What To Make Of The Ravens Initial 53-Man Roster

September 3, 2022

The Ravens have wrapped up the necessary moves for their initial 53-man roster of the 2022 season. There were some surprising moves to cover.

Well, to say my roster predictions were precise would be a bit facetious on my part. While players like Tony Jefferson and Tyre Phillips(currently with the New York Giants) were cut from the roster, I correctly predicted rookie running back Tyler Badie would not make the 53-man roster. Outside linebackers Steve Means and Jeremiah Moon were signed to the practice squad. Baltimore currently has two healthy EDGE rushers heading into the final week of practice before the opener against the New York Jets.

While not completely shocking, Baltimore held onto five tight ends after final cuts were made. Mark Andrews, Nick Boyle, Isaiah Likely, Charlie Kolar, and Josh Oliver made the team. A few days ago, Charlie Kolar was placed on Injured Reserve with a designation to return due to his sports hernia injury. With the exception of the aforementioned Phillips and Jefferson, Baltimore filled out their practice squad with relative ease. They utilized every minute of the 4 PM deadline on a cut-down day earlier in the week.

Breaking Down The Ravens’ 16-Man Practice Squad For 2022

Baltimore managed to retain the services of the majority of their players from the preseason by signing them to the practice squad. The following players were signed:

  • DB Kevon Seymour (veteran)
  • DB Daryl Worley (veteran)
  • OT David Sharpe (veteran)
  • NT Isaiah Mack (exception)
  • OLB Steve Means(veteran)
  • QB Anthony Brown Jr.
  • RB Tyler Badie (2022 sixth-round pick)
  • DB Ar’Darius Washington
  • OLB Jeremiah Moon
  • FB/TE Ben Mason
  • OG Kahlil McKenzie
  • DT Rashad Nichols
  • WR Makai Polk
  • WR Binjimen Victor
  • WR Raleigh Webb

The Ravens utilized the four veteran spots with Seymour, Worley, Means, and Sharpe. These veterans will offer the Ravens more flexibility with roster activations for a long, grueling season. Worley and Seymour are solid insurance policies for a secondary that was decimated with injuries in 2021. Means will most likely be on the 53 once the pass rush situation is figured out via free agency or potential trades. Sharpe will be the backup swing tackle to Ja’Wuan James.

Offensively, the team was ecstatic to retain their young skill players. Quarterback Anthony Brown has a raw skill set that can be polished with some good coaching. Wide receivers Makai Polk and Raleigh Webb had decent preseasons, respectively. I initially predicted that Webb would crack the 53 but a great performance by veteran Demarcus Robinson may have sealed Webb’s fate.

Rookie running back Tyler Badie needs a bit of work before his presence will be made on the active roster. Badie, drafted in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, will have the opportunity to learn the offense and special teams while maintaining steady practice reps.

Baltimore was able to bring back a couple of fringe defensive players. I was almost 100% certain Outside linebackers Steve Means and Jeremiah Moon would make the team. I know Means will eventually make the active roster. Moon not making it was surprising, considering that Baltimore had two healthy EDGE rushers active in the form of Justin Houston and Odafe Oweh.

Defensive tackle Isaiah Mack has the exception tag on the practice squad. Assistant Head Coach Anthony Weaver, who doubles as the defensive line coach, was especially happy that Mack will remain in Baltimore this year. Mack gives the defensive line more depth past the six veterans on the active roster.

Notes About The Ravens Active Roster For The 2022 Season

The Ravens made a flurry of moves to round out the active roster. The team placed EDGE David Ojabo, tight end Charlie Kolar, wide receiver Shemar Bridges, EDGE Daelin Hayes, and defensive tackle Aaron Crawford were placed on the injured reserve. Defensive tackle Brent Urban was re-signed after initially being released. Free agent running back Kenyan Drake signed a one-year deal after playing for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021.

There was a bit of initial shock when Kenyan Drake was signed. At this point, the trio of Drake, Justice Hill, and Mike Davis will be sufficient if the team decides starter JK Dobbins is not ready for the Jets game. While Drake fought through injury issues in 2021, he had a career year in 2020 with the Arizona Cardinals. He rushed for nearly 960 yards and scored ten touchdowns. Drake is dependable as a change-of-pace back and receiver out of the backfield.

Brent Urban being released was a formality. The team never intended on letting Urban leave town. The veteran defensive lineman figures to be an important part of the defensive line rotation. He will back up Calais Campbell and Justin Madubuike in the 3-tech and 5-tech spots on Mike Macdonald’s defensive front.

Safety Geno Stone edged out veteran Tony Jefferson for the final safety spot on the active roster. While Stone made plays in the Titans game, he regressed the following two games. Tony Jefferson maintained a high level of play during all three games and flew around the field each play he was in the games. It may have come down to money, but in my opinion, Jefferson should still be a Baltimore Raven over Geno Stone. Jefferson’s veteran presence will be missed as he is a fan favorite amongst the Ravens Flock fanbase.

The inside linebacker position should be one to keep an eye on this season. Incumbent starters Patrick Queen and Josh Bynes return this year along with backup linebackers Kristin Welch and Malik Harrison. Rookie Josh Ross was the eighteenth undrafted free agent to make the active roster in the last nineteen years. It’s important to note that head coach John Harbaugh informed the media that Malik Harrison will be seeing reps at outside linebacker as well to supplement the lack of outside linebackers on the roster.

The competition at left guard is still up in the air. The team waived 2020 third-round draft pick Tyre Phillips and he was subsequently claimed by the New York Giants. That move ended the ever-fluid situation that Phillips was enduring as a Ravens. Phillips entered the league as a tackle, was moved to guard after injuries along the offensive line, and even took reps at center during training camp a few weeks ago.

Ben Powers appears to be the starter moving forward. Patrick Mekari remains a possibility with second-year guard Ben Cleveland serving as the backup to Kevin Zeitler. While a trade for a guard isn’t out of the question, it appears the team is ready to move forward with ten linemen active come week one.