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Training Camp 2018 discussion

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Only 5 days till Training Camp opens, the earliest of all teams which means we get a preview of our team and a little more coverage than usual. Rookies are brought in 11. Of july, while the veterans join a week later.

On a roster with few elite players and locks but a lot of talent and depth, injuries will most likely play a big big part in the roster shuffling.

Here is a breakdown of each position as I see it going into training camp:

 

QB: Joe Flacco, Robert Griffin III, Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson will get a full week with the offense before the veterans join. Ravens usually carry 2 quarterbacks and with a roster with plenty of depth, carrying a 3 quarterback would be a mostly unnecessary rosterspot.

If Jackson proves to be a sufficient backup (not on the Deshone Kizer level we saw last year), it could very well mean, that RGIII won’t make the final roster.

 

RB: Alex Collins, Buck Allen, Kenneth Dixon, Pat Ricard, DeLance Turner

Barring injuries, I believe we have a complete lock on this position with Collins, Allen and Dixon with Ricard as a blocker.

If all 3 runningbacks can stay healthy, I think we have a fairly decent group who can do it all without having elite traits in the different aspects of the game (long speed, pass catching, pass blocking, power). The development of Collins is the most interesting, as he is our most explosive weapon, who especially does his damage once he gets into the open field. If he can improve as a pass catcher, it would both elevate our defense and minimize Buck Allens projected snaps and mostly limit him to a short yardage runner.

Dixon is still a wild card, but could prove a great change of pace back if healthy and not suspended.

Pat Ricard are apparently supposed to keep his weight up to act as a back-up dline. If that is the case, we move away from the Kyle Jusczyk type of fullback to a more traditional ram. I think Ricard is in contest with tight end Maxx Williams, because if we decide to keep Williams it might be because we can use either Williams or Boyle as a fullback option with better receiving skills.

 

TE: Hayden Hurst, Nick Boyle, Mark Andrews, Maxx Williams, Vince Mayle

I believe Hurst, Boyle and Andrews are locks and they complement each other very well. The all round tight end, the blocker and the pass catcher. It is Heap, Dickson and Pitta all over again.

Maxx Williams never developed to what we hoped he could be, and as he is neither an elite blocker, pass catcher or special teamer, he could end up losing his roster spot to a specialist like full back Pat Ricard or core special teamer Vince Mayle.

Mayle constantly showed up on special teams last year, and the question is whether the coaching staff once again emphasize having a great special teams unit as a way to get to the playoffs. If that is the case, I could easily see Mayle surpassing Williams.

WR: Michael Crabtree, John Brown, Willie Snead, Moore, Jordan Lasley, Jaleel Scott, Breshad Perriman, Tim White, Janarion Grant

If we avoid injury at the position, I think it will be very difficult for Breshad Perriman to stay on the roster. If he gets cut, we can finally move on and also hope, that he gets an opportunity elsewhere where they can turn his career around.

As a pure receiver group, Crabtree, Brown and Snead seems like a solid starting group with some upside from Lasley and a potential great chainmover and red zone target in Scott. Chris Moore is a lock as a core special teamer who emerged late last season as a receiver. If we are to carry 7 receivers, Tim White and Grant are the most likely option as they have the returnability to backup Chris Moore. Tim White most likely has the edge right now, and an injury would open the door for him.

The number of tight ends kept will also influence this group, as Maxx Williams get a roster spot due to his blocking skills and they might count Andrews as a part of the receiver group.

 

OL: Stanley, Hurst, Lewis, Yanda, Brown, Skura, Siragusa, Bozeman, Senat, Eleumanor

We mostly carry 7 olinemen, and the top 5 will very much depend on how Orlando Brown handles being thrown in as a starter and who emerges as the top LG and OC option. Hurst will probably get a chance to keep his LG spot where he seemed to play his best when pulling. I do believe we can still upgrade there though, and a mauling type in Siragusa is an interesting option and he could be in competition for both inside spots. The same could be said about Alex Lewis who has to prove he can stay healthy. Skura did well enough to be considered a backup for each position inside, but could be pushed by Bozeman.

Bozeman should be our most specialized OC of the group although being a rookie, and what he struggled with in college could be corrected. Eleumanor is a wild card. He seemed like a great raw talent last year, but ended up proving he was far from ready. He could be a practice squad player as he most likely won’t garner much interest. Senat could use some time to delevop as well, and if Hurst stays healthy, the coaching staff might consider Hurst, Yanda and Lewis sufficient talent to handle the tackle duties if either Stanley or Brown goes down.

 

DL: Williams, Urban, Pierce, Henry, Davis, Wormley, Kaufusi, Sieler, LaCouture

If we are to make a trade in pre season, dline is the most likely position to see some kind of departure. Both Pierce and Davis could be potential trade options. Kaufusi doesn’t seem to have much confidence and Urban have his injury issues.

Urban is the player on the dline who might be the most important as we doesn’t have a great backup who can do the things he can. With Williams we have options to man the NT spot, with Urban we don’t have a proven player. Urban could have a Trevor Pryce impact.

If Urban gets hurt again, both Sieler and LaCouture could come in play.

Henry and Wormley could both take huge leaps this season and establish themselves as key contributors.

If the dline stay healthy and no trades happen, I believe we will see Kaufusi cut and Sieler get IR’ed and LaCouture on the practice squad. Zardarius Smith being able to play as a pass rushing dline could put pressure on the group.

 

OLB: Suggs, Judon, Bowser, Williams, Smith

All 5 should be locks. If we look at the potential, this might be one of the deepest groups in the entire NFL, but it takes a coordinator who are able to use them. Suggs being the animal he is, could be a bad thing for the development of the young guys. I hope we will be better to rotate him and get both Bowser and Williams on the field more. Smith is as important and unnoticed player as there is in the league. In a contract year, he could help us and himself a lot of he reaches 5-6 sacks. His versatility could be valued highly on several teams and net us a compensation pick.

 

LB: Mosley, Onwuasor, Bradley, McClellan, Correa, Young

I doubt we keep more than 4 at this position which could be the end for a veteran and core special teamer like McClellan and a 2. Round pick in Correa. While McClellan has OLB versatility, Correa might end up being counted as an outside linebacker and be part of that group. Mosley might be our most important player on defense as I don’t see a great backup to him. With mosley out, our dime formation would be our strongest unless Onwuasor, Bradley or Young emerges. I don’t see it happening with any of them

Injuries and special team ability will decide this position group.

 

CB: Smith, Carr, Humphrey, Young, Canady, Averett, Hill, Darious Williams

If Jimmy Smith is healthy, this could also be one of the deepest positions group in the NFL. Humphrey looked much better than I had hoped, and with Young back, we have 5 proven starters who can both play inside and outside.

My expectations for Young is high, as he played extremely well as a starting slot cornerback. Humphrey could still be nursed and be a substitute for Jimmy Smith. We should not take Brandon Carrs durability for granted, but the question is if we stay healthy, if he will be surpassed by the younger, faster guys.

Jaylen Hill seems like an IR designated to return while Williams could be a nice surprise if we get hit by injuries. He might be the best fit as a slot cornerback if Young goes down.

Canady has some safety versatility.

 

SS: Jefferson, Clark, Levine, Elliot

Jefferson was a huge letdown for me last season. I had expected a true, sure fire tackler in the box and a decent coverage safety. Instead he was beat by tight ends and full backs and he missed a lot of tackles. Even worse, he got trucked several times in short yardage situations. If Jefferson continues to play like last season, that’s a bad contract we got there.

We can hope though, that Wink will use Jefferson more as he was in Arizona and we get a player with a much greater presence.

Levine should be our starting dime, and he played his best last season. He is also our maybe best special teamer. If he is injured, the door is wide open for Chuck Clark who seemed like a great run defender last year and special teamer. I didn’t see him much in coverage which I am happy with, as he struggled mighty there in college.

Elliot could be listed as a free safety. I am intrigued to see where they want to play him.

 

FS: Weddle, Nacua

We are very thin at the free safety position. While Kai Nacua could be a centerfielder type, I see Elliot and Canady as the most likely to take this spot if Weddle get injured. As we are thin at the position and have unproven backups, I would not be surprised to see either Lardarius Webb back or us bringing in some of the safeties which are currently on the market and haven’t got contracts.

 

ST: Wolfpack, nothing more to add.

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QB: Joe Flacco, Robert Griffin III, Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson will get a full week with the offense before the veterans join. Ravens usually carry 2 quarterbacks and with a roster with plenty of depth, carrying a 3 quarterback would be a mostly unnecessary rosterspot.

If Jackson proves to be a sufficient backup (not on the Deshone Kizer level we saw last year), it could very well mean, that RGIII won’t make the final roster.

 

I think one good point that was made, and ultimately swayed me from expecting 3 QBs to 2 QBs, regarding the QB situation.  If we were to waive RG3, it's probably unlikely that someone will be in a rush to sign him to their active roster.  If Flacco were to go down during the season, RG3 very well could just be a phone call away.  I really think Jackson would benefit from having a real RS year or two at the NFL level.

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12 hours ago, sp6488 said:

I think one good point that was made, and ultimately swayed me from expecting 3 QBs to 2 QBs, regarding the QB situation.  If we were to waive RG3, it's probably unlikely that someone will be in a rush to sign him to their active roster.  If Flacco were to go down during the season, RG3 very well could just be a phone call away.  I really think Jackson would benefit from having a real RS year or two at the NFL level.

He will be your starting QB in the 2019 season as The Mighty Joe Flacco goes off into the night with another Lombardi Trophy. (To one day be renamed The Flacco Trophy)

Oh its true... Its damn true!

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On 7/8/2018 at 7:00 AM, RavensfanRD said:

He will be your starting QB in the 2019 season as The Mighty Joe Flacco goes off into the night with another Lombardi Trophy. (To one day be renamed The Flacco Trophy)

Oh its true... Its damn true!

Would love that, but Joe's gonna keep playing for a while.  19 kids gets expensive.

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On 7/7/2018 at 3:08 PM, sp6488 said:

I think one good point that was made, and ultimately swayed me from expecting 3 QBs to 2 QBs, regarding the QB situation.  If we were to waive RG3, it's probably unlikely that someone will be in a rush to sign him to their active roster.  If Flacco were to go down during the season, RG3 very well could just be a phone call away.  I really think Jackson would benefit from having a real RS year or two at the NFL level.

Any QB would benefit from having a RS year or two at the NFL level. That being said, we need to rid ourselves of Flacco and his contract ASAP, and the earliest we can do that is next year. So, barring an unforeseen circumstance where Flacco has a Pro Bowl year, we should be giving him das boot this next offseason and moving on. 

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28 minutes ago, Darth Pees said:

Any QB would benefit from having a RS year or two at the NFL level. That being said, we need to rid ourselves of Flacco and his contract ASAP, and the earliest we can do that is next year. So, barring an unforeseen circumstance where Flacco has a Pro Bowl year, we should be giving him das boot this next offseason and moving on. 

If Flacco is still the better quarterback, the only thing we would gain was more cap space. I would rather have Flacco in a game than a DeShone Kizer with more speed as a QB.

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37 minutes ago, Danand said:

If Flacco is still the better quarterback, the only thing we would gain was more cap space. I would rather have Flacco in a game than a DeShone Kizer with more speed as a QB.

Lamar Jackson at this point in time is still much better than Deshone Kizer ever was. Jackson with 1 RS under his belt is going to be just fine. No matter what, he won't be something like 15 TD's and 10 INT's on average like Flacco currently is.

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5 minutes ago, Darth Pees said:

Lamar Jackson at this point in time is still much better than Deshone Kizer ever was. Jackson with 1 RS under his belt is going to be just fine. No matter what, he won't be something like 15 TD's and 10 INT's on average like Flacco currently is.

You are talking about it, as it is a sure thing. It is not. No one knows what Jackson will bring. He could be Mike Vick, Desean Watson, that poor Bills QB with his 5 interceptions in 5 throws.

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16 minutes ago, Danand said:

You are talking about it, as it is a sure thing. It is not. No one knows what Jackson will bring. He could be Mike Vick, Desean Watson, that poor Bills QB with his 5 interceptions in 5 throws.

this is my main issue with all the hype. He literally could be a the next Mike Vick or the next Jamarcus Russel. No one really knows. Till he proves otherwise, im all onboard with our superbowl mvp qb

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10 minutes ago, paraven said:

this is my main issue with all the hype. He literally could be a the next Mike Vick or the next Jamarcus Russel. No one really knows. Till he proves otherwise, im all onboard with our superbowl mvp qb

Why are people SO attached to mediocrity for the past 5 years?! I don't get it.

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31 minutes ago, Darth Pees said:

Why are people SO attached to mediocrity for the past 5 years?! I don't get it.

because we know it can be a lot worse... see the 2000-2007 qb carousel 

Edited by paraven

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2 hours ago, paraven said:

because we know it can be a lot worse... see the 2000-2007 qb carousel 

But we have Lamar freaking Jackson waiting in the wings...not Kyle Boller or some other scrubs. Yeah, it can be worse than Flacco, but settling for mediocrity like this is so painful to watch year after year.

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6 hours ago, Darth Pees said:

But we have Lamar freaking Jackson waiting in the wings...not Kyle Boller or some other scrubs. Yeah, it can be worse than Flacco, but settling for mediocrity like this is so painful to watch year after year.

Lamar Jackson could be the next Akili Smith, Josh Jackson etc. If Flacco falls flat on his face this season and the coaching staff believes in Jackson, I don't doubt we will see them try him out and if he succeed, then it makes sense to save what can be saved on the cap or try to trade Flacco.

But there is no reason to just cut Flacco to save cap space and bet on the unknown as you suggest. When you have a great house, there is no reason to sell it and hope your new lottery ticket can make you able to buy a bigger house.

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12 hours ago, Darth Pees said:

But we have Lamar freaking Jackson waiting in the wings...not Kyle Boller or some other scrubs. Yeah, it can be worse than Flacco, but settling for mediocrity like this is so painful to watch year after year.

do you not remember the hype the ravens organization gave boller… Seems awfully similar to what they are doing with Jackson

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6 hours ago, Danand said:

Lamar Jackson could be the next Akili Smith, Josh Jackson etc. If Flacco falls flat on his face this season and the coaching staff believes in Jackson, I don't doubt we will see them try him out and if he succeed, then it makes sense to save what can be saved on the cap or try to trade Flacco.

But there is no reason to just cut Flacco to save cap space and bet on the unknown as you suggest. When you have a great house, there is no reason to sell it and hope your new lottery ticket can make you able to buy a bigger house.

That's what I am trying to get at here...WE DON'T HAVE A GREAT HOUSE. Flacco has never been great, and for the past 5 years he hasn't even been average. We have the equivalent to a mobile home right now and people are like "Well if we sell the mobile home, there's no guarantee that we'll have a house after that!". Why are people so scared of what Lamar Jackson brings? At worst he's a bust and then we're pretty much back to where we are right now with Flacco. In every other scenario we are a better team.

2 minutes ago, paraven said:

do you not remember the hype the ravens organization gave boller… Seems awfully similar to what they are doing with Jackson

Actually no, that was before I started following the Ravens.

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