As every other NFL fan, I patiently awaited the first unofficial depth chart’s release, and must say I was pleasantly surprised. Here is a quick rundown of what is going on during camp and who is impressing the coaches thus far on offense.
At quarterback, the man in charge is undoubtedly Joe Flacco, with Tyrod Taylor and Keith Wenning bringing up the rear. At running back, for the moment, Ray Rice is the starter, but with a two-game suspension looming, Bernard Pierce will get the brunt of the work while journeyman Justin Forsett looks to back him up, with fourth-rounder, Lorenzo Taliaferro, at fourth string. These backs will run behind fullback, Kyle Juszczyk, who will seemingly be all over the field in Gary Kubiak’s new offense.
The wide receiver position had seemingly been set for quite some time now, except a surprise name popped up. The obvious starters are Torrey Smith and Steve Smith Sr., while Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown are behind them, another pivotal piece to keep an eye on is journeyman and current-third string receiver, Kamar Aiken, who has been nothing short of impressive this training camp for the Ravens. Furthermore, along with the receivers, the tight end position is set with Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels holding first and second on the depth chart respectively, and both will get plenty of action during the season, barring any injuries. Backing them up is fourth-round pick, Crockett Gillmore.
A major issue for the Ravens last season was the offensive line. This year, they addressed this problem by trading with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for center Jeremy Zuttah, and re-signing left tackle Eugene Monroe for another five years. These two players should drastically improve a porous offensive line from a year ago. At guard, Kelechi Osemele and veteran Marshal Yanda will play left and right guard respectively. An interesting position battle to keep an eye on is right tackle, where Ricky Wagner seems to have the edge on Jah Reid for the time being. But both players will have ample time to prove their worth in the preseason games.
Offensively for the Ravens, no truly major changes have been made, but enough has happened for the Ravens to improve their overall production in seemingly every category. Some surprise names have come through, like Aiken and Wagner, but overall the offense has stayed the same. With the offensive line improving, and the receivers/tight ends at full health and communicating well, it’s hard not to imagine this offense lighting up scoreboards and producing. With it being only the preseason, many new faces will get their chances to impress the coaches for a spot on the 53-man roster.