There will familiar faces for Baltimore Ravens fans when the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers square off in Sunday's Super Bowl. There are eight players on the Broncos' and Panthers' rosters who have ties with Baltimore.
Which of these ex-Ravens would Baltimore want back? Not that many. That may sound strange since these players are vying for the Lombardi Trophy and the Ravens are coming off a five-win season.
To better explain, let's rank the former Ravens on how they played this season. For the sake of this post, we'll consider Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson, Panthers kicker Graham Gano and Broncos guard Robert Myers as ex-Ravens even though they never played a regular-season game for them.
1. Darian Stewart, Broncos safety: One of the bigger missteps for the Ravens last offseason was not re-signing Stewart, who became a playmaker for the Broncos. That became apparent from the season opener against Baltimore (Stewart sealed the Broncos' win with an interception in the end zone) to the AFC Championship Game (critical interception of Tom Brady). Would the Ravens want him back? Definitely. He was the 10th-best safety, according to Pro Football Focus. Baltimore replaced him with Kendrick Lewis, who graded out as No. 70.
2. Michael Oher, Panthers offensive tackle: Oher is going to be a popular story at the Super Bowl because of the "Blind Side" angle. Let's not gloss over the fact that he's a below average left tackle. Only six left tackles were graded lower than Oher this season by Pro Football Focus. Oher allowed four sacks and committed five penalties. Would the Ravens want him back? Not really. The Ravens have uncertainty at left tackle with Eugene Monroe's disappointing season, but they have to hope they can do better than Oher. I'm not sure converted guard Kelechi Osemele or a top pick like Ronnie Stanley is the answer. They do, however, have more upside than Oher.
3. Owen Daniels, Broncos tight end: He remains a middle of the road tight end at this point of his career. He put up nearly identical numbers to his catch totals in 2014 with the Ravens (46 receptions for 517 yards receiving and three touchdowns). Daniels made his biggest impact of the season in the AFC Championship Game, where he scored two touchdowns. Would the Ravens want him back? No, there's just no room with Crockett Gillmore, Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle.
4. Ed Dickson, Panthers tight end: He is a solid, all-around backup who often gets overlooked because he plays with Greg Olsen. He managed 26 catches and only averaged 7.1 yards per catch. Would the Ravens want him back? No. See above with Daniels.
5. Dwan Edwards, Panthers defensive end: The former 2004 second-round pick has put together a long career as a backup. Edwards is averaging 30 snaps per game. Would the Ravens want him back? No. The Ravens have good, young depth along the defensive line.
6. Derek Anderson, Panthers quarterback: He went from a sixth-round pick by the Ravens in 2005 to a Pro Bowl quarterback in 2007. Anderson has been Cam Newton's backup for four seasons. Would the Ravens want him back? The Ravens could've used Anderson this season when Joe Flacco suffered a season-ending injury. In 2014, Anderson went 2-0 as a starter in 2014, completing 66.2 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He would've been an upgrade over Matt Schaub and Jimmy Clausen.
7. Graham Gano, Panthers kicker: Gano, who lost the Ravens' kicking job to Steven Hauschka in 2009, converted 83 percent of his field goals for Carolina (20th in the NFL). But he missed extra-point tries in close regular-season victories over Indianapolis (29-26), Seattle (27-23) and New Orleans (41-38). Would the Ravens want him back? No. Baltimore has the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history in Justin Tucker, who will either sign a long-term deal with Baltimore or receive the franchise tag.
8. Robert Myers, Broncos guard: A fifth-round pick by the Ravens last year, Myers was on Baltimore's practice squad before the Broncos signed him to their active roster. He hasn't played a game for Denver. Would the Ravens want him back? Baltimore would be interested in bringing him back as a developmental lineman, but the Ravens seemed to prefer undrafted rookie Kaleb Johnson (who was promoted to active roster by Baltimore) over Myers this year.