The Breakdown: Eisenberg Predicts Ravens 53-Man Roster


Since only backups and players on the roster bubble played for the Ravens in their preseason finale against the Atlanta Falcons Thursday night, I'm going to change things up. Instead of offering my thoughts on the game, here's my prediction for the 53-man roster, to be set after a round of cuts due by Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.:

Quarterback (2): Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub (Cut: Bryn Renner)
The Ravens haven't gone with three quarterbacks since 2009. Schaub's preseason was shaky at times, but he finished nicely Thursday night and had the backup job locked up from the get-go. Renner played well enough for a spot on the practice squad.

Running back (3): Justin Forsett, Javorius Allen, Lorenzo Taliaferro (Cut: Terrence Magee, Fitzgerald Toussaint)
Taliaferro's knee injury opened the door for Magee or Toussaint to possibly fill the No. 3 role for now, but a need for depth at other positions, necessitated by injuries, created a roster pinch that closed the door. Kyle Juszczyk can run the ball in an emergency. But the Ravens could add a veteran No. 2 before the season.

Fullback (1): Kyle Juszczyk (Cut: Kiero Small)
The only question is whether Small, a Baltimore native who attended Cardinal Gibbons, makes the practice squad.

Wide receiver (6): Steve Smith Sr., Breshad Perriman, Kamar Aiken, Marlon Brown, Michael Campanaro, Darren Waller (Cut: Jeremy Butler, Daniel Brown, Tom Nelson)
Butler had an awesome spring, but didn't continue making plays in training camp or the preseason. Waller is raw, but intriguing enough that if the Ravens try to put him on the practice squad, they'll lose him. The combination of Perriman's knee injury and Campanaro's fragility means the Ravens could keep a seventh guy for now. If so, it's Butler.

Offensive line (9): Marshal Yanda, Kelechi Osemele, Jeremy Zuttah, Rick Wagner, Eugene Monroe, John Urschel, James Hurst, Ryan Jensen, Robert Myers (Cut: Kaleb Johnson, Jah Reid, Nick Easton, Blaine Clausell)
I had Jensen, Myers and Reid competing for the last two spots. Jensen is in because he can play guard or center and even took snaps at tackle during the preseason. So it was down to Myers, a project, or Reid, a veteran, for the last spot. The Ravens like Myers' potential.

Tight end (3): Crockett Gillmore, Maxx Williams, Nick Boyle (Cut: Konrad Reuland)
No drama here once it was determined Dennis Pitta would start the season on the physically unable to perform list. The Ravens need all three guys they have drafted at this position in the past two years.

Defensive line (8): Brandon Williams, Timmy Jernigan, Chris Canty, Carl Davis, DeAngelo Tyson, Lawrence Guy, Brent Urban, Christo Bilukidi (Cut: Micajah Reynolds, Kapron Lewis-Moore)
The total of eight is misleading because the Ravens have to carry Urban on the 53-man roster for a day before putting him on the short-term injured reserve list. When he goes, that will leave seven, which is a lot, but they need an extra player here for now because several key guys are dealing with injuries. That opens the door for Bilukidi, a veteran who had a strong game Thursday night.

Outside linebacker (4): Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Courtney Upshaw Za'Darius Smith (Cut: Brennen Beyer, Zach Thompson)
The ranks appear thin without Pernell McPhee. Beyer looked like a practice squad candidate Thursday night.

Inside linebacker (5): C.J. Mosley, Daryl Smith, Zachary Orr, Albert McClellan, Arthur Brown (Cut: Andrew Bose)
McClellan makes it for his special teams play, as does the rising Orr, who could get snaps on defense. Brown is squarely on the bubble, but the Ravens have seen just enough to continue hoping their former second-round pick becomes a contributor.

Cornerback (5): Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb, Kyle Arrington, Rashaan Melvin, Tray Walker (Cut: Asa Jackson, Quinton Pointer, Cassius Vaughn)
Jackson fumbled a punt return Thursday night, giving him two miscues in two weeks. That seals his fate even though he also had a long runback in each of the last two games. The first commandment for a Ravens kick returner is Thou Shalt Not Fumble. It's not clear how much Walker can help right away, which means Vaughn could make the practice squad as a veteran insurance policy.

Safety (4): Will Hill, Kendrick Lewis, Terrence Brooks, Anthony Levine Sr. (Cut: Brynden Trawick, Nick Perry)
Levine is a valuable special teams contributor, as is Trawick, who is my pick for the guy who gets cut in the short run but returns early next week when Urban, as noted, goes on short-term IR after one day on the roster. Perry's chances soared when Matt Elam went down, but then they tumbled when Brooks returned from a knee injury well ahead of schedule.

Special teams (3): Justin Tucker, Sam Koch, Morgan Cox
Nothing to decide here.

The Baltimore Ravens travel to Atlanta to battle the Falcons in week 4 of the 2015 Preseason!

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