WHO’S IN CAMP:
-Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason, Donte’ Stallworth, Mark Clayton, Demetrius Williams, David Reed, Marcus Smith, Justin Harper, Eron Riley
-(Tight Ends) Todd Heap, Dennis Pitta, Ed Dickson, Davon Drew
WHO’S ON THE BUBBLE:
-Demetrius Williams, David Reed, Marcus Smith
OPENING DAY ROSTER PREDICTION:
-Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason, Donte’ Stallworth, Mark Clayton, David Reed
-(Tight Ends) Todd Heap, Dennis Pitta, Ed Dickson
What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, the Ravens were desperate and pulling the likes of Drew Bennett off the scrap-heap of yesteryear’s pass-catchers. As things unfolded, Derrick Mason bluffed and threatened retirement, Bennett on the other hand actually did retire just days after signing and Kelley Washington was brought-in as an intricate part of a patch-work crew.
This season brings a set of new faces and to say that expectations have been raised would be a gross understatement. Anquan Boldin will be the unequivocal number-one and veteran Derrick Mason will start opposite the ex-Arizona Cardinal. Donte’ Stallworth was brought in to be the stretch-the-field, big-play kind of guy; and by all accounts, he’s having the kind of camp that would indicate that he’ll fill that role adequately.
After the aforementioned three, however, things get a bit hazy. Mark Clayton, drated by the Ravens in 2005, has been the brunt of major criticism and many have rightfully moved on from the idea that he’ll be an effective NFL receiver. Some even questioned whether he would make the 2010 team; however, he’s had a stellar camp thus far and his roster spot looks safe.
Rookie David Reed has done everything well and looks to be doing a little more than merely pushing Demetrius Williams. It’s likely that Reed will make the team due to his upside and his special teams ability. It’s highly likely that Williams’ days in Baltimore are over.
Along with Williams’ likely departure, former draft picks Justin Harper and Marcus Smith do not figure to be in the plans for this season. Smith, who is coming off of a season-ending injury during last-year’s camp, has looked effective thus far, but it may come down to a numbers issue with too much talent at the position. Eron Riley, who was added to the practice squad in 2009, could be possibly be in the same boat again this year.
The tight end position does not figure to have a lot of mystery surrounding it. Todd Heap is the veteran and the Ravens’ back-to-back draft picks Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson have looked terrific thus far and are locks to make the team. Davon Drew, who was brought back after being cut by the Ravens and Dolphins last season, can barely stay healthy enough to complete drills and stands no chance to make the team.