Posted in Ravens Thoughts

Ask the nest: Our first Ravens Flock Q&A

By Chris Schisler

Ravens fans, the purple and black nest is just getting going. To really get it kick started, it only seemed right to do a Q&A. Via Twitter, members of the Ravens Flock sent me questions. Each question will be featured and answered here. It was a staple of my last stop in the blogging world, it’s sticking around for the Purple and Black Nest.

Question 1

@Team_Ramey asks: With the new crop of DB talent brought in this offseason, it appears the Ravens are planning for the future. How do you see the depth chart panning out?

Answer: I wrote about this and had a post out early in the morning. In the post, I explained that by adding Brandon Stevens, Shaun Wade and unrestricted free agent Ar’Darius Washington, the Ravens were building towards the future. Obviously, I like where your mind is at.

At cornerback, the top four are easy to figure out. That’s where you have Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Jimmy Smith, and Tavon Young. After that, it could go several ways. There’s Iman Marshall, Anthony Averett, and Shuan Wade vying for the cornerback spots. There’s also Khalil Dorsey and Davontae Harris.

If I had to bet on it now, the Ravens will keep six cornerbacks. The process of elimination will help us out with this one. Iman Marshall hasn’t given us any reason to think he’s not on the roster bubble. It may be a little unfair, but that’s the NFL. Let’s put Marshall on the outside looking in. That gets you down to eight players of any consequence.

Khalil Dorsey is a player who could be a training camp standout, I’m not sure that’s enough though. Let’s cross his name of the the list. Devontae Harris has a chance, but mostly for special teams. Let’s cross his name off the list for now. That gets you to seven players.

The remaining cornerbacks are: Anthony Avetett and Shaun Wade. Averett is a known commodity. Wade was just drafted and he’s going to make the team. Wade takes the last spot. I could see Averett coming back if there is an injury.

At safety things get interesting. Chuck Clark and De’Shon Elliott are the top two players on the depth chart. The other names in the hat are Ar’Darius Washington, Brandon Stephens, Nigel Warrior, Geno Stone, and Anthony Levine Sr. It all boils down to how many safeties the Ravens want to keep.

Jordan Richards is here for special teams. Let’s say that Brandon Stephens usurps him on special teams. Cross Richards off the list. Geno Stone was a sixth-round pick of the Ravens a year ago, one I’ll admit to being way too high on from the start. Stone has come and gone a couple of times already. The Ravens aren’t sold on him.

It comes down to Levine Sr. and Warrior for the last spot.

Your safeties are, therefore: Chuck Clark, DeShon Elliott, Brandon Stephens, Ar’Darius Washington, and Anthony Levine Sr.

A very related Question 2:

@DJ_BMORE asks: Secondary is so deep this year with a new crop of draftees and undrafted free agents, Do you foresee someone like Tavon Young or Anthony Levine Sr. getting cut or traded?

Answer: First, let me thank you for being part of the Q&A, as you used to submit questions for me at Ebony Bird. Thank you, I appreciate you sticking with me. The answer to your question is that I don’t see either player here getting traded.

Young has a respectable contract and an injury history. It seems doubtful the Ravens would ever get an appropriate trade value for him. Levine St. is one of the most tenured Ravens. He’s an older defensive back who has a very comfortable home in Baltimore. At this point I will believe it when I see it.

Question 3 takes us to the offense

@ThatRobFuseMan asks: Is there room for both Proche and Boykin of they both have a great camp?

Answer: I think there is, but I am not sure that’s the way it’s going necessarily go. James Proche didn’t get anything going last year. It wasn’t the kind of rookie season that writes him off, because he didn’t get a chance. Still, you have to wonder why he didn’t get that chance. He could have been on the roster bubble even if the Ravens only drafted one wide receiver.

The Ravens have been on the three quarterback train since the Lamar Jackson era has begun. The Ravens drafted Ben Mason when they already had Pat Ricard and Nick Boyle. I just spent a ton of this article talking about the depth at defensive backs.

The Ravens are looking for production at the wide receiver spot and they added three players to the fold this offseason. There will be tough calls. You know the following are safe: Marquise Brown, Rashod Bateman, Sammy Watkins, Devin Duvernay and Tylan Wallace. If you’re going to keep extra elsewhere, six receivers becomes a tough sell.

Question 4:

@Ravensfan86 asks: What impact should we expect for the bubble wideouts with coaching from Tee Martin and Keith Williams? I ask because I’m not ready to write off Boykin. Because of these two coaches.

Answer: I think you’ll see more toughness out of the wide receivers. More aptly put, you will see toughness applied better. Miles Boykin is a good blocker, so he obviously has the toughness to play in the NFL. Working with Tee Martin, he may learn how to channel that into winning more contested catches and boxing out his opponent for the football.

Boykin has a greater chance at a roster spot than James Proche. Boykin can move to the tight end position and offer more of a down the field threat than Nick Boyle or Ben Mason. I’m not ruling out that Boykin could find his way onto the roster, so don’t get too nervous about your guy.

The passing game should migrate more to the outside. When the Ravens truly spread the ball around it creates a few problems for the defense. First, Lamar Jackson’s legs become more dangerous. This makes the run game more deadly, especially if defenses have to stop selling out to stop the run. Finally, Mark Andrews becomes an unbearable problem, the Travis Kelce to the Ravens’ offense.

Kieth Williams and Tee Martin should impact the passing game. Marquise Brown will be the same Hollywood Brown we know and (sometimes) love. The rest of the receiving corps we really haven’t seen enough of to suggest all the impacts the new coaching can do. Devin Duvernay was barely used last season and the purple and black have three new receivers.

The goal is to spread the ball around, attack the whole field and take advantage of the gift that is Lamar Jackson.

Question 5

@michaelhaddad02 asks: Who is on the roster bubble?

Well we’ve talked about some guys on the roster bubble already. At wide receiver you have Miles Boykin and James Proche. For defensive backs you have Geno Stone and Nigel Warrior, two players I like but I don’t think anyone is sold on them.

The Ravens may not keep three quarterbacks. Trace McSorley is on the roster bubble. You have to think that coming off an injury doesn’t help his cause. Plus, Tyler Huntley showed a lot last year in very limited opportunities.

The Ravens have a lot in the tight end, H-back and fullback parking lot. Even though Ben Mason was the Ravens last pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, he has to be on the bubble. Eric Tomlinson and Jacob Breeland make the tight end position one where there will be a lot of names on the chopping block.

Jaylon Ferguson is possibly on his way out. He hasn’t lived up to the billing. Being taken in the third round gets you patience not unlimited patience for development. If the Ravens sign another pass rusher, that may be all she wrote for the guy.

Off the top of my head, those are the names I’m thinking of. Those are the players who either have an uphill battle to climb or are in a crowded position group.

FUN NEXT POST: Darin predicts the Ravens win-loss record for 2021

From the bottom of my heart, thanks to everyone who submitted a question! Ask the nest is going to be a regular thing here.


I am Chris Schisler. I am the owner and lead writer here at the Nest! Football is my passion and I'm very happy to share it with the Flock!

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