The Ravens' top decision makers are always preaching about the importance of roster competition. They want it at every position, not just for starting roles but for special teams units and back-end roster spots.
Heading into training camp, which officially begins with the first full-squad practice on Thursday, the Ravens’ front office has assembled a 90-man roster that will need to be whittled down to 53 in the coming weeks. The roster has a mixture of youth and experience and is particularly deep at wide receiver where 12 guys are competing for five or six spots.
This is the sixth in a series predicting how many players the Ravens will keep at each position, which players are locks to make the team, which ones are on the bubble and which ones are going to need to defy long odds to stick.
How many they’ll keep: 9
Locks if healthy: Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Daryl Smith, C.J. Mosley, Pernell McPhee, Courtney Upshaw, Arthur Brown
On the bubble: John Simon, Josh Bynes, Albert McClellan
Long shots: Nick DiMarco, D.J. Roberts, Zachary Orr, Austin Spitler
Skinny: The Ravens’ top four outside linebackers from last year – Suggs, Dumervil, McPhee and Upshaw – are all back, as is Simon, a fourth-round pick who didn’t play much in his rookie season. Unless the Ravens give up on Simon after one season, which would be an uncharacteristic move, they are pretty set on the outside. On the inside, the Ravens feel really good about their depth. Mosley and Brown will battle for the starting job alongside Smith, but both will play key roles regardless. Bynes and McClellan have both not only started games at inside linebacker over the past couple of seasons, but they are core special teams players. That alone could secure their spot on the team. Injuries happen and DiMarco and Spitler both flashed during the mandatory minicamp, but there’s not a whole lot of room for any more additions beside Mosley to last year’s linebacker group.