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Ravens Preseason Stock Watch vs. Carolina Panthers

Posted Aug 11, 2016

Running back Terrance West carried his strong training camp into preseason action.

The preseason opened Thursday night in Baltimore with a 22-19 victory over the defending NFC champion Carolina Panthers.

Several of the Ravens starters had the night off, and the focus was on the young players trying to earn starting jobs or roster spots.

We already know that running back Terrance West stole the show, but here’s a look at how Thursday’s game affected the stock of several other players:

RB Buck Allen
West may have led the offense in points scored, but the other running backs didn’t want to be overshadowed. With Forsett getting the night off, Buck Allen started just like he did for the final six games of last season. Allen couldn’t find much room on the ground – he had six carries for 6 yards – but he’s dangerous catching passes out of the backfield. He turned a screen pass into a 19-yard touchdown by perfectly following his blockers into the end zone. Allen has his work cut out for him to hold off West in the running back competition, but he’s not going down without a fight.

QB Ryan Mallett
The Ravens decided to give Joe Flacco the night off, so Mallett got the start and played the entire first half. The six-year veteran was solid. He was off target on a couple of throws, but also showed good pocket awareness and extended some plays with his feet. He threw a pick-six that was wiped off the board because Panthers quarterback Cam Newton ran on the field to celebrate while the play was still live, but Mallett can’t really shoulder the blame on that interception because the pass bounced off tight end Darren Waller’s hands. Mallett is known for his big arm, but he didn’t test the defense with shots down the field. Instead, he preferred to work the short passing game, and finished the day 11-of-15 passing for 91 yards with a touchdown and interception.

CB Shareece Wright
The first-team defense struggled to stop Newton in his only series – a 14-play scoring drive – and then Wright followed up that initial drive by allowing a touchdown pass to wide receiver Devin Funchess on Carolina’s next possession. The touchdown was a 10-yard strike to the front corner of the end zone that Funchess hauled in as Wright went to the ground. Wright was in one-on-one coverage on the play, and the second-year receiver simply beat him on the route. Wright appears to have a firm grasp on the starting job, but the Ravens certainly didn’t like to see that touchdown as they have expectations for the secondary to be much improved this year.

S Terrence Brooks
The third-round safety is in the middle of a battle for a roster spot, and he made a case for himself with a couple of nice plays on the ball. Brooks broke up a pass over the middle of the field and then delivered a big hit after a completion the next play. Brooks seemed to play with good instincts, and he showed great closing speed on a scramble by quarterback Joe Webb in the fourth quarter. The Ravens have been waiting on the former third-round pick to show he can play at a consistent level in the NFL, and finding himself around the football is a good sign early in the preseason.

OLB Chris Carter
The outside linebacker was one of the Ravens’ best defenders throughout the night. He provided a consistent pass rush, which was most evident when he ran over an offensive lineman in the third quarter to bring down quarterback Derek Anderson for the sack. Carter is a six-year veteran who the Ravens signed late last season, and he has been an under-the-radar player in training camp. But the Ravens are looking for pass rushers, and Carter might be able to provide depth in that area.

WR/PR Kaelin Clay
Clay made his mark on the Ravens last season with a memorable punt return touchdown on Monday Night Football, but he had a costly miscue against Carolina. Clay muffed a punt deep in the Ravens’ own territory, which Carolina recovered. The competition at returner is wide open, and the most important factor for the coaching staff will be picking someone who they can trust to protect the football. Nobody else had a big night on the returning front, so Clay will likely get a chance to redeem himself in future weeks.

LT Ronnie Stanley
The first-round pick was quiet, which is a good thing for an offensive lineman. Stanley didn’t get beat around the edge at all, and he also showed off some impressive run blocking when he got out in open space and sealed off a blocker in front of West. The fact that Stanley even played was a good sign for the No. 6 overall pick given that he sustained a soft-tissue injury in Saturday’s practice. Stanley shook off that injury and showed his toughness by suiting up for his first NFL game.

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