Ravens go youth movement in Final 53...

Ravens go youth movement in Final 53...

Ravens

Ravens go youth movement in Final 53...

You look at the Ravens Final 53 going into Week One and you say to yourself, gee, they really went young on this edition. And you wonder if they are rolling the dice on a 5-11 or an 11-5 outcome?

The Ravens kept 12 rookies on their 53-man roster, which ushers in a new wave of youth. Head coach John Harbaugh told them in a team meeting Monday to not get too happy.

“I told them today, ‘You’re not on scholarship.’ You didn’t just sign the scholarship papers – that’s not the way it works,” Harbaugh said. “You’re day-to-day, and you have to perform every single day. So my hope is that their intention is to be the best football player they can be every single day and help us win games on Sundays. That’s why they’re here.”

Whew!

Here are the Final 53 as of September 3, 2018:

Active

Player # Pos HT WT Age Exp College
37 RB 6-0 218 27 4 USC
89 TE 6-5 256 23 R Oklahoma
28 CB 5-11 178 23 R Alabama
49 LB 6-2 229 23 R North Dakota State
54 OLB 6-3 242 23 2 Houston
86 TE 6-4 270 25 4 Delaware
77 C 6-5 317 23 R Alabama
78 T 6-8 345 22 R Oklahoma
13 WR 5-11 178 28 5 Pittsburg State
26 CB 6-1 193 24 3 Virginia
24 CB 6-0 210 32 11 Grand Valley State
36 S 6-0 205 23 2 Virginia Tech
34 RB 5-10 208 24 3 Arkansas
46 LS 6-4 235 32 9 Tennessee
15 WR 6-1 215 30 10 Texas Tech
30 RB 5-10 228 24 3 Louisiana Tech
71 G/T 6-4 335 23 2 Texas A&M
5 QB 6-6 245 33 11 Delaware
84 WR 5-10 173 24 R Rutgers
3 QB 6-2 213 28 6 Baylor
69 DT 6-3 291 24 3 Michigan
29 CB 6-0 197 22 2 Alabama
81 TE 6-4 245 25 R South Carolina
74 G/T 6-5 310 26 5 North Carolina
8 QB 6-2 212 21 R Louisville
23 S 5-11 211 26 6 Oklahoma
99 OLB 6-3 261 26 3 Grand Valley State
4 P 6-1 222 36 13 Nebraska
17 WR 6-1 213 21 R UCLA
41 DB/LB 5-11 207 31 7 Tennessee State
72 G/T 6-6 305 26 3 Nebraska
10 WR 6-1 200 25 3 Cincinnati
57 ILB 6-2 250 26 5 Alabama
48 ILB 6-0 227 26 3 Portland State
97 DT 6-0 340 25 3 Samford
42 FB/DL 6-3 311 24 2 Maine
95 DT 6-6 290 23 R Ferris State
68 G/C 6-3 313 25 2 Duke
22 CB 6-2 210 30 8 Colorado
90 OLB 6-4 272 26 4 Kentucky
83 WR 5-11 205 25 4 Ball State
79 T 6-6 315 24 3 Notre Dame
55 OLB 6-3 265 35 16 Arizona State
9 K 6-1 183 28 7 Texas
96 DE 6-7 300 27 5 Virginia
32 S 5-11 200 33 12 Utah
98 DT 6-1 336 29 6 Missouri Southern State
27 CB 5-9 187 25 R Alabama-Birmingham
87 TE 6-4 252 24 4 Minnesota
56 OLB 6-3 252 24 2 Alabama
93 DE 6-5 300 24 2 Michigan
73 G/T 6-3 305 33 12 Iowa
40 LB 6-1 234 23 R UCLA
25 CB 5-9 185 24 3 Temple

And the Practice Squad:

Practice Squad

Player # Pos HT WT Age Exp College
60 G 6-5 300 22 R Portland State
DB 6-1 205 26 1 Brigham Young
35 RB 6-1 238 23 R Rutgers
45 FB 5-11 248 22 R German Football League
59 DE 6-3 238 23 R Shepherd
41 DB 5-10 195 24 3 Alabama
91 DE 6-4 290 24 R LSU
65 G 6-4 330 24 2 San Diego State
47 RB 5-11 214 23 R Alcorn State
80 TE 6-6 255 25 3 Georgia Tech
14 WR 5-10 175 24 2 Arizona State

Giving certain 4-year veterans the boot caused some anguish for Harbaugh, and DT Carl Davis was the most difficult cut of all:

No player released Saturday had more interest from around the league than Ravens defensive tackle Carl Davis. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, four teams submitted waiver claims for Davis and the Cleveland Browns won.

A 2015 third-round pick who started nine games last season, Davis was beaten out by some younger defensive linemen, including second-year defensive end Chris Wormley and rookie seventh-round defensive tackle Zach Sieler.

Patrick Ricard’s improvement as a defender (he mostly played fullback last year) also made Davis more expendable. The Ravens kept seven defensive linemen, including Ricard, and Davis was a more expensive option as he was in his fourth year of his contract.

“It was just a numbers deal,” Harbaugh said. “Carl’s definitely good enough to play for us. I talked to Carl – we had a great talk. He’s really good about it. He loved it here, he had his best camp – you know he’s been hurt the past two years.”

“I’m not thrilled that he’s now in Cleveland and we have to play against him twice a year,” Harbaugh said of Davis. “But kudos to Cleveland. They’ve taken a number of our D-linemen.”

Another tough cut was this guy:

Veteran linebacker Albert McClellan was one of the Ravens’ most respected team leaders for a long time. He’s one of the franchise’s best special teams players ever.

Thus, releasing the 32-year-old veteran was perhaps the most emotionally tough decision. McClellan, who first came to the Ravens as an undrafted rookie in 2011, missed last season because of a torn ACL and was beat out by undrafted rookie linebacker Chris Board this summer.

“Oh gosh … I think you mentioned [about] how tough it must be, and it was,” Harbaugh said to a reporter. “But then Albert made it good. Albert was great.”

“We’ve been through a lot together, all of us with Albert and the coaches and everything. [There] doesn’t need to be a lot said – it’s understood the reasons why. There’s no doubt that he can still play.”

Harbaugh didn’t rule out the possibility of McClellan returning to the Ravens down the road this season, and said, “I’m sure he’ll be playing somewhere this year.”

So in the grand scheme of things, the Ravens are betting on cheap controllable youth. Good luck with that! But this is what happens when a franchise runs out of salary cap space. You are now at the mercy of Peter Pan in an AFC North division which is bringing Captain Hook and a bunch of veteran alligators to battle.

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