Nearly one-third of Ravens' starting jobs up for grabs as OTAs begin
John Harbaugh loves competition, so the Baltimore Ravens coach is really
going to enjoy this offseason and training camp.
There are seven starting jobs up for grabs this year, which means nearly
one-third of the offensive and defensive lineups have question marks. This
shouldn't come as a surprise, because changes are expected for a team that goes
5-11 and loses its most games since 2007.
Here is a look at cheap nfl jerseys the battles for starting jobs:
Running back: Justin Forsett has led the Ravens in rushing the past two
seasons, but Harbaugh wouldn't commit to him as the featured runner in February.
Perhaps Harbaugh was being wholesale nfl jerseys noncommittal just in case Baltimore drafted Ezekiel Elliott in
the first round. With the Ravens not taking a running back in the first three
rounds, Forsett is the favorite to remain the top back. He will have to fend off
Buck Allen, rookie fourth-round pick Kenneth Dixon, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Trent
Richardson, and Terrance West.
Wide receiver: One of the bigger storylines will be who's going to start
opposite Steve Smith Sr. It will be an interesting competition between Mike
Wallace, who wholesale nfl jerseys received $4.5 million guaranteed from Baltimore in free agency;
Breshad Perriman, the team's first-round pick from a year ago; and Kamar Aiken,
who led the Ravens with 75 receptions last season.
Left tackle: Ravens officials say there is an open competition between Eugene
Monroe and Ronnie Stanley. Monroe is scheduled to make a team-high $6.5 million
in base salary this season, but he has missed 16 games because of injury the
past two years. Stanley was the first offensive lineman drafted this year and
was the No. 6 overall pick. If Stanley beats out Monroe, Baltimore would likely
try to trade Monroe.
Left guard: If Stanley loses the left tackle competition, he is going to move
to left guard for his rookie season. As Harbaugh put it, the Ravens aren't going
to sit Stanley after investing such a high pick in him. But, if Stanley proves
he is ready to start at left tackle, Baltimore has plenty of options to fill the
void left by Kelechi Osemele, who became the NFL's highest paid guard with the
Oakland Raiders ($25.4 million guaranteed). John Urschel, Vlad Ducasse, Ryan
Jensen and rookie fourth-round pick Alex Lewis will all compete for this
Defensive end: To replace Chris Canty, the Ravens can either go with last
year's fill-in Lawrence Guy or a high draft pick in third-rounder Bronson
Kaufusi. Guy is one of Baltimore's more underrated players and proved he can
more than hold his own in six starts last season. Kaufusi is considered a
project by some, but he is more of the prototypical 3-4 defensive end at
6-feet-6, 285 pounds.
Inside linebacker: The Ravens didn't draft an inside linebacker or sign one
in free agency after cutting leading tackler Daryl Smith. Baltimore could still
add a veteran wholesale nfl jerseys later
this offseason, but it looks like the Ravens want to see what the younger
linebackers can do next to C.J. Mosley. Zachary Orr got increased reps toward
the end of last season, which should give him the early edge over Arthur Brown
and Albert McClellan.
Cornerback: Shareece Wright started the last five games for the Ravens last
season and was re-signed to a three-year, $13 million deal ($4.76 million
guaranteed). He has also become a favorite of the coaching staff with his
commitment to attention to detail. All of this should put him at the top of the
depth chart next to Jimmy Smith to begin offseason workouts. But Baltimore
signed Jerraud Powers, a seven-year starter, to www.humanscaleseating.com a one-year,
$1.75 million contract this month. Powers' ball skills should give him a chance
to beat out Wright. Needless to say, Smith, Wright and Powers will see plenty of
playing time, because they will be part of Baltimore's nickel defense.
Depending on if the NFL takes action against the Ravens for suiting up
rookies in full pads, Baltimore is scheduled right now to hold 10 organized team
activity practices over the next three weeks. Mandatory minicamp will be held
June 14-16. These will be the last practices before the cheap nfl jerseys Ravens start
training camp in late July.