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 July 24, 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 third 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.
Locks if healthy: Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Jacoby Jones, Marlon Brown, Michael Campanaro
On the bubble: Jeremy Butler, Deonte Thompson, LaQuan Williams
Long shots: Kamar Aiken, Jace Davis, Gerrard Sheppard, Mike Willie
Skinny: This is shaping up to be one of the most interesting roster battles in training camp. There are few questions with the top four of Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Jones and Brown, a strong combination of speed, size, youth and experience. But beyond them, there are eight guys bidding for probably no more than two spots. As long as he stays healthy, Campanaro (River Hill) has a decided edge for one of those spots after the Ravens traded back in the draft to select the speedy slot receiver. As for the rest of the group, Thompson and Williams (Maryland) have experience both on offense and special teams and have been standouts in previous training camps. Butler and Davis, two undrafted free agents, have been impressive and the Ravens love to keep a developmental receiver on the roster. If they don’t make the team, both will be practice squad candidates.
Tomorrow, we will highlight tight ends.