Since backups and bubble guys played for the Ravens in their preseason finale 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, due to be set after cuts by Saturday at 4 p.m.:
In (2): Joe Flacco, Ryan Mallett
Out: Josh Johnson
Comment: The Ravens haven't gone with three quarterbacks since 2009. Johnson played well enough to start a debate about him possibly beating out Mallett, but Mallet quashed the debate with a strong preseason. Johnson should land a job somewhere.
In (5): Justin Forsett, Javorius Allen, Terrance West, Kenneth Dixon, Kyle Juszczyk
Out: Stephen Houston (PUP: Lorenzo Taliaferro)
Comment: This is one more back than the Ravens usually keep, but Dixon's injury highlights the need for depth. Allen's quiet summer led to speculation that he might not make it, but he played too well last year.
In (7): Steve Smith Sr., Mike Wallace, Kamar Aiken, Breshad Perriman, Michael Campanaro, Chris Moore, Jeremy Butler
Out: Chris Matthews, Keenan Reynolds
Comment: Moore has exceeded expectations. Campanaro didn't do much in the preseason but the Ravens still love his upside. Butler's strong preseason earned a spot. Matthews should catch on somewhere else. The Ravens are crossing their fingers that Reynolds makes it through waivers so they can put him on their practice squad and eventually benefit from his development.
In (8): Marshal Yanda, Jeremy Zuttah, Rick Wagner, Ronnie Stanley, John Urschel, Alex Lewis, Ryan Jensen, James Hurst
Out: Vladimir Ducasse, Blaine Clausell, Matt Skura, De'Ondre Wesley
Comment: This is where the Ravens face their toughest decisions. Wesley and Ducasse can play, but the versatility of Urschel, Lewis and Jensen, all of whom can play two positions, means the Ravens only need eight linemen. Hurst beats out Wesley to become Stanley's backup; pure left tackles with experience are hard to find.
In (3): Crockett Gillmore, Maxx Williams, Dennis Pitta
Out: Daniel Brown (IR: Benjamin Watson; suspended: Nick Boyle, Darren Waller)
Comment: Waller (out four games) and Boyle (out 10) will provide depth in the long run, but injuries to Pitta and Williams raise a question about depth in the short run. If it appears Pitta and Williams won't be ready for the season opener, Brown could make it; he's a practice squad candidate otherwise.
In: (7) Brandon Williams, Timmy Jernigan, Lawrence Guy, Brent Urban, Carl Davis, Willie Henry, Michael Pierce
Out: Kapron Lewis-Moore (IR: Bronson Kaufusi)
Comment: Pierce capped off a strong summer with his sack-strip touchdown Thursday night, cementing his spot and making it 13 straight years that an undrafted free-agent rookie makes the Ravens' opening-week roster. Urban, Davis and Henry have been quiet, but they were drafted too high and too recently for the Ravens to give up on them.
In (5): Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Albert McClellan, Za'Darius Smith, Matthew Judon
Out: Brennen Beyer, Chris Carter, Victor Ochi
Comment: Carter is a tough cut; he showed burst and could help on special teams. But Judon's impressive preseason earned a spot and left the Ravens with no flexibility. Ochi is a practice squad candidate, but he has impressed and might not clear waivers.
In (4): C.J. Mosley, Zachary Orr, Kamalei Correa, Anthony Levine Sr. Out: Arthur Brown, Patrick Onwuasor
Comment: I thought the Ravens would add a veteran to replace Daryl Smith, but Orr has been solid. This group seems thin, but the decision to give Levine snaps here means the Ravens finally part ways with Brown, a former second-round pick. Onwuasor is a practice squad candidate.
In (5): Jimmy Smith, Shareece Wright, Jerraud Powers, Will Davis, Tavon Young
Out: Maurice Canady, Carrington Byndom, Sheldon Price (IR: Kyle Arrington)
Comment: The Ravens have really turned a page here. Other than Smith, the depth chart consists entirely of players new to the team in the past year. I thought Canady and Price were battling for a spot, but neither makes it because of Michael Pierce's rise. Both are candidates for the practice squad.
In (4): Eric Weddle, Lardarius Webb, Kendrick Lewis, Terrence Brooks
Out: Julian Wilson (IR: Matt Elam)
Comment: Elam's injury eliminated any tough calls here. I've heard speculation that Lewis might be in danger, but he's an experienced backup, which could be important. Brooks didn't need a good performance Thursday night to lock up a spot, but he had a strong game.
In (3): Justin Tucker, Sam Koch, Morgan Cox.
Comment: Nothing to decide here.
The Ravens take on the Saints in week 4 of the 2016 preseason.