The Ravens must cut their active roster down to 53 mighty men on Saturday. Here is my projection of what the roster will look like, but please note that John Harbaugh and his staff are better at evaluating talent than I am.
Quarterbacks: Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor, veteran quarterback to be named later. Taylor has played his way onto the roster. Hunter Cantwell has not. Count on the Ravens adding depth to the position.
Running backs: Anthony Allen, Vonta Leach, Ray Rice, Ricky Williams. There are two questions here: Will the Ravens go with four or five running backs, and if they go with four, will it be Allen or Jalen Paremele?
Wide receivers: Anquan Boldin, Tandon Doss, Lee Evans, David Reed, Torrey Smith, LaQuan Williams. The two draft picks are on the team. I think Williams, a rookie free agent, beats out Marcus Smith.
Tight ends: Ed Dickson, Dennis Pitta, Kris Wilson. The Ravens liked Dickson and Pitta so much heading into their sophomore seasons, they were comfortable cutting Todd Heap. Wilson came out of nowhere to lead the team in receptions in the preseason.
Offensive line: Tim Barnes, Matt Birk, Ben Grubbs, Mark LeVoir, Bryan Mattison, Bryant McKinnie, Michael Oher, Jah Reid, Marshal Yanda. Don’t be surprised if the Ravens add a veteran lineman and let a youngster go after rosters are cut down this weekend.
Defensive line: Terrence Cody, Lamar Divens, Arthur Jones, Brandon McKinney, Haloti Ngata, Pernell McPhee, Cory Redding. I like the youth here. Of this group, Divens is closest to the bubble.
Linebackers: Brendon Ayanbadejo, Prescott Burgess, Dannell Ellerbe, Jarret Johnson, Sergio Kindle, Paul Kruger, Ray Lewis, Jameel McClain, Terrell Suggs. They could take Tavares Gooden over someone, perhaps Ayanbadejo, Burgess or Ellerbe.
Cornerbacks: Chris Carr, Domonique Foxworth, Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb, Cary Williams. Each of these five guys could start at some point. Ideally, Chykie Brown joins the practice squad.
Safeties: Haruki Nakamura, Bernard Pollard, Ed Reed, Tom Zbikowski. This group has depth and versatility. Pollard will probably start at strong safety, but Nakamura and Zbikowski will have roles.
Special teams: Morgan Cox, Billy Cundiff, Sam Koch. There’s not much to be said here other than that these guys are really good.
OK, give me your two cents, Ravens fans. How does your roster projection differ from my somewhat-educated guess?