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Ravens Preseason Stock Watch vs. Redskins


Rosters around the NFL will go through significant changes over the next seven days.

Saturday's matchup against the Washington Redskins was the Ravens' final game for some young players to prove themselves before the first round of roster cuts. Teams must trim their rosters to 75 players by Tuesday at 4 p.m., and the final cutdown to 53 players is next Saturday.

In addition to young players using Saturday's matchup to help their case, the contest was also critical for veterans in their last tuneup before the regular season.

The Ravens had a strong overall performance in the 23-17 victory over Washington, and here's the full stock report:

Secondary – The secondary was a big talking point coming into this game, as the top three cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (chest), Lardarius Webb (back) and Asa Jackson (ankle) were all sidelined. The absences forced the Ravens to scramble on the back end of the defense, as they used safeties Matt Elam and Anthony Levine in cornerback roles at times. Despite the injuries, the unit was impressive. They had strong coverage against the Redskins' first-team receivers, and limited quarterback Robert Griffin III to 5-of-8 passing for 20 yards, with one interception and no touchdowns. Wide receiver DeSean* *Jackson was held without a catch and Pierre Garcon had just two catches for 20 yards. Head Coach John Harbaugh said the play of the cornerbacks was "tremendous."

ILB C.J. Mosley –The first-round pick continues to impress. His tackling and sideline-to-sideline speed have been the talk of training camp, and he demonstrated another skill Saturday night – his hands. Mosley picked off a pass from Griffin that was deflected by linebacker Daryl Smith  on the first defensive play of the second half. After the interception, Mosley took off for the end zone and shrugged off a tackle attempt by Griffin with a nice stiff arm. Mosley was stopped short of the end zone, but the play set up a field goal by kicker Justin Tucker.

WR Steve Smith Sr. –The 14-year veteran doesn't have to prove much during the preseason at this point of his career, but he showed once again Saturday that he is still an explosive playmaker. Smith was arguably the Ravens' top offensive player on the team, finishing with a game-high six catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. Smith showed his grit by fighting for extra yardage on every catch and refusing to go down easy. He also delivered the biggest play of the game with a 24-yard diving touchdown grab near the end of the first half.

S Terrence Brooks – The third-round pick had his best showing of the preseason. With the secondary hobbled, Brooks saw time with the starting defense and he made the most of his opportunity. He had an interception on the defense's first possession, but the play was called off because of a pass interference penalty on cornerback Dominique Franks. Brooks then followed it up with a sack on Griffin a few plays later to stop Washington on third down. Brooks was flagged for a pass interference later in the game, but the big takeaway was that he showed he can hang with the starters.

DT Timmy Jernigan – The second-round pick continues to impress in the preseason. He has quickness that is rare for interior defensive linemen, and he demonstrated that against Washington. Jernigan flashed his speed when he chased Griffin out of the pocket and then pushed him out of bounds to register a sack. In the second half, Jernigan also brought pressure on quarterback Kirk Cousins when he delivered a big hit on the Redskins' backup.

Offensive Line – The offensive line has been much improved during the preseason, but the unit seemed to have a tough time dealing with Washington's pressure up front. The Redskins blitzed heavily against the starting offense, and they were able to sack quarterback Joe Flacco twice. At times it wasn't always the line's fault, however, as* *Washington's  coverage was stout and forced Flacco to hold the ball. The line also struggled to open holes on the ground against Washington's first-team defense, as starting running back Bernard Pierce carried four times for minus-3 yards before leaving the game with a concussion. The group had a tough time moving the pile in short-yardage situations, as the starting offense was stuffed twice on fourth-and-short. The Ravens did convert on a fourth down in the final quarter to seal the game.

WR Deonte Thompson – *Thompson continues to make his strong bid for a roster spot. After returning a kickoff for a touchdown last week, Thompson followed up with a 21-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Tyrod Taylor. He demonstrated good hands and route running on the play, as he shook the defender to gain separation and then hauled in the pass with outstretched arms in the back of the end zone. It's a tight race at wide receiver, and Thompson is making his case to show he belongs. *WR Michael Campanaro – **The rookie finally got involved in the action on offense by registering his first catch of the preseason. Campanaro hauled in an 18-yard reception on a pass from Taylor. Campanaro ran an intermediate out route and was wide open on the play. The seventh-round pick then came up with a nice kickoff return for 41 yards on his only attempt of the night. Campanaro is competing for a roster spot, and making plays like he did Saturday will certainly help his case.

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