We are almost there. Almost there.
Tonight is the final dress rehearsal as the Ravens face off with beltway rival Washington. The starters should be safely watching from the sidelines while the reserves battle for the final roster spots. If you are watching tonight’s titanic struggle you should be clearly focused on a few roster battles and the hope that no one gets injured. If you’d like me to be more specific then read on.
- RG3 vs. Roster Depth – It’s safe to say that Robert Griffin III has proven that he can still play in the NFL. He’s had a solid pre-season and another good showing this evening isn’t going to change that much. The real question revolves around Lamar Jackson. Do the Ravens feel that he could step in if Joe Flacco went down? LJ has shown slow improvement but I’m still not totally convinced. Three quarterbacks may be a luxury that the team can’t afford though and Griffin’s spot will also depend on how the rest of the roster shakes out. It would also be easy to see the Ravens looking for a willing trade partner for Griffin’s services before the season begins as well.
- Perriman Done? – The former 2015 first rounder hit rock bottom last season and this pre-season he’s done little to break from a pack that includes Tim White, Jordan Lasley, and Janarion Grant. I don’t see how Perriman can make the team as a fifth of sixth receiver when he offers nothing Special Teams. Grant and White have battled for the kick returner job but the Ravens also have Chris Moore and possibly Willie Snead as options there too. It still feels like a bit of a mess after the first four on the depth chart and your guess is as good as mine where the final cuts will be on Saturday.
- O-Line Depth – All around the NFL teams have an issue with fielding competent reserves across the Offensive Line and the Ravens are no different. Bradley Bozeman was exposed during the Miami game but he should stick as a backup to Matt Skura at Center. I’m not wild about the undersized Skura as the starter there and would like to see Alex Lewis get the nod instead. Nico Siragusa doesn’t look physically ready and could land back on Injured Reserve. So even though the team in general seems set with who is making this team what’s still not clear is where they will line up.
- D-Line Depth – Fans have raved about Zach Sieler who has unique physical characteristics but he isn’t necessarily ready for a large role right now. That said I agree that the team may be unable to stash such a prospect on the practice squad. I also see Carl Davis as a lock especially with Willie Henry’s injury. Davis is versatile and experienced and is the clear choice if you have to pick one or the other.
- Correa Trade – Let’s be honest Kamalei Correa never lived up to his second round status and it’s yet another high round pick that hasn’t developed for the team. So if he was likely to get cut the fact that they pulled off a trade and got something for him is a huge bonus. This transaction wasn’t just about making sure the Ravens got a return on what turned out to be a poor investment it has also settled the depth chart of the Defensive side of the ball. I don’t see a ton a surprises here. Stanley Jean-Baptiste will stick due to the Jimmy Smith suspension and the ageless Albert McClellan will hold on yet again.