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The Breakdown: Mink's 53-Man Roster Predictions

ILB Josh Ross

Instead of five thoughts on the Ravens' 17-15 win over the Washington Commanders Saturday night at M&T Bank Stadium, I'm offering my 53-man roster prediction.

The Ravens have until Tuesday at 4 p.m. to get down to 53.

Quarterback (2): Lamar Jackson, Tyler Huntley

No need for analysis here. Jackson is the engine of the offense and Huntley is one of the league's best backups. The Ravens will likely look to keep undrafted rookie Anthony Brown Jr., who played well this preseason, on their practice squad.

Running back (4): J.K. Dobbins, Mike Davis, Justice Hill, Tyler Badie

The Ravens carry an extra running back because of Dobbins' injury situation. Dobbins could still play Week 1 but hasn't returned to full practice yet. Nobody has really separated from the rest of the pack, and Baltimore doesn't want to be short-handed at running back again this year. Davis would be the lead back if Dobbins isn't ready. Hill has looked explosive at times in camp and is a good special teams player. Sixth-round rookie, Badie has flashed his potential in camp.

Fullback (1): Pat Ricard

The Ravens brought back Ben Mason in January, but that was before they re-signed Pro Bowler Patrick Ricard. Ricard is back in his role as a leading bulldozer and surprise receiver.

Tight end (4): Mark Andrews, Isaiah Likely, Nick Boyle, Charlie Kolar (injured)

The top three tight ends are obvious. Andrews and Likely will be major parts of the passing attack and the Ravens are hopeful Boyle returns to the dominant blocker he was before his 2020 knee injury. Though he underwent sports hernia surgery and will miss the first chunk of the season, Kolar must be on the initial 53-man roster before being moved to injured reserve.

Wide receiver (5): Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, James Proche II, Demarcus Robinson, Tylan Wallace

Keeping only four here was a consideration, but Wallace gets the fifth and final receiver spot because the Ravens would like to give their fourth-round pick from a year ago a longer look and believe he can help on special teams. Undrafted rookies Shemar Bridges and Makai Polk flashed in the first preseason game, but neither sustained that momentum.

Offensive line (10): Ronnie Stanley, Kevin Zeitler, Morgan Moses, Patrick Mekari, Tyler Linderbaum, Ja'Wuan James, Ben Powers, Tyre Phillips, Ben Cleveland, Daniel Faalele

The Ravens have a major crunch on the offensive line, particularly at guard. It would be no surprise if they trade one of them, but I'm not going to project that. Powers got Saturday night off while Phillips started at right tackle and bounced around. Cleveland didn't suit up after missing practice this week.

Defensive line (6): Calais Campbell, Michael Pierce, Justin Madubuike, Broderick Washington, Travis Jones, Isaiah Mack

The Ravens have more good defensive linemen than they can keep. The injury to Jones, which puts his Week 1 status in the air, means the Ravens get to keep an extra big defensive body on the initial 53. It came down to Aaron Crawford and Mack and Mack gets the spot because Crawford suffered a groin injury Saturday night. Baltimore can release vested veteran Brent Urban and bring him back as soon as Kolar or David Ojabo go on injured reserve.

Inside linebacker (4): Patrick Queen, Josh Bynes, Malik Harrison, Josh Ross

Ross beats out third-year veteran Kristian Welch, who is a strong special teams player but hasn't shown as much defensively as Ross has this offseason. Ross also helps round out the inside linebackers room with strong coverage abilities. The undrafted rookie is a favorite of new Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald, who coached him last year at Michigan. Bynes is also a candidate to be released and immediately re-signed if the Ravens need the roster spot.

Outside linebacker (4): Odafe Oweh, Justin Houston, Daelin Hayes, David Ojabo (injured)

This unit is thin. Tyus Bowser was placed on Reserve/PUP Friday and Hayes is banged up. Vince Biegel probably would have made the team had he not suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in training camp. The Ravens need experienced help, and it would be surprising if they don't make an outside addition. There are essentially four options. They could find a way to keep Steven Means, or bring him back as a vested veteran after moving Kolar/Ojabo to injured reserve. But Means is more of a RUSH linebacker than SAM. Baltimore could make a trade or signing before the Tuesday's cutdown deadline. Or the Ravens could wait to add an outside linebacker from elsewhere after cuts are made and Ojabo is moved to IR. They could also keep Means and make an addition.

Cornerback (6): Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Kyle Fuller, Brandon Stephens, Jalyn Armour-Davis, Damarion "Pepe" Williams

The Ravens are deep at cornerback. Kevon Seymour could have made it, but he's now dealing with an ankle injury. Baltimore could keep veteran Daryl Worley on speed dial.

Safety (4): Marcus Williams, Chuck Clark, Kyle Hamilton, Geno Stone

Geno Stone is stepping into the Anthony Levine Sr. special teams captain role. He's also a very good backup safety for the defense. Tony Jefferson is one of everybody's favorites, but there are just too many safeties on this roster and too many tough decisions for him to make the original 53.

Specialists (3): Justin Tucker, Jordan Stout, Nick Moore

Tucker got the night off and Stout didn't do any punting in the preseason finale. It's a testament to the rookie punter that the Ravens didn't feel he needed any more game work before the regular season.

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