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Ravens Twitter mailbag

Each week during the football season, Ravens writer Matt Zenitz will take your Ravens-related questions on Twitter and answer them in the Carroll County Times. To join the conversation, just send your questions to Matt on Twitter @mzenitz.

On to this week's questions:

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@NickEB712

: What are the odds the Ravens keep six receivers, and who are the favorites?

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A:

I'd say very good. I think Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, Laquan Williams and Tandon Doss are all but locked in as the top five, but I think speedy undrafted rookie Deonte Thompson has done enough during training camp and the preseason, both at receiver as well as on special teams, to convince the Ravens to keep six on the 53-man roster.

@Blitz410:

Do you think the Ravens might keep 3 QB's on the roster? If not, who do you think will get the backup job?

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A:

I think they'll end up keeping three with Tyrod Taylor serving as Joe Flacco's backup.

@Nopp417:

With Billy Cundiff's career numbers being less than average minus the Pro Bowl year, why not give Justin Tucker a shot?

A:

Tucker's had a very impressive camp and preseason, but Cundiff hasn't performed badly either.

The Ravens could also opt for experience over youth and potential, especially since the last time they kept a young kicker, Steve Hauschka, he struggled mightily before ultimately getting released just more than midway through the season.

Whether it's Baltimore or somewhere else, though, Tucker's been impressive enough, and has a big enough upside, that he'll definitely be kicking somewhere this season.

@Besthandleever:

With such a seemingly deep WR corps, any chance we see any four and five WR sets in the game plan?

A:

Maybe some, but I'm more so expecting the Ravens to continue to find ways to utilize tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson. Like Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez in New England, Pitta and Dickson are both big, athletic players that create mismatches for opposing defenses, especially when they're on the field at the same time. They combined for 94 catches and eight touchdowns last year and, even despite both being banged up right now, you should expect similar, if not better numbers this season.

@DenardASmith:

Currently, who are the Ravens' top five offensive linemen?

A:

Bryant McKinnie's obviously worked primarily with the second-team offense since reporting to training camp, but he's still the team's best pass blocker and I think will ultimately regain his starting job at left tackle.

He actually may even start tonight's preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, having worked with the first-team offense since the weekend.

By the time the regular season starts, I think the offensive line will be McKinnie at left tackle, Bobbie Williams at left guard, Matt Birk at center, Marshal Yanda at right guard and Michael Oher at right tackle.

Rookie Kelechi Osemele is a big mauler that's impressed, though, and could push for playing time if Williams struggles at left guard.

@DenardASmith:

Should the Ravens at least spin the tires on Shawne Merriman since there appears to be a need at the rush linebacker spot and he has a relationship with Ray Lewis?

A:

It depends on how they feel about Sergio Kindle at this point. If they're confident in Kindle, then I would say there's no need to bring in someone like Merriman. If they're pessimistic about Kindle, however, then Merriman, or another free agent, could be worth a look.

With Merriman, though, just remember he's far from the player he once was. Very much plagued by injuries the last several years, Merriman has played in just 23 games since 2007, recording only five sacks during that span.

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