Ravens roster review and five key players to team’s success
Turron Davenport | 9/7/2015, 4 a.m.
The Baltimore Ravens trimmed their roster down to 53 players but may still have some moves to make. Two players that they released cornerback/return man Asa Jackson and a 2015 fifth round selection in offensive lineman Robert Myers were claimed by the New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts. The team is in the midst of forming their practice squad and is certainly on the lookout for a possible addition of a kickoff returner.
The initial 53-man roster currently stands as follows:
Quarterbacks (2): Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub
Flacco has started every game since his rookie season. He may not put up the huge stats that fantasy football folks desire but he is a proven quarterback that can make all throws. Schaub provides a veteran backup that won’t require any true change in scheme if Flacco should go down.
Running backs (4): Justin Forsett, Kyle Juszczyk, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Buck Allen
Juszczyk could be an option in the short passing game. Forsett and Buck Allen will also see their share of targets out of the backfield. Forsett was a third down back when he first broke into the NFL, while Allen had over 60 receptions in his last season at USC. Taliaferro will be back from a knee injury at some point and he has some receiver in his playing background.
Tight ends (3): Crockett Gillmore, Nick Boyle, Maxx Williams
Gillmore will be a breakout player for the Ravens this year (see below). Williams is still adjusting to the physicality of the NFL but he is a nice option for Flacco as well. Boyle will play primarily a blocking role.
Wide receivers (6): Steve Smith Sr., Kamar Aiken, Breshad Perriman, Marlon Brown, Michael Campanaro, Darren Waller
Smith Sr. will need to put up another big year for this offense while Aiken is a player that the Ravens have shown the desire to build into a vertical threat. Aiken does a good job of working at the line to get open right away on the slant route which could be an option in the red zone. Brown and Waller bring nice size on down field back shoulder throws and on crossing routes. Perriman is a mystery at this point due to his injury status. Campanaro is a weapon that should have a 5-10 play package to take advantage of favorable mismatches against linebackers or the opposing team’s third corner in the slot.
Offensive line (8): Eugene Monroe, Rick Wagner, Marshal Yanda, Kelechi Osemele, Jeremy Zuttah, John Urschel, James Hurst, Ryan Jensen
Monroe has slimmed down and is much quicker on his feet as a result. Wagner is still working back from the foot injury and will have James Hurst waiting to step in if need be. Osemele and Yanda for the best guard tandem in the NFL. Urschel and Jensen give the Ravens two players that can play all positions on the line.
Defensive line (8): Chris Canty, Brandon Williams, Timmy Jernigan, Lawrence Guy, Carl Davis, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Christo Bilukidi, Brent Urban.
Williams is developing into one of the best run stopping nose tackles. Jernigan when healthy provides a pass rushing element sorely needed from the defensive line. If he isn’t ready to go, Carl Davis will be the next man up. Urban is likely to be placed on injured reserve with return designation meaning he won’t be back until week seven.