, Jimmy Smith, Anthony Averett, Brandon Stephens, and Shaun Wade

Bubble: Davontae Harris, Iman Marshall, Khalil Dorsey and Chris Westry

Skinny: The biggest question is how many cornerbacks the Ravens might carry to protect themselves from injuries. Wade and Stephens are wild cards for playing time. Marshall has the versatility to play safety but he needs to show he can stay healthy. 


Starters: Chuck Clark and DeShon Elliott

Backups: Jordan Richards, Anthony Levine Sr., and Brandon Stephens

Bubble: Ar’Darius Washington, Nigel Warrior and Geno Stone

Skinny: The Ravens could still use more depth, especially at free safety. Washington is an undrafted rookie and undersized, but has a nose for the football. He’s a player to keep an eye on. 

Special Teams

Starters: Justin Tucker, Sam Koch, and Nick Moore

Bubble: Johnny Townsend and Brain Khoury

Skinny: The Wolfpack was broken up after the Ravens decided to part ways with long-snapper Morgan Cox. However, Tucker and Koch provide stability. Moore will have an opportunity to show he can replace Cox adequately.

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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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