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Baltimore Ravens: Three Dark Horse Roster Candidates

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | For the Baltimore Ravens, this year's training camp will be more about positional battles for starting jobs than battles to make the roster. With a roster which is loaded with depth and talent, there doesn't figure to be many players who surprise the masses and make the final 53-man roster.

However, that scenario can't be ruled out, as every year there are journeymen or undrafted free agents who use an impressive preseason to earn a roster spot or practice squad designation at worst.

Right now, this is what the final Ravens roster could look like, but don't be surprised to have some surprise players make the roster. Last year, undrafted free agents Deonte Thompson and Justin Tucker made the final roster, and fellow undrafted rookie Omar Brown worked his way from the practice squad to the active roster.

Here are some candidates to be surprise roster additions at the end of training camp:

Moe Lee

The Ravens have plenty of depth at cornerback, and there is bound to be a surprise cut or two. However, cornerbacks are at a premium in the NFL right now, and no corner on the current 90-man roster can be ruled out for the final roster.

Rookie Moe Lee out of Utah has a chance to shine in training camp and put the Ravens in a tough position to possibly decide between him and seventh-round pick Marc Anthony for a final roster spot. Last month, Lee earned praise from secondary coach Teryl Austin.

"He just kind of seems to be around the ball quite a bit," Austin said in an interview with the Carroll County Times. The Ravens could benefit from a playmaker in the secondary, and Lee could be able to prove his worth at both cornerback and safety if needed.

David Mims

The Ravens made a quiet move in the offseason by adding offensive tackle David Mims, who spent his first two seasons in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs. Most of his time in Kansas City came on the practice squad, however he was promoted to the active roster at the end of the 2011 season.

What gives Mims a shot to succeed in Baltimore is his massive frame. The former undrafted free agent from Virginia Union stands at 6'8, 335 pounds. The Ravens with have a myriad of linemen who can play both guard and tackle competing for roster spots, including Jah Reid, Ricky Wagner and Ramon Harewood.

But what gives Mims a leg up on the competition is that he is a pure tackle, and if he can prove that he can be more reliable than either Reid or Harewood at both left and right tackle, he could hold more value to the Ravens.

Matt Furstenburg

In recent history, the Ravens have traditionally carried three tight ends, with the third tight end mainly being used as a blocker. Last season, veteran Billy Bajema was relegated to that role, and did so rather successfully.

This year, Bajema will have some competition for the third tight end spot in Matt Furstenburg, an undrafted free agent out of Maryland. Furstenburg is similar to Bajema in respect to the fact that they can both be relied on as blockers. What could give Furstenburg an advantage is his value on special teams and as a legitimate offensive piece.

Bajema was rarely used as a receiving target in 2012, but in Furstenburg's final season at Maryland he averaged 12.9 yards per reception despite horrid quarterback play. If Furstenburg can prove that he can be a more dynamic piece in Baltimore's offense than Bajema, he may earn a roster spot.

Kyle Casey is a sports writer living in Baltimore, Md. He is the co-host of Ravens Central Radio and the editor of Cat Crave.

You can follow Kyle on Twitter @kylecasey094

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