Late For Work 6/26: Historical Trends Predict 53-Man Roster

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Editor's Note: "Late For Work" will be on vacation next week along with the rest of the Ravens office. Don't worry, we'll be back soon. Training camp is around the corner.

Historical Trends Predict 53-Man Roster

The Ravens are still a ways off from setting the roster they'll take into Denver Week 1.

But the trends of recent years gives a pretty good indication of what the composition of the initial 53-man squad will look like. The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec looked back at the seven opening day rosters from Head Coach John Harbaugh's tenure to see what he might glean about the eventual makeup of the 2015 team.

"They potentially provide a glimpse of certain trends that may come into play before the Ravens settle on a 53-man roster ahead of their Sept. 13 regular-season opener," he wrote.

Some positions are fairly clear-cut. The Ravens will probably keep only two quarterbacks and they won't do something crazy like carry three kickers on the roster.

But other spots are less certain, and here's a breakdown of some of the most intriguing positions:

Wide Receiver

The receiver competition has quickly become the battle to watch in training camp. Young receivers like Jeremy Butler, Darren Waller and DeAndre Cater had their moments during offseason practices, and the coaches are watching who separates from the pack.

"The Ravens have kept as few as four wide receivers (in 2009) and as many as seven," Zrebiec noted. "They've also had years where they've kept five or six. The past two seasons, seven receivers have dotted the season-opening roster."

So what does that suggest about how the Ravens will pare down their current group of 11 wideouts?

"That it's anybody's guess how many receivers will crack the roster," Zrebiec said. "Health and special teams considerations will factor in, but it would be hard to imagine the Ravens keeping fewer than six receivers."

Cornerbacks

General Manger Ozzie Newsome always says "you can't have too many cornerbacks," and the rash of injuries at the position last year proved that mantra. The Ravens entered last year with five cornerbacks, and starter Lardarius Webb was the only one still on the active roster by the end of the season.

"After dealing with so many injuries at the position last year, the Ravens figure to keep as many cornerbacks as they possibly can," Zrebiec wrote. "That bodes well for potential "bubble" guys like Asa Jackson, Cassius Vaughn and Tramain Jacobs. It would make sense for the Ravens to keep five or six corners on the roster and one or two more on the practice squad."

Defensive Line

The Ravens may not have Haloti Ngata anchoring the middle of the unit any longer, but now they have a handful of young linemen with loads of potential. There has been no consistency in terms of the number of defensive linemen the Ravens keep, but Zrebiec expects Baltimore to lean heavy at the position this year.

"Their current roster is loaded with young defensive linemen, so it wouldn't be a stretch to see as many as eight of them make the team," he wrote. "If the Ravens think a defensive lineman can help them in 2015 or even down the road, they'll find a way to keep him. The front office very much values having defensive line depth."

Terrell Suggs on Family Feud

We won't see Terrell Suggs back on the field until training camp, but you can see him in entertainment mode this weekend.

Suggs will be one of 10 NFL players to participate in a celebrity edition of the game show "Family Feud," which will air Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Some of the other NFL stars on the show are Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, Packers running back Eddie Lacy and Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Ware.

"It's actually a star-studded cast, and given the popularity of these primetime editions of the show with host Steve Harvey, might be appointment television for Ravens fans," wrote The Sun's Jon Meoli. "If there's a movies topic, expect Suggs to shine."

Riskiest Move of the Offseason

A big part of the reason why the receiver competition is so intriguing this year is that the Ravens have a first-round pick involved. Breshad Perriman, the No. 26 overall pick, made his share of impressive plays during the offseason, but ESPN's Jamison Hensley pointed to the pick as the Ravens' "riskiest move" of the offseason.

"Perriman might end up being the Ravens' leading receiver this season and become the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year," Hensley wrote. "That said, the Ravens' draft history at this position makes it a risk."

The Ravens expect Perriman to replace the deep threat that left when Torrey Smith signed with San Francisco in free agency, but Hensley pointed out the Ravens don't have a sterling history of drafting quality receivers.

Smith was the only receiver of the 21 drafted by Baltimore to top 1,000 receiving yards in a season. The Ravens are also still looking for their first homegrown receiver to make the Pro Bowl.

"The Ravens are banking on Perriman to become more of an impact player than the previous two receivers drafted in the first round by the Ravens, Travis Taylor and Mark Clayton," Hensley wrote. "As far as first impressions go, Perriman has been up and down in offseason camps."

Quick Hits

  • John Urschel's impressive offseason continues. The latest from Urschel is that he's partnered with software company, Persado, where he will work to teach how advanced math is applicable to modern day marketing. [SportTechie.com]

Camp is July 27-28 Owings Mills high school Join me 4 my #football @ProCamps 4 boys&girls ... https://t.co/D5zhuGgdBZ pic.twitter.com/ibKq3oalcu — Steve Smith Sr.(@89SteveSmith) June 25, 2015

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