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Ravens post-draft two-deep: Offense


Ravens post-draft two-deep: Offense

The draft is in the books, so the Ravens now have a much clearer picture of what their 2015 roster will look like than they did two weeks ago.

To be sure, Ozzie Newsome and Co. never stop watching the waiver wire, and the roster still figures to have plenty of additions and subtractions. In fact, a slew of undrafted rookies will be in Owings Mills this weekend for a rookie minicamp as they try to beat the long odds and make the team.

"We’re not done putting this team together right now," Newsome said after the draft. "It’s still two or three months – maybe four months – before we have to play Denver. We as a personnel staff, we’re still going to be mining for players to make our roster to make us better.”

But if the season were to begin tomorrow, here's a projected two-deep with all the draft picks in the fold.

First, the offense:

QB: Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub

RB: Justin Forsett, Lorenzo Taliaferro

WR1: Steve Smith Sr., Kamar Aiken

WR2: Marlon Brown, Michael Campanaro

WR3: Breshad Perriman, Jeremy Butler

TE: Maxx Williams, Crockett Gillmore

LT: Eugene Monroe, James Hurst

LG: Kelechi Osemele, Robert Myers

C: Jeremy Zuttah, Ryan Jensen

RG: Marshal Yanda, John Urschel

RT: Rick Wagner, Jah Reid


QUARTERBACK: Schaub gives the Ravens a more proven commodity at backup quarterback than Taylor, and as someone who played in Gary Kubiak's system, he should be ready to step right in if Joe Flacco were to go down with an injury. Which, of course, has happened exactly never in Flacco's NFL career.

RUNNING BACK: Forsett returns as the obvious starter, and given that the Ravens waited until the fourth round to draft another running back, Forsett figures to be the workhorse. Taliaferro will serve as Forsett's No. 1 understudy, with rookie Javorius "Buck" Allen at No. 3. For the sake of this two-deep, we'll start three wide receivers, but Kyle Juszczyk is the starting fullback when called upon.

WIDE RECEIVER: Rookies don't often jump right into the mix as starters with the Ravens, but Perriman brings the size and speed that the Ravens need after losing Torrey Smith to free agency. The Ravens just have to hope his drops are behind him. Drops pretty much doomed Jacoby Jones as a receiver last season. Marlon Brown came on strong late last season and figures to have a larger role.  Michael Campanaro has the chance to make a big impact as a slot receiver if he can stay healthy. Butler was parked on injured reserve last year but could be a sleeper. And keep in mind the Ravens could always discover an undrafted rookie receiver, as they did with Brown two years ago.

TIGHT END:  No Dennis Pitta? The Ravens would love it if Pitta can return from his second major hip injury, but they are clearly preparing for life without him. The tight end is a key receiving component in Marc Trestman's offense, and Williams will have the chance to start right away. He is the better receiver than Gillmore, who returns to his role as a blocker and occasional receiver.

OFFENSIVE LINE: To be clear, there's no way the Ravens keep all 10 of these linemen. John Urschel can double as either a guard or a center and is probably the top backup in both spots. Assuming Rick Wagner is fully recovered from his foot injury that sidelined him late last season, the Ravens return all five starters.  If Wagner isn't ready by Week 1, don't be surprised to see the Ravens return to the look they showed in the playoffs last season, with Yanda sliding out to right tackle and Urschel starting at guard. Rookie guard Robert Myers will learn the Ravens system under Yanda and Osemele, two of the best in the game at the position.

[RELATED: Ed Reed retires from NFL]

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

On Wednesday, February 14, a horrific school shooting claimed the lives of 17 innocent people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. 

The tragic event impacted people far and wide, and hit especially close to home for Ravens running back Alex Collins.

The former Arkansas star was born in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale and went to high school just 15 miles south of Douglas High School. 

In the offseason, Collins took Irish dancing lessons to improve his footwork, and following the act of terror, the Ravens' tailback learned that one of his dance partners had been killed in the mass shooting.

17-year-old Cara Loughran attended The Drake school of Irish Dance with Collins in addition to two other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and was fatally shot by the gunman on Wednesday afternoon. 

Collins took to his Twitter account to issue this heartfelt message.


“The school shooting yesterday hit home,” Collins wrote.

“We received confirmation a few hours ago we lost one of the girls, Cara Loughran. Two other girls saw and experienced unspeakable tragedy. My heart goes out to these girls, all their families and their teacher Chrissy.”

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Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will launch the NFL's 99th season by playing in the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 2.

The Ravens' first appearance in the Hall of Fame game, which launches the league's 2018 Enshrinement Week. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is among the inductees, along with former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Lewis, who played 17 seasons with the Ravens, and Urlacher, who played all of his 13 seasons with Chicago, both were elected on the first ballot.

Lewis joins Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens in the Hall of Fame. Both were selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1996 draft.

The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. All will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 4.

This will be the record-tying fifth time that the Bears will play in the Hall of Fame game. They won the previous four, most recently 27-24 over Miami in 2005.