Jun 19, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Michael Campanaro (6) catches a pass during minicamp at the Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens: Roster Battles That Will Be Decided Versus Saints

 

Joe Flacco, Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata might not have much riding on Thursday’s game against the New Orleans Saints, but plenty of players on the Baltimore Ravens do.

There are several major battles that have yet to be determined. So when Thursday rolls around, keep an eye on these positions.

 

Wide Receiver: Deonte Thompson vs Michael Campanaro vs Kamar Aiken

At this point, Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Marlon Brown and Jacoby Jones are locks. Jeremy Butler and Jace Davis are virtually guaranteed to be waived. That leaves Deonte Thompson, Michael Campanaro and Kamar Aiken on the bubble.

Thompson has produced big plays in the preseason but has struggled with drops in camp. In his third year with the Ravens, the team knows what they have in Thompson. Whether or not that’s enough to keep him on the roster remains to be seen. His speed, though, could prove a weapon should the Ravens keep him.

Campanaro is virtually guaranteed a roster spot just because he was drafted, since the Ravens have a track record of keeping their draft picks as much as possible. He has had a decent training camp with more ups than downs, but he hasn’t carved out a major role for himself yet.

Aiken came out of nowhere to become a hot name early in camp, but has trailed off in recent weeks. A big game against the Saints is crucial for Aiken to make the team.

Also pay attention to Campanaro and Thompson on punt and kick returns. Excel there, and their roster spots become that much more secure.

 

Defensive Back: Dominique Franks vs Tramain Jacobs vs Chykie Brown vs Anthony Levine vs Brynden Trawick

All five of these guys could make the team, or just one or two. That depends on how the Ravens want to shape their roster and how valuable each is on special teams.

Chykie Brown has a pretty safe spot, as he is the presumptive dime back for the team. Brown has gotten reps in some big situations for the Ravens in the past, but his ball skills have been a liability throughout his career.

As for free agent acquisition Dominique Franks, his performance against Washington may have already sealed a roster spot for him. But a strong performance against the Saints couldn’t hurt to cement his status.

Tramain Jacobs has an uphill battle at this point. My best guess is that Jacobs ends up on the practice squad, but Franks and Brown are vulnerable if Jacobs makes a splash against the Saints.

Anthony Levine and Brynden Trawick are interesting cases. Both are better known for the special teams play, but both have done some really good work on defense this preseason. Trawick had one of the prettiest interceptions you’ll ever see against Dallas, while Levine displayed versatility as both a corner and a safety. Both could make the team, as the Ravens loved having the duo on special teams last year.

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Tags: Baltimore Ravens Baltimore Ravens Roster

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