The Baltimore Ravens ushered in a new brand of their football in 2018, replacing pocket statue Joe Flacco with the dual-threat Lamar Jackson. Though the move still has its kinks to work out, the Ravens resurged under the latter and once again visited the playoffs under John Harbaugh. The offseason continued to bring change in Baltimore, as familiar faces left while fresh ones arrived.
The Ravens’ identity is slowly shifting from a defensive-minded stalwart with historically meddling quarterbacks towards a run-heavy one led by a dynamic signal-caller. However, that shift in focus for Harbaugh and Co. doesn’t come about without the right personnel or a lack of the wrong. Here are three candidates not likely to be on the Ravens’ roster post-training camp.
3. Tyler Ervin – RB
The Ravens have three locks at running back: two-time Pro Bowler Mark Ingram, 2018 undrafted standout Gus Edwards, and fourth-round pick Justice Hill. Being a run-orientated team, Baltimore should carry more than three backs; but the fourth is unknown. It could come down to Kenneth Dixon or Tyler Ervin.
Ervin is the safer bet as a cut candidate. Though he’s a reliable pass-catcher — as he played more receiver than back in Houston — and can return, Ervin doesn’t offer the Ravens with experience as a runner. In three seasons of play, the former Texan has recorded five rushes for 15 yards in the NFL. Considering that Dixon has run for 715 on 148 attempts, he gets the nod based on experience. The Ravens may need to dip into the fourth-option if they stick to the run; Ervin isn’t the answer there.
2. Michael Floyd – WR
Now on his sixth team since 2016, Michael Floyd has struggled to land on a roster since his 1,041-yard season in 2013. That is in large due to issues off the field. Don’t expect him to find a forever home in Baltimore. Though the Ravens have long been looking for answers to fix the receiver position, Floyd isn’t part of the potential fix.
Marquise Brown, Willie Snead, Seth Roberts, Chris Moore, and Miles Boykin are, though, and should be guaranteed to make the roster. This leaves Floyd to compete with a bevy of younger options. However, it’s worth noting, that he does have a fighting chance if the Ravens decide to bring in six or more receivers. Though Floyd isn’t the talent he once was, he still offers offenses tough blocking downfield.
1. Cyrus Jones – CB
The Ravens’ cornerback depth chart is awe-inspiring. A fearsome foursome of Marlon Humphrey, Brandon Carr, Jimmy Smith, and Tavon Young is amongst the best groups in the NFL – each could individually start for different teams. Backups Anthony Averett and Iman Marshall are promising prospects selected in the past two drafts.
With six cornerbacks figuratively locked in, it’s going to be hard for Cyrus Jones or Justin Bethel to make the roster in any capacity. However, Bethel was a free agent signing this off-season and has been a productive special-teamer throughout his career. He gets a pass. As for Jones, the 2016 New England Patriots second-round pick is a capable returner, but he’s been a non-factor on defense for the entirety of his career.