Rookie quarterback Trace McSorley has added value to the Ravens for his ability to contribute on special teams.
This goes against recent Ravens history. Baltimore has carried three quarterbacks only once in the previous eight seasons. But this has become a necessity for the Ravens’ style of play. With three quarterbacks, Baltimore can run its same offense — which asks its quarterbacks to run — if Griffin had to fill in for an injured Jackson because McSorley is a safety net. If the Ravens kept two quarterbacks, they would have to play more conservatively with Griffin because he would be the only healthy quarterback if Jackson got hurt. McSorley’s value increases because of his ability to play special teams, which allows him to be active on game days. Baltimore doesn’t have to use a roster spot on someone holding a clipboard.
Ingram and Edwards are the workhorses for Baltimore’s run-heavy offense, and Hill offers explosiveness as a change-of-pace back. Tyler Ervin has the potential to grab a spot as a returner. It would be impressive if the Ravens can trade Kenneth Dixon, who averaged 5.6 yards per carry last season but has disappeared this summer.
The Ravens’ top three receivers are Snead, Brown and Boykin. Moore has shown flashes as a receiver in the preseason and makes an impact on special teams. Scott has shown enough promise in training camp and the preseason to earn a spot. Baltimore would like to keep a veteran as a fall-back if its rookies (Brown and Boykin) hit the wall. Right now, let’s give the nod to Roberts over Michael Floyd, who has made a push recently.
This is arguably the best group of young tight ends in the league. Andrews appears primed for a monster season. There’s really no need to carry four here because defensive tackle-fullback Patrick Ricard can help as a blocking tight end.
Four starters (LT Stanley, C Skura, RG Yanda and RT Brown) are set. The biggest question mark on the offense all summer has been left guard. Eluemunor has failed to solidify the spot because he has struggled to stay on the field with injuries. Bozeman has been more dependable and could earn the starting job based on that.
Like the tight ends, this is another group that is set. Williams and Pierce are one of the top run-stuffing combinations in the league. One of the most improved players is Ricard, who began camp on the bubble but has dominated in the preseason.
The biggest concern on defense is pass-rush. The Ravens have to wonder who is getting pressure on the quarterback outside of Judon. McPhee looks like he has revived his career in his return to Baltimore, and Bowser has impressed the coaching staff this month. Shane Ray, a former first-round pick of the Denver Broncos, has been a disappointment. If Alaka sticks, he’ll extend the Ravens’ streak of having an undrafted rookie on the season-opening 53-man roster to 16 years.
If Tavon Young (neck) wants to see if he can come back to play this season (perhaps December?), the Ravens would have to keep him on the 53-man roster initially to make him eligible for injured reserve-designated for return. Baltimore could release a vested veteran like McPhee or Trawick (both of whom don’t have to pass through waivers) to keep Young on the 53, but then bring him back for the season opener and place Young on IR. Iman Marshall, a fourth-round pick, has been hurt and likely will spend his rookie season on IR.
The self-proclaimed “Wolfpack” is entering their eighth season together, and each one is among the best at what they do.