The Baltimore Sun is breaking down where the Ravens stand at each position, including predictions on how many players the team will keep at each spot and which players are locks, long shots or “on the bubble.”
How many they’ll keep: 6
Locks if healthy: Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb, Kyle Arrington, Rashaan Melvin, Tray Walker
On the bubble: Asa Jackson, Cassius Vaughn
Long shots: Chris Greenwood, Tramain Jacobs, Quinton Pointer
Skinny: Health will play a big role in determining who stays and who goes. If healthy, Smith and Webb will start, with Arrington being used in the slot as the No. 3 cornerback. It’s too early to tell how much Walker will be able to contribute, but the Ravens will need to find a spot for the fourth-round pick. Despite his shaky play in the postseason loss to the New England Patriots, Melvin showed enough last season to warrant a longer look and more opportunity. Because of the number of injuries they suffered at this position last year, the Ravens figure to err on the side of caution and keep as many corners as they can. Vaughn has experience and Jackson has the ability to return kicks. Coaches have mentioned the upside of Greenwood on several occasions. Vaughn, Jackson and Greenwood are probably competing for one or two spots.
How many they’ll keep: 5
Locks if healthy: Kendrick Lewis, Will Hill, Matt Elam, Terrence Brooks
On the bubble: Anthony Levine, Brynden Trawick
Long shots: Nick Perry
Skinny: The Ravens broke camp with six safeties last season, and that didn’t include Hill, who started the season on the suspended list. That probably won’t happen again this year. Lewis, Hill and Elam are set as the top three. Brooks tore up his knee in December and the initial plan was for him to start the season on the physically unable to perform list. However, he was doing pretty much everything at last month’s minicamp. The Ravens have to decide whether to give him an additional recovery period or throw the 2014 third-round pick right into the fire. They placed Brooks on the PUP list Friday. Levine is one of the Ravens’ top special teamers and he can play cornerback in a pinch, so it would be surprising if he’s not on the roster to start the season. Trawick could be the odd man out despite his special teams ability. Perry is a talented guy, and he should factor in the decision making, too.