*Checks phone and realizes what day it is* Hold up! Wait you’re all telling me we’re almost a week away from our 1st game?! And the ATB RR roster breakdown is late being written & Published?! Ok, in my defense, work & prepping for vacation has my mind else where. You’d probably be in the same boat if your vacation started in 3 days.
Anyways, for those of you all who aren’t caught up, the Baltimore Ravens will travel to… cue the Elvis Presley song. No? Ok, fine, we’ll type it. “Viva! Viva Las Vegas!” Yes, that’s right. The Ravens at Raiders for the first Monday Night Football game of the season on Sept 13th at 8:15pm EST.
Now, I’ll expect this to be a fairly close game at start but with what we know of our team, things will get interesting in our favor to say the least as the game goes on.
Also before actually making in depth predictions we have to first look at the final 53 man roster first.
Here below will be a group of spread sheets put together by yours truly giving you the final 53 man roster. Would give you all the official depth chart off of the Baltimore Ravens’ website but at this time it hasn’t been updated yet.
Take a second and let that marinate. We have a nice active 53-man roster right here a lot of players on here that were expected to make the team & did, but there are a few that were kind of surprises. We’ll get into that here shortly, but before we do that let’s give a look at the Practice Squad & Injured Reserve lists.
Wait another second! Also note that below I didn’t include Co-Cap Anthony Levine Sr in here due to sheer potato brain, but they do have him on the Practice Squad regardless of what you see on the charts.
On this side we have the PS.
And here we have IR. Since you all had time to let everything sink in let’s finally get down to the details we wanna react to, so get your coffee, adult beverage, or juice box handy.
Let’s get the heartbreak out of the way first.
Where in the hell is FB2/RB4/TE8 Ben Mason on these lists?! *Cries from Tuesday until like yesterday* Oh yeah, he got signed by the NE Patriots on Wednesday. That’ll be good experience for the young player out of That Team Up North. With the system the coach Belichick & McDaniels run it’ll fit Mason well.
Most of the other cuts were as expected but…
Another major heartbreak that made me do multiple takes before the PS signees were announced was Co-Cap & Pernell McPhee. 2 key rotational Ravens that were highly important to not only the defense & special teams but also to the team’s voice/leadership. It was so reassuring to see them clear waivers and get picked back up. CoCap is still unfortunately on the PS which if I’m not mistaken can be a little stressful. Cause can’t teams poach off other another team’s PS? Anyways, McPhee thankfully was able to come back to the regular roster thanks to some of the IR folks.
Speaking of Injured Reserve…
What is 1st round pick WR Room X-Factor The Dark Knight aka Batman… I mean former MN Golden Gopher WR Rashod Bateman, doing on IR? Well don’t you all remember that he went down in training camp and had to have surgery? Yeah it makes sense, granted the Ravens will have to cut someone on the 53 when he comes back but either way he’ll be back and playing a good amount by week 5 or 6. Just have to be patient and wait for good news to return.
As far as Mr. Boykin’s situation, I’m still kinda confused on this but some times it takes year 3 or 4 to have that breakout year. And maybe in the final preseason game or in practice he went down with a bad injury that needed some time off. We’ll see what happens.
Now that’s over, lets get into some happy thoughts
Some are ecstatic over this fact, self included but we have a total of 11 Defensive Backs & 10 LB(Inside, Trad Outside, & EDGE) on there roster. It’s a great thing thinking about how much depth is in these rotations such as AA, Young, Stone, Washington, and can’t forget about OG Raven CB Jimmy Smith. These guys are great compliments to Humphrey, Peters, Clark, & Elliott. Bet you $5 Wink is foaming at the mouth with all the schemes he’s can execute with having all these guys.
And to add on to that last sentence, having a dominant LB corps with everything listed above is terrific. Ok, ok, I’ll pump the brakes… I understand that a lot of people are questioning the decision on keeping Welch or Ferguson on the active roster but let me tell you this. GET OFF THE CROSS, WE NEED THE WOOD! The Ravens have had minor instances where you can correctly challenge their “next man up” mentality but as of late for the most part, it’s worked. Sack Daddy is in for a blowout year coming up to establish where he belongs in the market & Welch just to make it known that he’s a good enough depth player for the Ravens.
Staying on Depth or there lack of. I’m glad to see the team keep B. Williams, Campbell, & Wolfe but all we have for backup is Justin Madubuike & Broderick Washington as official back up. Oh yeah, and Justin Ellis & Chris Smith(Who doubles as DE/EDGE) on the practice squad. Also can’t forget when Pancake Pat Ricard jumps in on defense but that still leaves the actual defensive front 2 to 6 players less in depth vs the rest of the team. Don’t get me wrong, I know the team runs a base 3-4 for the most part and relies on the LB/Secondary more, just being a OL/DL guy it hurts my heart a bit, but it’ll be alright. The Defense is stacked anyways.
Moving to the Offensive Side.
It wasn’t surprising seeing LJ8 as QB1 & TH2 aka Snoop as QB2. We all seen that coming, but what we didn’t necessarily see the well now RB2 contest to be so close. Well kinda, as most of us were lead to believe, Ty’Son Williams was going to be backing up/rotating with Gus Bus Edwards & Nate McCrary backing up Williams. That’s obviously not the case right now. John Harbaugh & Co decided to keep Justice Hill over McCrary. With no RB on the Practice Squad, it is very obvious that the coaching staff sees something in Hill that we can’t. Honestly it’s going to be interesting to see how this backfield runs without JK Dobbins as the starter due to a bad season ending injury.
Moving over real quick to the TE room, we once again have an official 4 Tight Ends on the roster and an official Fullback. This brings joy to the heart. The hunch that Josh Oliver was going to be the official TE3 and make the team was right. He is meant to be and play like a Raven. Backing up or possibly lining up in a 3 TE set behind the likes of Mark Andrews & Nick Boyle is what we like to see.
Kinda Reminds me of the Pitta, Daniels, & Gilmore or! Or! The Pitta, Boyle, & Maxx Williams days. Ah! Good times, good times.
But we have another name to throw in the mix. Eric Tomlinson. I’ll agree with the coaching staff that he did very well with the blocking scheme during the preseason which gives the Ravens another good or decent option with the Run Pass Option.
They’ve also elected to add Tony Poljan to the practice squad which is interesting to say the least. Moving on to the next topic…
My personal favorite, the big boys upfront!
Starting line up is still probably going to be as followed:
- LT: Ronnie Stanley
- LG: Ben Powers
- C: Bradley Bozeman
- RG: Kevin Zietler
- RT: Alejandro Villanueva
Now this is a very complete set for the most part. Ben Powers obviously still being the question mark since you have Patrick Mekari as your versatile all around lineman. Ben Cleveland looking to make his name a household one and same with Philips at the LG or RG spots. Keeping Ealy & Smith on the Practice Squad was probably for insurance purposes but we’ll never know.
Also I’ll take this to the grave with me… having TCC on the roster is crucial because having a dedicated Center is extremely important! Yes we have Boze & Mekari but my boy TCC has proven that he can be ready to go and perform at a very high level when called upon.
Last minute notes & wrapping up.
So with everything being said be ready for this entire team to be ready to take on everything that’s thrown at them next Monday & all season long.
Josh Bynes was brought back for a 3rd stint to help the LB depth via the Practice Squad. TE Eli Wolf has filed a grievance against Baltimore claiming he should’ve been placed on IR vs being cut, I do believe he won the case. WR Devin Gray & Ravens reached an injury settlement that allowed him to become a FA. Lastly WR James Proche was fined by the NFL for Mossing an WFT Defender, I thought it was great but apparently the No Fun League didn’t.
Any whoot, that’s it until next time, and until then don’t forget to check out everything & everyone on the Around The Block Network. Follow us individually or the network itself on all forms of social media. Have a great night or day everyone!