The Ravens wrapped up a fourth straight perfect preseason with a 20-7 victory over the Washington Redskins Thursday night.
Now General Manager Eric DeCosta and Head Coach John Harbaugh will go about trimming the roster to 53 players by 4 p.m. Saturday.
Here’s a look at how the preseason finale impacted the stock of several players:
RB Kenneth Dixon
The 2016 fourth-round pick entered training camp firmly on the roster bubble. He’s impressed when he’s been on the field, but staying on the field has been a bigger challenge. Injuries and suspensions have limited him, but he’s been healthy for most of training camp. Dixon got the start against Washington and showed the smooth running style that the Ravens liked so much when drafting him out of Louisiana Tech. It was a strong evening, and he finished with 13 carries for 66 yards. The Ravens may have given him a heavy workload to see how he handled it, or to showcase him to another team. The Ravens have a crowded backfield with Mark Ingram II, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill, but with the way they want to pound the ball on the ground, Dixon may convince the front office to keep four running backs.
WR Jaleel Scott
The second-year receiver has made major strides since spending his rookie year on injured reserve. He bulked up over the offseason and entered training camp as a much more polished product. Scott had a strong summer, and he punctuated that with a 24-yard touchdown from Trace McSorley in the second quarter. The 6-foot-4 receiver used his size to his advantage to beat the defensive back to the football and haul it in for the score. Scott finished the game with six catches for 87 yards and a touchdown, and he may have solidified his spot on the 53-man roster.
QB Trace McSorley
The rookie quarterback is perhaps the most intriguing and difficult roster decision the Ravens must make. Baltimore typically doesn’t carry three quarterbacks on the active roster, but the sixth-round pick from Penn State may buck that trend and join Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III on the team. McSorley has played well throughout the preseason, and he capped off his first NFL summer by going 15-of-27 for 171 yards and a touchdown. He threw four touchdowns to two interceptions over the course of his four preseason games. Head Coach John Harbaugh said earlier in the week that McSorley has “earned the right to be in our plans, one way or another,” but it remains to be seen whether that’s on the active roster or practice squad. Harbaugh said Thursday night that it will be a strategic decision.
OL Patrick Mekari
The undrafted rookie has impressed the Ravens throughout the preseason, and he saw a heavy dose of work in the finale. Mekari started the game at center before moving to left tackle, then to right guard, and back to center. The Ravens got a good look at his versatility as they determine whether he could make the squad as a backup to multiple positions. Trading Jermaine Eluemunor to the Patriots Wednesday created an opportunity for Mekari, and he held up strong.
OL Greg Senat
The second-year lineman has major potential, and he’s still working to translate that to the field. He’s dealt with some injuries in his career, but he had a heavy workload at left tackle Thursday night. He got flagged for a holding penalty in the first quarter, which wiped out a first-down catch by wide receiver Antoine Wesley. Senat could develop into a quality tackle, which makes him an ideal practice squad candidate if he doesn’t make the 53-man roster.
LB Otara Alaka
The Ravens are thin at inside linebacker, and the undrafted rookie from Texas A&M is fighting for his spot on the team. He showed good speed chasing down a tackle on the first play from scrimmage of the game and delivered a few hard hits over the course of the night. Alaka is behind Patrick Onwuasor, Chris Board and Kenny Young on the depth chart, and he could find himself on the practice squad if not the 53-man roster. Alaka did get looked at by the medical staff in the third quarter, so his health could impact his status on the roster.
DB Brynden Trawick
The special teams ace returned to Baltimore in the middle of training camp, and he finished the preseason on a high note with an interception late in the fourth quarter. It’s a crowded defensive backfield and Trawick is competing with fellow veteran special teamer Justin Bethel, who nearly came up with an inception of his own Thursday. The Ravens may be in a position to only keep one of those players, and that could be a tough call.
WR Marquise “Hollywood” Brown
The first-round pick isn’t competing for a roster spot, but the Ravens did want to take a look at him for the punt return job. Brown suited up for his second preseason game, but only saw action as the punt returner. It didn’t go well for Brown, who muffed both attempts that came his way. He’s a dynamic player who can score every time he touches the football, but he still needs to get more comfortable as a returner if he’s eventually going to step into that role. The good news for Brown is that he got some more game reps before the regular-season opener, which is important for a young player recovering from a serious foot injury.