COMMENTARY | The 2013 preseason has been anything but predictable for the Baltimore Ravens. From the possible season-ending injury to tight end Dennis Pitta, to the suspension handed to cornerback Asa Jackson, predicting the final roster for the Ravens has become much more difficult than it was when training camp began.
Positions such as tight end, wide receiver, inside linebacker and safety have provided plenty of competition for roster spots, with surprises surely to come before the preseason is over.
After the second preseason game, it's time to take another stab at what the final roster will look like for the Ravens. The first roster prediction was published prior to training camp, and many of those predictions still hold true, however this edition has plenty of changes.
Quarterback (2): Joe Flacco and Tyrod Taylor - no surprise here. The only other quarterback on the roster right now is veteran Caleb Hanie, who didn't take a snap in Baltimore's second preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Running Back (5): Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, Anthony Allen, Vonta Leach, Kyle Juszczyk - the only competition at running back or fullback is for the third running back spot, which Allen will ultimately win mainly due to his value on special teams.
Wide Receiver (6): Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, Deonte Thompson, Aaron Mellette, David Reed, Brandon Stokley - there's going to be at least one surprise when the team ultimately has to make a decision on the receivers that make the team. The surprise here? Tandon Doss not making the cut. Now, will that happen? Maybe not, however it's certainly possible with the emergence of Mellette, as well as Reed's presence on special teams. Doss has underwhelmed during his time in Baltimore and has shown no signs of improvement so far during the preseason. It could happen.
Tight End (3): Ed Dickson, Dallas Clark, Matt Furstenburg - Dickson and Clark are roster locks and perhaps the Ravens will come to their senses and realize that Visanthe Shiancoe isn't worthy of being on an NFL roster, giving Furstenburg a spot on the team. Pitta will likely be placed on injured reserve with the designation to return tag.
Offensive Line (9): Bryant McKinnie, Kelechi Osemele, Gino Gradkowski, Marshal Yanda, Michael Oher, Jah Reid, Ricky Wagner, A.Q. Shipley, Ramon Harewood - there isn't much competition right now along the offensive line, with rookie Ryan Jensen being a potential PUP or injured reserve candidate being the only thing of note.
Defensive Line (6): Haloti Ngata, Chris Canty, Arthur Jones, Brandon Williams, Marcus Spears, DeAngelo Tyson - one veteran - either Terrence Cody or Spears - will be a surprise cut when the final roster is released. Spears has barely played during training camp, however while Cody has performed well in the two preseason games, he isn't a necessity over rookie Brandon Williams in the defensive rotation, making it finally the time the Ravens move on from Cody.
Linebacker (10): Arthur Brown, Daryl Smith, Josh Bynes, Albert McClellan, Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Courtney Upshaw, John Simon, Pernell McPhee, Adrian Hamilton - the inside linebackers are all but set, while the uncertainty remains as to whether or not Hamilton will make the team. His strong showing in the first two games and his upside as an edge rusher both give him an advantage as he makes his case for a roster spot.
Cornerback (5): Lardarius Webb, Chykie Brown, Corey Graham, Jimmy Smith, Marc Anthony - the versatility of the Ravens' safeties allows the team to keep just five cornerbacks with Anthony sneaking onto the roster while Asa Jackson serves his eight-game suspension.
Safety (4): Michael Huff, James Ihedigbo, Matt Elam, Omar Brown - the first three safeties are roster locks, with the only competition being for the backup free safety job, which is between Brown and Brynden Trawick. Brown ultimately should easily win the job and could still hold his roster spot even when Christian Thompson returns from his four-game suspension.
Special Teams (3): Sam Koch, Justin Tucker, Morgan Cox - all three specialists are the only ones on the roster at their respective positions.
Kyle Casey is a sports writer living in Baltimore, Md. He contributes to various football sites, and is the editor of Cat Crave.
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