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Ravens Who Boosted Stock In Offseason


When minicamp concluded last week,  players packed their bags to get out of town for their final break before the 2014 season.

The Ravens will return to Baltimore in mid-July for training camp, and that's when competition for jobs and playing time will ramp up in intensity.

The roster and starting lineups will be determined based on what happens when the pads come on during camp, but the reality is that players have already been competing for those spots over the last two months.

Here are five players who boosted their stock after Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and minicamp:

S Darian Stewart

Stewart has shown enough during  offseason practices that he's the favorite to win the starting free safety job in training camp. He has been solid in practice, and he quickly picked up the defense after coming from St. Louis. Stewart and second-year safety Matt Elam appear to have good chemistry on the back end of the defense, and it didn't take long for the two of them to get acclimated to one another. Stewart will have rookie third-round pick Terrence Brooks nipping at his heels for playing time this year, but he's shown the potential to be the right fit for the job. 

RT Rick Wagner

The second-year offensive lineman has impressed the new offensive staff with the way he's picked up right tackle. After spending most of his rookie season watching from the sidelines, Wagner is now in line to take over the right tackle spot that opened up when Michael Oher left in free agency. The thought going into the offseason was that the Ravens would address right tackle with a high draft pick of or veteran signing.  But Wagner has shown enough up to this point to give the coaching staff confidence that he's ready to take on a starting job in 2014.

NT Brandon Williams

Williams looks ready to take a big leap in his second season, and he could end up in the starting lineup at nose tackle. Williams ran with the first-team defense throughout the offseason, and the Ravens could make him the starter alongside Pro Bowler Haloti Ngata. Williams is built to play nose tackle, and Ngata has the versatility to play multiple positions along the defensive line. If Williams continues to make strides during training camp, then he may prove he has too much talent to keep him out of the starting lineup.

FB Kyle Juszczyk

The Harvard product looks like a perfect fit in Gary Kubiak's offense. His skillset as a versatile player who can catch passes out of the backfield meshes with the way Kubiak uses fullbacks, and Juszczyk is expected to have a big role . Kubiak told Juszczyk that he could see him catching 40-50 passes this season. Juszczyk is also much better equipped as a lead blocker in the running game than he was at this point last season. Watching  Pro Bowler Vonta Leach last season gave Juszczyk a chance to learn from one of the best blockers in the game. Now Juszczyk is slated to become the starting fullback, and he showed throughout the offseason that he could be a big weapon in the new offense.

DE Kapron Lewis-Moore

Lewis-Moore is another player poised to make a significant leap going into his second season. He spent the entire rookie  year sidelined because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament* *suffered in the final game of his college season. Lewis-Moore worked with the first-team defense during the offseason, and he could help make up for the loss of defensive tackle Arthur Jones. Lewis-Moore isn't showing any lingering issues from the knee injury, and he clearly spent his rookie season bulking up for the NFL. The Ravens use a heavy rotation along the defensive front, and Lewis-Moore is in line for one of those spots.

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