Projecting the final 53-man roster

RavensInsider.com predicts the final 53-man roster before the final preseason game.

Here's the RavensInsider.com final 53-man roster projection:

Quarterback -- 2: Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor.

The Ravens are leaning toward keeping two quarterbacks after initially thinking three would allow them to utilize Taylor in the offense more. But the reality is Baltimore needs all the special teams help it can get, and a roster spot for a third quarterback that wouldn't likely see a down this season would be tough to use. 

Running back -- 4: Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, Bobby Rainey, Vonta Leach.

Damien Berry is going to try to make one last push at a spot, but still has Rainey to beat out. Rainey leaped both Berry and Anthony Allen this summer and has a dimension in the passing game that could be utilized. With the amount of downs Rice plays, it'll be tough for Rainey to see too much game action, however. 

Wide receiver -- 6: Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, LaQuan Williams, Tandon Doss, Deonte Thompson (PUP: David Reed). 

The top five are set, and there's still a chance Baltimore sticks with five receivers (though coach John Harbaugh noted the team has a history of keeping six, and even threw out the possibility of keeping seven.) The last spot will come down to Thompson and sixth round draft pick Tommy Streeter. In an ideal scenario, the Ravens would like to keep both as neither would be likely to clear waivers at this point. Streeter does have a sprained foot, so who knows -- he could wind up on IR if his injury looks like it will longer for at least a quarter of the season. 

Tight end -- 3: Ed Dickson, Dennis Pitta, Billy Bajema

The tight end position is set with a clear drop off after Bajema. With that stated, undrafted rookie Matt Balasavage is a perfect practice squad candidate. He has great hands and was primarily used as a blocking tight end in college at Temple. He's someone that could use development on the practice squad for a year.

Offensive line -- 8: Michael Oher, Marshal Yanda, Matt Birk, Bobbie Williams, Bryant McKinnie, Kelechi Osemele, Jah Reid, Gino Gradkowski.

With Reid healthy, there's enough versatility to get away with keeping eight linemen. Reid and Osemele can play both tackle and guard. Gradkowski can play both center and guard. Then, the Ravens can keep Justin Boren on the practice squad and sign him to the 53-man roster if the situation calls for it. 

Defensive line -- 7: Haloti Ngata, Ma'ake Kemoeatu, Pernell McPhee, Terrence Cody, Arthur Jones, Bryan Hall, DeAngelo Tyson, (IR: Ryan McBean).

The remaining top six of the defensive line are in without a problem, with DeAngelo Tyson filling the final defensive line spot. With McBean going on IR, Hall looks to be Ngata's backup this season. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees will look to rotate his linemen in and out as they'll all play multiple techniques. 

Linebacker -- 9: Ray Lewis, Jameel McClain, Paul Kruger, Albert McClellan, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Dannell Ellerbe, Courtney Upshaw, Chavis Williams, Sergio Kindle, (PUP: Terrell Suggs).

Harbaugh calling Sergio Kindle "not a lock" could suggest a difficult decision he has to make at linebacker. But you'd have to think that if Kindle wasn't going to make this roster that he wouldn't have had the chance to earn a spot. Williams has proven to be productive on special teams and should earn a spot from the onset this year. 

Defensive back -- 11: Ed Reed, Bernard Pollard, Lardarius Webb, Cary Williams, Jimmy Smith, Corey Graham, Sean Considine, Danny Gorrer, Chykie Brown, Asa Jackson, Christian Thompson. 

At this point it would appear Gorrer's spot is safe on the roster. Chykie Brown has been a first team gunner on special teams so his spot should be secure. Throw in the potential Jackson and Thompson possess and it'll be extremely difficult for Baltimore to release either of the two small-school draft picks. 

Specialists -- 3: Justin Tucker, Sam Koch, Morgan Cox. 

With Baltimore releasing Billy Cundiff and Patrick Scales on Sunday, this position group is already settled. 


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