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Mink: No, I do not think the Ravens will trade for a guard or center. In fact, I think it’s more likely that they trade a guard/center to another team (see: Jermaine Eluemunor) than acquire one. The Ravens have a ton of depth on the interior offensive line. It’s more about someone stepping up to claim the staring left guard job than getting an insurance policy. Even if Tyre Phillips, Ben Powers, Patrick Mekari or Trystan Colon don’t earn a starting spot in Week 1, they would all be valuable backups who have starting NFL experience. Plus, Ben Bredeson was a fourth-round pick just a year ago. Since Mekari can play every spot on the offensive line, he’s a super-sub.
Do you guys think we’re going to keep Washington, Stevens, and Stone?
— Kise (@_emjay_24) August 16, 2021
Downing: The competition for the final roster spots will be fierce on this team, but I think these players are all in somewhat different situation. Brandon Stephens is a third-round pick who is going to make the 53-man roster, of course barring any kind of injury. He’s impressed this summer and could find himself player an important role on the defense this year. Geno Stone is a tougher call right now. He played excellent in the preseason opener and brought down a pair of interceptions, which will certainly help his case. But the Ravens have a deep secondary and they may want to keep additional corners if they like what they’ve seen from Shaun Wade and Chris Westry. Stone may still have an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster, but it will be tough to risk losing him if he continues playing like he did Saturday night. Ar’Darius Washington is a quality football player who reportedly had interest from multiple teams as an undrafted rookie, but he could find himself on the outside looking in. Washington has natural instincts, but at 5-foot-8, 178 pounds, he’s an undersized NFL safety. With the tight competition at the position and a strong performance from Stone this summer, finding a spot on the active roster will be tough for the TCU prospect.
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Which players from the preseason game that stood out the most to earn a roster spot among the ones fighting for one.
— GenBomb (@GamingB46236956) August 16, 2021
Mink: I think one of the tightest roster battles right now is at cornerback, where rookie fifth-round pick Shaun Wade and Chris Westry are competing. Thing is, they both stood out in Saturday’s preseason opener. Westry had a couple pass breakups, including one that led to Geno Stone’s second interception. Wade had the game-sealing interception late in the game. Cornerback is not an area where the Ravens like to be short-handed, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they find a way to keep both on the 53-man roster.
Do you think Campbell and Houston will be able to get 100 career sacks this season?
— OHMG (@OHMG96) August 16, 2021
Downing: Let’s start with Houston – I expect him to hit the century mark. Houston has 97.5 sacks, so he doesn’t have far to go to reach the milestone. Houston may hit that mark in the first month of the season. Calais Campbell has 92 career sacks, and hitting eight sacks in a season is by no means a forgone conclusion. Campbell had four sacks last season and 6.5 the previous year. He’s notched at least eight sacks five times in his 13 NFL seasons. Campbell dealt with injuries and COVID last season, which impacted his production, so he’s hoping for an uptick in production this season. The additions of Houston and rookie Odafe Oweh should help the Ravens get additional pressure around the edge, which will open opportunities for Campbell in the middle of the defense. He also has the benefit of an extra game this year. But eight sacks is still a big number. The veteran defensive lineman said during the offseason that this could end up being his last season, so he’ll do everything he can to hit that number, even if it is a lofty goal.