Thanks to all readers who tweeted Ravens questions to me. There wasn’t time to answer all of them on CSN’s “Countdown to Training Camp.” But I’ll answer more questions before training camp begins.
Here’s a question from luoma_john:
“Is Kyle Juszczyk’s roster spot in jeopardy? Great player, but FB is a dying position and Ravens have an overflow at TE, WR, and RB.”
There is virtually no chance the Ravens will cut Juszczyk, although it’s true the fullback’s role continues to diminish in many NFL offenses.
Juszczyk is simply too good and too versatile to let go, and at age 25, his career is still ascending. He had career highs in receptions (41), receiving yards (321) and touchdown catches (four) last season. He is a solid contributor on special teams. He is an excellent lead blocker and a solid pass protector.
The Ravens were looking for a hybrid-type fullback like Juszczyk when they made him a fourth-round pick in 2013. They wanted someone more versatile than ex-Ravens fullback Vonta Leach, who was an excellent blocker for Ray Rice, but who lacked Juszczyk’s pass-catching and route running ability.
Juszczyk will never be a three-down player, but he’ll have a role, despite the Ravens’ crowded picture at tight end, running back, and wide receiver. If Dennis Pitta remains healthy and makes the 53-man roster, the Ravens won’t be afraid to keep four tight ends – Pitta, Ben Watson, Crockett Gillmore, and Maxx Williams. The Ravens will likely keep four running backs, with Terrance West, Lorenzo Taliaferro, and Trent Richardson battling for the final spot behind Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, and rookie Kenneth Dixon.
The Ravens may keep just six wide receivers, but even if they keep seven, the extra wide receiver won’t stay at Juszczyk’s expense. Head coach John Harbaugh, offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, and special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg all value what Juszczyk brings to the table.
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