Dev Panchwagh and I are back ahead of Saturday’s 4 p.m. to give you our final 53-man roster prediction. With preseason game four now in the books and looking ahead to week one vs. the Buffalo Bills there are drastic change in our latest version. (See the previous version here)
Without further ado:
Out: Josh Johnson
NOTES: Mallett saw limited in action last night thus securing his position as Joe Flacco’s primary back up. Josh Johnson had another solid outing and put forth a decent effort in trying to unseat Mallett this summer. Unfortunately for Johnson, the Ravens have too much money invested in Mallett.
Running Backs (4)
Out: Lorenzo Taliaferro, Stephen Houston
Notes: Neither Justin Forsett nor Terrance West played a snap in the preseason finale and Buck Allen’s role was limited. Taliaferro remains on the physically unable to perform list and Houston, although impressive in his latest outing, will not make the roster.
In: Kyle Juszczyk
Notes: He will lead the way for the Ravens run game in 2016 and Marc Trestman will get him the ball as a receiver on occasion.
Wide Receiver (6)
Out: Jeremy Butler, Chris Matthews, Keenan Reynolds
NOTES: It’s a numbers game at one of the deepest units on the entire team. Butler had an outstanding preseason but to the dismay of some fans, won’t make the final 53 (I fought hard for him, Dev overruled me.) The Ravens need the roster space for other positions, thus costing Butler his spot.
Offensive Line (8)
Bubble: Vlad Ducasse
Out: Blaine Clausell, Matt Skura, James Hurst
NOTES: The battle between Ducasse and Wesley is all but over and it appears Wesley will get the job on the final 53 due to his versatility, playing multiple positions along the offensive front. James Hurst will no longer be a turnstile in purple and black.
Tight End (3)
Out: Daniel Brown
NOTES: Even with Benjamin Watson’s season-ending injury, the strong play of Waller and Boyle, although suspended, ends Brown’s chance at the 53-man roster. We believe he will end up on the practice squad.
Defensive Line (7)
Out: Kapron Lewis-Moore, Trevon Coley
NOTES: Some notable changes since our last roster prediction as Kapron Lewis-Moore is out and Michael Pierce is in. Pierce has quietly put together an impressive training camp and preseason to earn the final spot along the defensive front. Lewis-Moore has played well but has clearly been out-performed by the undrafted Pierce.
Out: Arthur Brown, Brennen Beyer, Patrick Onwuasor, Chris Carter
NOTES: The Ravens are looking ahead to the future and opt to keep Ochi, who was highly coveted by several teams before the undrafted LB signed with the Ravens. As Dev pointed out regarding Ochi:
“A sub-package rusher or even more than that. He’s the natural edge rusher prospect they’ve been looking for. Judon is great but I’m just talking in terms of speed, bend, and getting around the corner. If they lose him, it may come back to haunt them. I like [Jeremy] Butler and he’s obviously fought hard but this is more of a move for the future.”
Out: Julian Wilson, Sheldon Price
NOTES: Outside of Smith and Wright, the pecking order is a confusing one for Leslie Frazier’s secondary. Powers has been sidelined lately with Tavon Young and Will Davis taking over his reps. Throw in the health status of rookie Maurice Canady and this remains a worrisome unit.
Out: Kendrick Lewis
NOTES: With Webb and Weddle locks, Matt Elam’s injury and Kendrick Lewis not seeing the field in over two weeks, the door is wide open for Terrence Brooks and Anthony Levine. Brooks got the start in place of Webb (back stiffness) against Detroit and played the entire game as did he vs. New Orleans. Levine continues to make plays when on the field and gives the Ravens a player who can also play multiple roles.
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