The Ravens' first depth chart of the 2021 season was released Monday as the team prepares for its preseason opener Saturday night against the New Orleans Saints.
As always, we remind you that this is compiled by the Ravens' public relations staff. Here's a link to the full depth chart.
Here are the biggest takeaways:
- Fantasy football owners will probably take notice of this. J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards are both listed as the team's starting running back. The two will share the load this year, and this could be an indication of a fairly even split. The ultra-talented Dobbins had a superb rookie season and has high aims for Year 2. Edwards, who signed an extension this offseason, has been very steady and effective, and has improved his all-around game. It's a two-headed monster in Baltimore.
- Entering his second season, Malik Harrison is penciled in as the starting weakside linebacker next to Patrick Queen, ahead of veteran L.J. Fort. Known as a big-bodied downhill thumper, a slimmed down Harrison said he wants to expand his role this season and become more of a three-down linebacker who also handles coverage responsibilities. Since they were drafted together last year, he and Queen have envisioned themselves as Baltimore's long-term starring duo in the middle.
- Ben Powers is listed as the starting left guard, ahead of Patrick Mekari and rookie third-round pick Ben Cleveland. Rookies are often listed behind veterans by default on the first depth chart (they have to earn top billing) but don't discount Powers' ability to win the job. He has experience as a seven-game starter, plus the playoffs, last year and got some high marks.
- Marquise "Hollywood" Brown and Sammy Watkins are listed as the starting wide receivers. Rookie first-round pick Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay are second-string, followed by Miles Boykin, Tylan Wallace, James Proche II and Devin Gray. Due to injuries, the Ravens currently have 13 wide receivers.
- Pernell McPhee is listed as the starting RUSH linebacker in front of newcomer Justin Houston. Jaylon Ferguson is third on the depth chart. McPhee is a longtime Ravens veteran who is often used on first downs in run-stopping situations, meaning he gets a lot of starts. McPhee started 13 of 15 games last year. Houston said Saturday that the Ravens have a scheme-specific role for him.
- Tyus Bowser is the top SAM linebacker, stepping into the spot previously manned by Matthew Judon. Rookie first-round pick Odafe Oweh is second on the depth chart.
- Duvernay is the top kickoff returner, but he and Proche are listed as sharing the punt returner duties. Wallace is the other punt returner on the depth chart. That is still an open position.
- Rookie third-round pick Brandon Stephens is listed at free safety, confirming his transition from college running back to college cornerback to NFL safety. Stephens is third on the depth chart behind DeShon Elliott and veteran Jordan Richards.