As we countdown to training camp, Clifton Brown and Bo Smolka will take turns putting 25 key Ravens under the microscope this month.
They’ll speculate on a best-case, worst-case scenario for at least one player every day. They’ll begin with players looking to carve out a role, or a roster spot. They’ll end with the Ravens’ most important players, concluding with quarterback Joe Flacco on July 25.
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE – Buck Allen, second-year running back
Best-case scenario: Allen starts at running back.
Why it could happen: Allen started last year after Justin Forsett broke his arm. That experience has only boosted Allen’s confidence heading into camp. If he displays a little more explosiveness in camp and looks better than Forsett, the Ravens could decide going younger is better, if not Week 1, then early in the season.
Worst-case scenario: Allen slips to No. 3 on the depth chart.
Why it could happen: Forsett won’t give up his starting role without a fight, and the Ravens have six backs in camp. Kenneth Dixon is a highly-touted rookie both as a runner and receiver. Terrance West reported to minicamp in impressive shape. Fumbling put Allen in coach John Harbaugh’s doghouse briefly last year. If Allen is loose with the football, and other running backs outplay him, Harbaugh won’t hesitate to drop Allen down the depth chart.