Examining the Baltimore Ravens' roster:
Flacco is the Ravens' starter for the seventh straight season, and Taylor will be the backup for the fourth year in a row. The big decision at quarterback is with Wenning, a rookie sixth-round pick. The Ravens haven't gone with three quarterbacks since 2009 (Troy Smith and John Beck were the backups), and it seems like a waste to carry two backups when Flacco hasn't missed a start in his six-year NFL career. But, if the Ravens believe Wenning is going to be their top backup in 2015, they can't afford to put him on the practice squad.
Running backs (4)
Rice, Pierce and Juszczyk are locks to make the team. Taliaferro is a near certainty as well, based on the fact that he's a fourth-round pick. If Rice begins the season on the suspended list, it increases the chances of the Ravens carrying Forsett for veteran depth.
Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Brown and Jones form one of the deepest receiving groups in franchise history. The tough question is whether the Ravens will carry five or six receivers, because Butler, Michael Campanaro, Deonte Thompson and LaQuan Williams could all be competing for one spot. Butler, an undrafted rookie out of Tennessee-Martin, has the edge coming off an impressive offseason. Campanaro, a seventh-round pick who has dealt with hamstring issues, could be placed on injured reserve at the end of the preseason and essentially redshirted.
Tight ends (3)
The Ravens' top three tight ends are guaranteed to make the team, barring injury. Pitta and Daniels would be starters if the Ravens go with two tight ends as their base offense. Phillip Supernaw, who was added after an offseason tryout, has a history with offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak in Houston and has an outside shot to earn a spot because this is an offense that uses a lot of tight ends.
Offensive linemen (9)
Monroe, Osemele, Zuttah and Yanda are the guaranteed starters, and Wagner is penciled in at right tackle. During offseason workouts, Gradkowski was the top backup at center, Shipley has been the second-team guard and Jensen has worked at both guard and tackle. The versatility of Osemele and Jensen to play tackle doesn't force the Ravens to carry Jah Reid or James Hurst, an undrafted tackle who had a rough offseason. John Urschel, a fifth-round pick, should make the team but likely won't play as a rookie.
Defensive linemen (7)
Ngata and Canty are returning starters and bring the most experience to the line. Williams is the favorite to start at nose tackle. Tyson earned more playing time after showing flashes last season, and Lewis-Moore has generated buzz this offseason. Jernigan and Urban, two rookie draft picks, should play a role in the rotation. This would leave out Terrence Cody, a second-round pick in 2010.
There won't be much change here because the Ravens return every linebacker from last season's team. The only addition is Mosley, the No. 17 overall pick in this year's draft. Because the Ravens aren't expected to keep 10 linebackers, the tough call will come down to Bynes or Albert McClellan, who has made the team the past three seasons.
Smith and Webb are a starting tandem for the second straight year. Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson have been competing for the No. 3 cornerback spot all offseason. The competition became more crowded when the Ravens signed veteran free agents Aaron Ross and Dominique Franks at the end of the offseason. Ross, the former New York Giants defender, is the early favorite, given his history with secondary coach Steve Spagnuolo.
Elam is making the move from free safety to strong safety. Many assumed Brooks, a rookie third-round pick, would start at free safety. But Stewart, a free-agent pickup from the St. Louis Rams, strengthened his hold on the starting job this offseason. Levine is a valued special teams player. Miles gets the last spot right now based on his experience. But the Ravens might opt to go with Brynden Trawick or Omar Brown if they play as well as Miles because they're younger and cheaper.
There is no drama on special teams. Tucker, Koch and Cox team up for the third straight season.