Mailbag: How Will the Ravens Use Chuck Clark?

S Chuck Clark

Mink: Earlier this month, there was a report that Chuck Clark was "apparently unhappy" with some things this offseason. Three weeks ago, not long after the draft, Clark tweeted about his uncertain future.

It seems Clark and the Ravens are on an upward trajectory. Clark was on the field at the start of Ravens Organized Team Activities Tuesday, a sign of his professionalism and the team's desire to still have him as a key cog in the defense this season.

There can still be a sizeable role for Clark, even with the addition of first-round pick Kyle Hamilton. First of all, Hamilton is a very talented player. But it's asking a lot to throw a rookie safety onto the field for every single snap. The Ravens can deploy Hamilton in a variety of different ways in a defensive back rotation.

Clark is still a very smart and strong player, particularly when lined up closer to the line of scrimmage. The Ravens can use him in dime packages. They could use him as essentially another linebacker in obvious passing situations. Clark is a very good player and new Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald and the other coaches will find ways to get the best players on the field.

Downing: The biggest question with the running back group is the health of J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards. The Ravens would certainly love if both are back to open the season and playing at full strength, but that's uncertain right now. Last year showed that injury recovery timelines are difficult to predict, and the Ravens have said they will be cautious as the two work their way back into action. If Dobbins and Edwards are healthy to open the season, then they will get the bulk of the carries and the No. 3 running back will get a limited workload. The Ravens realistically won't know the health of Dobbins and Edwards until later this summer as the regular season nears.

Another question with the backfield is who earns the No. 3 running back job. That will be a competitive battle in training camp between Justice Hill (recovering from a torn Achilles), veteran Mike Davis and rookie Tyler Badie. All three have ability, and they'll have to earn their spot on this roster. Davis has the most experience of the group, which could be valuable if Dobbins or Edwards take longer to get back on the field. The Ravens have high hopes for Badie, and he'll have to show this summer that he's ready to make the jump to the NFL. My guess right now is that the Ravens go into the regular season with four running backs on the active roster as insurance for Edwards and Dobbins, and training camp will determine who that is.

Mink: No, I don't think the Ravens are signing any more veteran cornerbacks (barring injuries). I think Kyle Fuller was the final piece to the puzzle one and a perfect fit at that. The Ravens now have their top three cornerbacks (Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Fuller). Every indication is that Peters will be back on the field at the start of training camp and Humphrey is already back playing at the beginning of OTAs.

The Ravens have strong depth behind them with Brandon Stephens, fourth-round rookies Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams, and others. As we all know too well, injuries happen, but you have to hope and believe that the Ravens won't get as decimated as they were last year. For now, I think the depth looks good.

Downing: Wide receiver could be the position to reinforce, based on how the young receiving corps looks over the summer. If the Ravens like what they see from Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, James Proche II and Tylan Wallace, then they may opt to roll with the young guys going into the season. But they could use a veteran in that group, and that will be something to watch for this offseason.

The other position is pass rusher. Tyus Bowser is recovering from a torn Achilles suffered in the season finale and rookie David Ojabo won't be ready to start the season after tearing his Achilles in a pre-draft workout. Veteran Justin Houston is still on the market, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him land back in Baltimore as training camp gets closer. If the Ravens don't bring back Houston, they will likely add another free-agent pass rusher this summer to help bolster that group.

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