Ravens Release Week 1 Depth Chart For Season Opener vs Jets

Ravens DB Chuck Clark

Getty Ravens DB Chuck Clark celebrates an interception in a regular season game on January 2, 2022.

The Baltimore Ravens are one of many teams around the league that have announced their starters for Week 1. They will face the New York Jets on the road on Sunday, September 11, 2022 at 1 p.m. EST and on Tuesday, September 6, 2022, they revealed their first starting lineup since the final roster cuts were made. Some questions were answered and some still linger following the reveal.

Here are some of the top takeaways from the first depth chart of the 2022 regular season:

Winner of Left Guard Competition Declared

The top position battle in Ravens training camp got some clarity last week when the team waived third-year pro Tyre Phillips who was in contention, leaving fourth-year pro Ben Powers and second-year pro Ben Cleveland as the last ones left standing. Powers is the more experienced of the two and will begin the year as the starter for the first time in his career. The team experimented with him at center during the camp and the preseason in what some theorized as an effort to raise his potential trade value but the player that many pundits had labeled a possible cap casualty or trade bait has earned a starting job.

Justin Houston Listed at SAM

With only two outside linebackers on the active roster, the Ravens were limited in the options they had to choose from when it came down to deciding who started at which spot. While the second-year pro Odafe Oweh is listed as the starting RUSH and veteran Justin Houston is listed as the starting SAM, don’t expect either to be dropping into coverage on a regular basis as they wait for Tyus Bowser to return after sitting out at least the first four games on the reserve/PUP list. Head coach John Harbaugh recently said that the team has more options at edge defender “than meets the eye” so expect to see some of their back-ups and even starting inside linebackers be heavily involved with the pass rush.

Chuck Clark Keeps Starting Job

When the Ravens used the No. 14 overall pick in this year’s draft to select top safety prospect, Kyle Hamilton, out of Notre Dame, many analysts and even the veteran defensive back himself wondered if his roster spot was secure. The team had just given a large contract to prized free agent acquisition Marcus Williams to play free safety. After initially requesting a trade, Clark decided that he wasn’t just going to concede his starting job to the rookie. He had his best training camp by far according to multiple reports and is poised for his best season yet.

Devin Duvernay Starting over Demarcus Robinson

After his explosive debut in the Ravens’ preseason finale against the Washington Commanders where he recorded 135 receiving yards and a touchdown on four catches and put on a route-running clinic, many assumed that Robinson had catapulted to one of the starting wide receiver spots. However, the third-year receiver that is coming off a First Team All-Pro season as a punt returner is now poised to prove himself as a consistent weapon on offense as well as the starter opposite of second-year breakout candidate Rashod Bateman.

J.K. Dobbins at Top of Depth Chart

The third-year pro is primed to be a Come Back Player of the Year candidate and is coming off a torn ACL with additional damage to his knee but has made tremendous progress in his recovery. He may be on a limited snap count to start the season and be in a heavy rotation with the other behind him on the depth chart. Recent veteran addition, Kenyan Drake listed last on the initial pecking order isn’t surprising given that he just joined the team officially on August 31, 2022, but that will be subject to change once he gets up to speed.

Patrick Queen Not Starting at MIKE

Heading into a pivotal third season, the 2020 third-year pro is still listed as a starter but not at the MIKE spot that has been held by both of their former first-round inside linebackers in Ray Lewis and CJ Mosley. However, under first-year defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, that distinction likely doesn’t mean as much as it once did given the variance in the alignment of tight ends in modern offenses and since Clark wears the green dot and relays the play calls to the rest of the defense. The more surprising observation from the initial depth chart at inside linebacker is that third-year pro Kristian Welch is listed as the primary backup to veteran Josh Bynes at the MIKE spot over undrafted rookie Josh Ross who was much more consistent and impressive in both training camp and the preseason.

Only Two Rookies Starting

While Hamilton isn’t opening the season as a starter, two of his fellow draftmates are center Tyler Linderbaum and punter Jordan Stout. Despite only being limited to just nine snaps in the preseason due to a foot injury, Linderbaum will be the Ravens’ third new starting center in as many years. Stout is taking over the reins as the starting punter and holder for the recently retired Sam Koch who was a lynchpin in the special teams unit for 16 years and is now coaching his replacement as a consultant. The fourth-round specialist out of Penn State had an amazing showing as a punter in the first two preseason games and did well performing holding duties in all three.

Brandon Stephens Ahead of Pepe Williams at Cornerback

The second-year pro is listed as the primary backup behind Marcus Peters over the fourth-round rookie that showed tremendous promise in the preseason and turned heads during training camp. While this may mean that Stephens is the first man up on the outside, Williams will likely be on the field early and much more often as the primary nickel corner that comes on the field when opposing offenses bring three or more receivers on the field.

Isaiah Likely Listed as Third String

After a phenomenal showing in the preseason in which he led the team with 12 receptions and 144 receiving yards and scored a touchdown, many pundits might have presumed that the standout rookie tight end would’ve been listed as the primary backup First-Team All-Pro Mark Andrews. Even though veteran blocking specialist is listed as the second string, Likely will still see the field early and often since the Ravens deploy more multiple tight end sets than any other offense in the league under offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Expect to see Boyle handling most of in-line and run blocking duties while Likely spends most of his time spelling Andrews lining up in the slot and out wide on most of his snaps.

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